Kathy’s Desk

Going back about 500 years when I lived in Calgary, I was at my friend Brad’s place, (you’ve met her, she comes for hols) we were just hanging out and having tea and a chat. He was talking about a social gathering he had been at recently and he mentioned that someone we both knew had been there with his new boyfriend. I asked what the new boyfriend was like and Brad replied, “Maybe  a bit of S and P to taste, she’s a bit bland.”  We had a good chuckle over this and carried on chatting but what happened was, that phrase got planted in my brain.

It comes to me , mostly without realizing it. When I myself use the S n P, to taste, I hear him saying it. When someone is boring the tits right off me, same.

So, going back another 500 years past that day, back to when I was in Grade One, yes, I remember, my friend Kathy, (her real name) sat across the aisle and one up from me, she was a front row kid. The worst. Brats. Ever. I could see in to her desk, and although neat, it was full of paper. I clearly remember one day her sliding her books in to the desk, old fashion type, and even though the books slid in easily, they were on top of a ton of paper.

So the bottom layer of her desk was all these papers she had never gotten rid of; Very Important Papers, like coloured ducks and some nonsense about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot. It had been in this state for some time, and for some reason it was really cool to me. This layer of trash with plenty of room for the other stuff on top, stuff like books about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot and sandwiches in paper bags.

Mrs. Rogers, our teacher, called her on it one day. Mrs. Rogers, if you will, picture Godzilla with a tartan dress and maybe some glass pearls. Horrid Hound From Hell! She made me go to the from of the class once to throw away my gum and then SPANKED ME in front of everyone, but I’m not ready to talk about that yet. So she made Kathy take down her mountain of papers, important or not and toss them.

Kathy’s Desk is also a yardstick in my life. Like if I can’t get through the crowd in the grocery store, or the cards in my game of solitaire are all built up and I can’t get the ones I need out, sometimes just a cluttered mind, it has been Kathy’s Desk.

I moved here to the Dominican Republic with the gentle guidance of my friend, Will. He died Sunday.

I don’t know how to process it yet.

It’s all Kathy’s Desk.

 

will

 

William, easing in to his day.

Life Map

 

wall

My power went out today. Not an unusual thing here at all. It goes out all the time, some sort of conservation thing, I think. As a rule it’s only about a half an hour, hour, then back. Today was five hours. Seriously. It’s like having no arms.

After the first hour I finally got the broom out, pushed a few things around, tried to wash my dishes, but by then the water was gone. We have reserve tanks for the building, but after everyone using it, it’s gone. Saturday morning, everyone is home.

I eventually ended up head first in my bedroom closet. It’s mostly storage, piled up, crap I don’t know what to do with as yet. Excess. Thankfully, I’ve been watching ‘Hoarders’, so I’m in the mood to shift stuff.

Every apartment I’ve had here is solid concrete. Was, floors, the lot. I assume it’s due to the extreme humidity and the regular earthquakes. But I’ve never been able to hang my pictures. My last place had a few nails and I did hang two of my mother’s paintings up, it’s amazing what familiar things can do to you. It’s so comforting.

This apartment has a bit of wood. The kitchen cupboards are wood and the back wall of it is the wall for the main room. Termites are a massive problem here as well, so concrete it is! I have termites here,  but a bit of Windex seems to slow them down.

In my closet hoard was a suitcase full of artwork from a dear friend of mine. I have a lot of it and have always hung it up. I haven’t been able to here, until today.

How marvelous to see it all! The memories, the history, the beauty of it all. I hammered in a few nails, the rest I had to tape up. We’ll see how that goes, the humidity may knock them down. What’s really cool about a lot of the pieces is they are Mail Art. He makes postcards and sends them to friends, other artists, and other mail artists. It was always very exciting to receive a very colourful piece of art amongst the phone bills and pizza flyers.

But also very cool was as I applied the tape to the back of the post cards, I would see the address it was sent to. It was quite interesting to be reminded of all these places I lived, mostly Toronto, and all the memories it brought back. My first one, the Elvis Building, is dated ‘Christmas, 1988’.

elvis

What a wonderful treat, to revisit the past. To see these lovely pieces, hanging them up, it’s well over due. There are a few I don’t even know which end is up but it really doesn’t matter. My friend Theo’s work, my old address’, touching them, seeing them, arranging them, all of it. Like visiting an old friend.

Which,really, I was. He can’t send them here so I am hoping for a delivery in person.