Ottawa: Bank and Sunnyside

ottawa I am working in this small room barely big enough to accommodate my small desk and a single chair. At the end of each day I return to the rooming house where sad, desperate men hit me up for money. Sad and desperate myself I feel the need to make contact with a reassuring voice. I go to the phone booth on the corner and call my friend Wayne, but I have to hang up.

We have repeated this routine every school day. I drop him off at Hopewell Public School, make sure he has his lunch, wish him a good day. This time, from the back seat, he asks “What’s going on?” I don’t answer. “What’s going on?”

There is that moment of incomprehension when the pattern has been repeated so often without variation and suddenly your expectations are denied by a violent rupture. Things are not as they should be. Things will never again be as they should. I already have my key out to unlock the door when I see that the door has been kicked in.