SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME
I had been in Douglas Psychiatric Center for several weeks, and it was during the October crisis in 1970. My friend Alex Duarte had gotten a day pass to take me out for a walk. It was a few weeks after the actual crisis and Alex took me out that morning to see all the Canadian soldiers occupying the city. The sky was gray, there was a cold breeze, and no one on the streets. We went near Montreal city hall, and there were troops stationed with machine guns all around the building. They were in uniform, wearing battle gear but there was no battle. It was what Trudeau called an ‘‘apprehended insurrection,’’ and the province of Quebec was under arrest, under the War Measures Act. At every government building, there were soldiers standing erect, at attention position.
It was a Sunday morning, and behind city hall, near the metro station, we were walking around thinking over what had transpired. I was all screwed up on largactyl, on a massive dose of neuroleptic medication, when we bumped into a few comrades of mine from the Front de libération du Québec, girls and guys, maybe four or five of them, whom I had met that fall while going to demonstrations and riots and attending cell meetings. They were perhaps twenty years old. I was twenty-one, and when they saw how frozen I looked from the shoulders on up, one of the ladies said to me, ‘‘Y t’ont pas manqué, hein?’’ which would translate as ‘‘they really nailed you to a cross, eh?’’ I was telling them that I was a patient in the College and was out on a day pass. I could barely talk. Society was brainwashing me. If the doctors couldn’t give me a lobotomy, they reached the same effect of total compliance by injecting me with massive doses of medication. There was no apprehended insurrection in sight, only soldiers paranoid as hell and expecting a jack-in-the-box to spring out of the sidewalks.
Continue reading ~ SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME by Robert M Smith →
Two years ago, before they went their separate ways, I visited my older sister and her husband at her house a mile from the beach in La Jolla. It was Christmas, and instead of stopping short in Orange County to visit our parents, my kid sister, Tannaz, and I decided that we would each continue south separately on the 5 freeway to create our own tradition with our older sister. Our parents didn’t celebrate Christmas and we were all tired of hearing about how our desire to exchange gifts and have a turkey dinner was a betrayal of our upbringings.
My sister and her husband had recently moved to the San Diego coast from further inland, and by the multiple exclamation points that she’d put in her email reply to me and Tannaz when we’d told her that we would be coming down to her neighborhood for Christmas–me from the Bay Area and Tannaz from Los Angeles–I knew that she was happy. She was a coastal girl, much more than the rest of us, and when our parents had moved from our childhood home in Newport Beach further inland, she’d seemed the most taken aback. I hadn’t cared much. I hadn’t been around southern California for years now. Tannaz also hadn’t seemed to mind since she’d already begun college in Los Angeles. Only my older sister, Sam, had felt betrayed that my parents would leave a house with character and memories for a sterile McMansion with gates.
Continue reading ~ Jinn Story by Hassan Riaz →
Jesús was driving a beat up ’69 VW Bug across town as if threading his way through angry parted Hispanic seas. Mexico City was dying. Dying, in the sense that in the blank spaces between all the henna-dyed cloth hanging from adobe doorways, and laced throughout the haphazard tourist hagglers with their laid out blankets and dried clay knick knacks, their dirty sense of thrift, light brown eyes – through these eyes, the eyes of Sick Mexico – you could see death struggling to crawl out from lands beyond, enslaving the body in great carnival November 1st. First the eyes are gone, hollow. Then the body loses white blood cells as brain synapses cease to fire, causing the muscle to eventually rot from the inside. Slow death due to ignorance and color TV.
What has happened to MEXICO, Land of the Proud Mayans, land of Coca and Tobacco and Life living out its slow natural erosion?
The Bug pulls out in front of a crumbling stucco job that has cafe painted on it in decaying white. Jesús steps inside and ordered a Yerba Mate.
Birds twittered from the rooftops of slum ciudad de la enfermidad, a monstrous growth that rose up around the coffee shop and made him tremble in anticipation of an apocalypse. Where is the cat? he wondered, sipping his tea.
What had happened to his erudite Arabian skin? – replaced now by a somber Chiapas imprint with unkempt hair that grew unevenly in places, and sour breath of raw meat. Jesús stroked his new goatee; it felt rough. How could the mescaline be all out, his little plastic bag empty?
“Excúseme compinche,” reproached the barista. “Pay or get out.”
Continue reading ~ Tsun-Kyanske’s Cat by Evan Retzer →