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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

South of Moosonee 3

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

C -5F/-10F

I love Wigwags


Got lost in the bush today.


Went behind the apartment with my dog. My Dad owns an apartment building on the edge of town. And like every edge of this town, there is nothing beyond it. Bush and rock, bush and rock, bush, and rock… sometimes water, sometimes lots of water.

I clean the hallways and laundry room every weekend in the apartment building. In the winter I use hot water on the floors, open the doors and watch the steam float up off the floor. I stand and look at the movement of the steam, it feels good, in my head. After cleaning I have this ritual where I go out into the bush behind the apartment with my dog and get stoned. Some people go to church, I get fucked up in the bush. This time I went too far into the bush, so after I smoked up and looked back, every direction looked the same, nothing but white through naked trees. I panicked and started to think of an episode of Adventures in Rainbow country, where Billy gets lost in the bush and starts to go mad. I loved Rainbow country, it made living up north look exciting. I don’t remember an episode of any of them getting stoned in the bush to survive the boredom.

I kept walking in different directions and by the time I turned around to follow my steps back the wind had removed any sign of my existence. So I continued forward thinking I would come across a path or see some houses, but the bush just got thicker and thicker, like I was being swallowed by the land I’m trying so hard to escape. My dog kept looking at me wondering if this is how it ends, her, with me, stoned, wandering off to our death? I know dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but I think she would have preferred a smarter human. I started to imagine them finding me years later, hugging a tree, just my bones, the tiny skeleton of my dog beside me, skull looking up, her name tag on. Then I think about my funeral, who will miss me, who will wish they had been nicer to me. I love my funeral fantasies.

Eventually I climbed a tree and could see some houses. I was far away.

It’s easy to see how quickly panic makes you do all the wrong things.

After cleaning and getting stoned in the bush I visit Jutta in apartment 10. We talk and she tells me stories. It feels like I’m living inside her head. Sometimes I lean back and close my eyes and just listen to her bumpy voice. She is old with soft cheeks and puppy eyes that make her look like Huckleberry Hound. She wears long dresses that have patterns you usually see on a sofa, gray and brown with paisley designs. She wears thick stockings and slippers that look like ballerina shoes. Everything in her apartment is scrubbed clean and has its place. It feels like she arranges her apartment like she arranges the inside of her head, perfect order. If I smell something in her place, it is usually a cleaning product. I bring my own smell in, and because she enjoys the company, she puts up with my stink. Her furniture and clothes have been kept in perfect condition for decades and decades like she is holding on to something, freezing time. She has German decorative objects I can’t identify around the apartment, and even though there is an effort to make everything have its own space, she seems out of place.

I approached her with my idea, she agreed. I left my cassette player, explaining to her how it works. I have used the cassette player for a lot of stuff. Recording animals, radio plays, but it’s hard to do the plays with just one voice. At this age, no one is interested in creating anything, just boring shit. I am officially a one-man band, for everything.

Dinner tastes so good after being stoned.

Sunday is usually roast chicken. If I get home early enough, I can take the drippings from the roast chicken and put them on some white bread with salt and pepper.

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I love Wigwags.

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