The wake

The epiphany of James Joyce’s masterful short story ‘The Dead’ is Gabriel’s discovery during a dinner party that his wife Gretta was thinking of a boy, Michael Furey, who loved her and who died when she was young.  Yesterday I had a minor...

One morning at the clinic

Every few months I have to give a bit of blood to the medical clinic which takes a look at it and pronounces me fit (I may be compressing the time sequence here). The nurses see me so often they tease me. My companions in the basement-level clinic are usually old...

Dust and heat

No doubt you’re hotter than I am. Certainly I’ve been told recently by everyone I meet that my wilting is less than their wilting, even when we are standing in the bone chill of a movie theatre in a shopping mall. But there’s nobody hotter than the...

London and Palo Alto

Where’s your most beautiful place on earth? I have many places that are dear to my heart.  Algonquin Park, Canada. The city of London.  The Rocky Mountains. But the place I find the most shockingly beautiful is 17 Mile Drive south of Monterey, California....

Service with a simile

I’m fascinated with service customs in California vs. Toronto every time I go back and forth between the two.  Let’s take food service.  In Toronto your waiter is probably an out-of-work actor.  He does the job more or less competently but knows he’s too smart for...
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