The weather, lack of exercise, imprisoned in the cave of memory, not writing, no inspiration, or abundant inspiration, merely lacking in the ability to prune it, giving shape, it's never the writing that's the work it's the editing, and history was written with scissors and glue...

A friend over, raiding, builds a small pile, then, finding a pair of candlesticks, the wrong pair, I have so many but she's picked the wrong ones, I'd given her the provenance, bought in London, 300+ years old, now she's taken a fancy and of course I'm giving them away...No. No. Put them back. They are not for you. This is the summary of our friendship, in - what? 5? 7? years, a dozen "lets go out for drinks...", she's paid maybe once. Maybe. Sure, I'll say once. And now this rifling the bones, she'll buy me a drink, no, 2, a quick summary of her pile suggests a fine dinner but let it go, let her go, this "friendship" - well, it was ----

This recalls another friendship. Another one, with a more intimate foundation that over time became - ? - more platonic. Intimacy - in the physical sense, required more imagination than I'm generally capable of, than I care to invest in a lover, than in her as a lover certainly, and so we were friends. And, tokens, we give friends things, I'd given her some candlesticks, no harm can come to them, old, 150 years, but candlesticks, they just sit there and so they were safe. And I'd given her a cigarette case, antique tobacco tin, which she promptly lost. Small thing, of no value really, and so you let it go.

I'd replaced it, with a sterling silver cigarette cigarette case, mint condition, 100 years old if a day, filled with hallmarks, beautifully engraved, the inside an antique gilt over the silver, a fine thing, a rare thing, a beautiful thing.

And one day, sitting in her car, piece of shit *&^%*&^#*&^@ - barely running - a metaphor for her life, and I find - under my feet, the cigarette case. Trodden with salt and snow, crushed, distorted, I picked it up, pocketed it again.

I asked her about it, it was around she said, "show me" I suggested, but she changed the conversation and I let it slide, kept the cigarette case, polished it up, restored it to it's former glory. 

The daughter, she's over, somehow that cigarette case comes up, and I give it to her to examine...she's looking at it, and then asks about the marks inside...

I hadn't opened it. The gilt lining, it's been scored with a hundred little razor burns, cuts, white powder flattened into the embossed case, the friend, she's been grinding her cocaine in it, it's been her party case...

Fuck. I explain it to the daughter but I'm livid inside, furious, this "ownership" of fine things, there's never ownership, we - you - me - we own nothing, we are - at best - custodians of the past, and she has set fire to the past much the same way she's incinerated her future, her children, and inside, you know it, knew it all along, but a too generous nature credits people with a modicum of common sense, a baseline of decency, propriety, that upon any real investigation very few people have.

People, the shit you give them, it's nothing, it's better to burn it. Unless they've paid - what you've paid or more - it's worthless. And I think about it. 

I don't know that I need friends. But if I do, if I do, I need better friends.

Found these in the locker from when the daughter was 6 or 7 years old, she loved to wrestle and the little Miss books. And so I painted her a "Little Miss Wrestle" mug...

Can't sell this, so it'll stay here until I can return it to the locker...

Finally - a long week of holding shit on Kijiji for people that forget or don't come to pick it up, text messages from people who dicker you down and then text "OMW", then disappear, right now there's about a 1/4 response rate. For every four inquiries I sell one item. But a picker came down, got excited, started going through boxes, made a pile, older - my age - Chinese fellow, putting together a pile for best price - a good offer on already good prices but it's gotta go. I liked him, he counter-offers gently, I get him, he's got to make his profit, I don't want to lose my shirt (but there's no profit to be had here, I win on some, lose on others, and - in the end, it's all gotta go). He's a nice guy, and in a lazier world I could see us becoming friends. He discovers my boxes of Dinosaur bones - "Help Yourself", because, after all, I have hundreds, and you can't sell them, and then he discovers boxes of crystals, which haven't been selling, but he takes a couple and I like that we have similar tastes, he spends an hour with my watches, cufflinks, but he doesn't know these and I can't recommend he sell them for profit, I'll move those off on Ebay for the best price, they cost nothing to ship and like the candlesticks there's a better market further afield. 

I've got people now emailing me wondering when I'm putting more stuff up for sale - that's gotta be a good sign, especially with rent due in 5 days...and - I get discouraged when I think how much I have left - but I have a year, or so, ahead of me, it will all go by then - and then - today and finally, I sell the decrepit bongoes, which were proof manifest that you never know what people will want or buy, and so there's still a lot of hope yet...

 

Most people I know, especially in the Kootenays, 75, it's middle aged. I think of my Father - older, sure, but not that old. Or Dagmar, 75 years old, bitching about not having sex for 18 years, her choice, she doesn't really like her partner, smoking a joint behind the restaurant, then tearing off to chain herself to a tree or protest something or another, 75 years young, you'd look at her and guess late 50's, tops, she's still a beauty, with more energy than most women half her age.

So it's a bit of a disappointment when I track down Batshit, 75 years as well, in his squalid apartment in Nelson. It's been a few months, good to see him, but not like this. His apartment filled with junk, boxes, he's sprawled on a tangle of sheets, chip wrappers, food tins, the place is a hole - he's hung a bed-sheet in front of the window, the entire winter he's not gone out, bathed, showered, filthy, unflushed shit in the toilet, watching old movies on the TV beside his bed...

I knew this move to Nelson was a bad idea. He's glad to see me, totters about getting dressed, the place stinks, there's no way to describe it, the mess, and his movements, slow, confused, complaining about every imaginary ache and pain, he's the worst picture of 75 years old you can imagine...

We go for coffee, catch up, he's got some scrolls for me. And he needs cigarettes, and a bag of stone ground coffee, and I order him a sandwich which he nibbles briefly on and then demands a take-out bag for, he'll eat it later, then he wants a bottle of liquor, and a toy in the antique shop window, and he wants some farm fresh eggs and thick sliced bacon and some canvas and it goes on and on and on and it's too much, I can't afford this shortest of visits, get him back to the car, he's complaining, tottering, doesn't want to walk up the hill, I'm pissed, he's become lazy, old, way before his years and I'm not playing this game, don't want to enable this charade of untimely old age...

...a lady watches me in horror as I drag him up the hill, swearing at him all the way - "Elder Abuse" I explain gently as I pass, he's got me annoyed, he's down a little self-pitying well, but I can tell he liked this little foray into downtown, me, not so much, I'll see him maybe again in the spring if he lives but it's become a duty, not a pleasure...

He's been adding the postcards I've been sending into his artwork...which is good...