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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

South of Moosonee 11

Updated: Mar 31, 2023



-11F/-31F

In grade five I built a fort in our second garage, the one that isn’t attached to our house. My fort was up in the rafters. I love secret places where no one can find me. I feel safe, invisible, like I can control how much of me the world gets to have. I had a coffee percolator and a toaster in my hiding place. I would stare at the percolator and make toast. I would imagine talking to people about things I was going to do in the future. It was a future I would live in soon. A future I could see waiting for me. If I could just get out of here.

*

Mom seems better these days, her and Dad are more friendly to each other, dinner is easier.

*

A couple of years ago, this guy, who was the brother of my sisters’ friend, set his bedroom on fire and shot himself. He hated his father and argued with him all time. I see him in my mind, staring at his father through the bedroom door, glowing orange and red, gun to his head. I think about how satisfying it would be to stare at my father and shoot myself…but then what?

He lived on Cedar Street, there’s been three suicides there so far, I call the street Suicide Cedar. I wonder if the street is cursed. I wonder if curses are real. There was also some poor kid who dropped his blow dryer in the tub, also Cedar Street.

*

I brought Lasagna to our neighbours across the park. Their father just died of a heart attack. My Mom said that is what you do for someone who has a death in the family, because they are too sad to cook. We also made food for this man who lost his wife to a stroke. She just arrived from India. Someone told my mom her blood had trouble adjusting from so much heat to so much cold. They said her blood was thin from the heat then began to thicken for the cold. Clots formed and she died of a stroke. My mom made him a casserole. What would it be like to try and eat when you are sad, really sad. Eating would become a job. Shoving food into your mouth so you could keep living...keep being sad.

*

I keep having thoughts that can’t be unthought. Like, turning into a were wolf and killing my family. Having sex with an insect. Being in car accidents. Burning alive. Killing people I hate. These thoughts are like hamsters in a wheel, running and running and running… always running.

*

When I was a kid, I would collect cups from the kitchen and stack them beside my bed. I would put Vicks vapour rub in the bottom cup as jet fuel. During the night my mom would come and collect them. In the morning I thought they took off into space. I guess I didn’t realize I was always using the same cups. I was trying to go home.

*

I saw this comic book cover at the corner store. It had picture of a witch flying by a clock tower that had 13 o’clock on it. The title said 13 o’clock, the witching hour. That is another thing I can't unthink.

*

We go to Grand Manan every summer and camp along the way there. One summer I left the tent trailer and was sleep walking. I woke up near a tree and could see flashlights everywhere and people calling my name. I could see a dark figure in front of me, just standing there. I wasn’t afraid, but when I think of it now, why didn’t he talk to me, say something. When someone else came up to me, he disappeared. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still see the lights, and that dark shape.

*

Julie

Julie says she puts cold water on her face to close her pores.

She enjoys burping after drinking soda.

She walks fast.

She sews her own clothes.

She loves fashion with a 30s and 40s flair.

She helps me with my projects.

We neck on the couch in the basement.

We dressed and danced to the B52s.

She has secrets.

I have secrets.

She wants something I don’t have.

She deserves better.

*

I can hear my Parents talk about sending me away to school. My Dad thinks it would be a waste of money because I would just fail…

*

I stay awake, listening to the clock downstairs hit one o’clock. Making sure it doesn’t chime thirteen times.

*

I am into taking pictures. I use my dads’ old camera, he was a talented photographer, I wonder if he misses it.

When I take a picture It’s like I am capturing time. Whatever I look at I can freeze forever. Maybe we're just a series of pictures put together and someone is playing us like a flipbook. I wish they drew me thinner with straight hair.

I have turned the second garage into my own photo studio. I collect clothes from second-hand stores. My friend Laurie helped me.


Laurie

Laurie helped me get clothes at a second-hand store.

She has a funny laugh that sounds like a large giggle.

We recorded the giggle for a project I did for English called Araminta Ditch is always laughing by John Lennon.

She stands pigeon toed and tucks the top of her fingers into a half pocket on her jeans.

She has rabbits.

She was embarrassed when I sent her into the house to ask my mother for Q tips and Vaseline, for my camera.

She wants something I don't have.


I managed to find the top part of a mannequin and use it in the photos. I dress the mannequin up to make it look dead, then take pictures. Laurie also volunteered to be a dead body. When I got the pictures and showed them to people at school, they want to be in them.

I draw people towards me by creating projects. That way the conversation is about what I’m doing, not who I am.

*

Mark wants to get rid of Mike and have Animal as the new drummer. I like Animal but Mike is my friend.

*

At my locker I heard some guys talking loud next to me, loudly so I would hear. They said they didn’t know this hallway was for fags. The guy that said it was the same guy who asked Julie to the Christmas dance last year.

She went with me.

*

I love mojos but I can’t stand how they get stuck to my teeth.

*

Mom and Dad are quiet, they are planning something.

*

Waiting for the clock to strike one in the morning isn’t good enough. The feeling of control is fading. I have a ritual that I created that makes my brain feel good again, so I can sleep.

*

I’m so tired.

*

One of the kids at school was super stoned on acid when his father died. Someone told him his dad was dead while he was recked. They say he freaked out and a bunch of guys had to hold him down. I try to imagine what it would be like to be that messed up and deal with that information. I’m not sure why they didn’t wait till he came down. There are a bunch of brothers in that family, they’re all blond. When I think of them, I think of the Sound of Music, or Swiss Family Robinson.

*

I wish they were still making the show “The Night Stalker.”

*

I told Mark that if I Mike goes, so do I.

*

Had another weird dream last night.

I was walking down a street that looked like Oak Street again. No one was on the street but me. I looked everywhere but couldn’t see anyone. I realized then that I was dreaming. I decided to keep walking on the street and just see what would happen. People started coming out of their homes and staring at me. I stayed on the street and walked around the square. As I kept walking more people came out of their homes and stared at me. Soon they were on their lawns looking at me, some with their arms crossed, others with their hands on their waist. Like they wanted me to leave. They didn’t seem friendly. I tried talking to them, like maybe there was something they could tell me, something that would help me, but they didn’t say any thing. I went into my house but couldn’t find my family. I looked out the window and all the people that were on their lawns were now in front of my house. I was more annoyed then scared. Like this was waste of a good half real dream. Once I started to try to change things, everything began to fade, and I woke up.

*

Went downhill skiing last night. The ski hill is more of a valley and less of a hill. It takes longer to wait for the tow and get up then it does to ski down. I took some friends in my blue bomb. When you have transportation, people are nicer to you. After Rabbit hill you go off the highway and onto the side roads. The banks are high with slippery edges. I went into the ditch and had to have someone pull us out. I just kept hearing in my head, go faster. Night skiing is great, everyone drinks wine from their wine skin. There is something about the lights on the hill that make everything feel surreal. I feel like I’m skiing through a movie.

*

Marcel is the first person I did music with. The first song we learned was by BTO, Taking Care of Business…I hated that song. He lost his front teeth when he was younger. He was playing this game where you breath in and out fast and hard, then hold your breath. Then you put you thumb up to you mouth and blow out quickly. He passed out and fell face first, knocking his front teeth out. I try to see the blood in my head. The kind of blood that pours down your chin, straight from your mouth. Spitting blood, crying…confusion.


Marcel

Marcel is complicated.

There is something under the surface.

He is smart.

His sister Rose is smart.

Our connection is music.

He is my first music connection.

When he plays his guitar, he stares straight ahead like a zombie.

He told me other people called me a loner.

They are right.

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