“I know it’s a cliché, but everyone at The Yodeller, we’re like family, right? We’re always there for each other. In our own way. When we’re not sending each other emails in ALL CAPS or ‘accidentally’ blocking one another on Facebook”
Posts Tagged: "Sean Twist"
“They stopped half a block away, outside a public house favoured by the Irish. The bloodstains on the stairs gave it a homey feel”
“Just think,” Matt said in awe. “In one hour we’ll have seen forty-five minutes of Batman Vs Superman.”
“Be still my beating heart,” John muttered. Beth punched him.
Matt turned around in line outside Silver City. Despite the chill, he was only wearing Deadpool shorts and a Neal Adams Batman T-shirt. When Batman still had a yellow circle around the bat on his chest, John thought. When Batman was still good.
“You aren’t pumped to see this?” he asked, incredulous.
“No, because I saw Man of Steel.” John said.
Matt’s girlfriend, Alicia, looked up from her Kindle. “I thought this was like Christmas for you guys,” she said, then went back to her pseudo-book.
“Oh, now you don’t like Man of Steel.” Matt shook his head. “Of course you don’t.” He threw his hands in the air. “Look out, no joy hipster over here. Don’t cut yourself on how edgy he is.”
“Are you serious?”
Beth punched John again.
“What?” Matt protested. “Man of Steel was goddamn awesome.”
Behind them a little boy looked up, his eyes wide. The cold wind blowing across the parking lot turned the propeller on his beanie in a slow circle.
“Mummy, why are those men getting cross with each other?” he asked.
She leaned over, pulling him close. “It’s a nerd fight. Best look away, darling.”
“Oh my God. Did we watch the same film?” John heard his voice go up a pitch. “Or did those Zack Snyder slow motion cuts finally lobotomize you?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, John. It was a fun movie. Sorry I liked something fun. Sorry it didn’t talk about the human condition with sub-titles or have everyone dead in the end from a fricken apocalypse. How could anyone possibly enjoy it?”
Beth’s fingers were drawing blood in John’s arm. “You’re supposed to be relaxing, remember,” she hiss-whispered. “I’m supposed to be relaxing.”
“Superman killed someone!” John tried not to shout, but he tried a lot of things and didn’t do that well at them. Like now.
“Zod!” Matt shouted back. “He killed Zod! Zod was killing all those people with his heat vision!” Matt’s delivery had the young mother wiping spittle off her child’s face.
“Will I become a nerd now, Mummy?” the boy asked.
“Oh, hush,” she said, reaching for her anti-bacterials.
If ancient superstitions are right, then I’m probably responsible for that body found in a Stuttgart bookshop last week. You see, I bought a Kindle, and everyone knows that when you do that a bibliophile drops dead. So, sorry, Klaus Bucherfreund. I hope you at least finished some of that Jo Nesbo you were clutching.
Please let me explain why I bought the Kindle. Despite what you may think, it wasn’t to look cool in all the trendy London cafes I don’t frequent. (Although imagine all the neurotic, self-obsessed women and men wearing black frame glasses you could attract by reading Murakami on your Kindle while slurping a ten syllable beverage. I could have a STD and a migraine in minutes.) It wasn’t because I was won over by the Kindle advertising, which seemed to indicate that I could only read my Kindle whilst climbing mountains, chilling by the Taj Mahal, or doing a HALO jump from low orbit.
I bought a Kindle because I’m simply out of room. My house is filled with books. Goddamned packed is how it was once best described. I have bookshelves on every floor and in almost every room. In my office alone I have over a hundred books on a shelf with 62 arranged beneath a table where my printer sits. Leaning back, I can see The Passage by Justin Cronin atop Spook Country by William Gibson, with Battle Royale peeking out beneath an Irvine Welsh. Beside me is a room where the books are simply piled, a Jenga forest of fiction that my cats love to tear through, howling.
I don’t envy my family members who have to clear this place out when I’m eventually found dead outside a Korean PC bang after a 72 hour Maple Story session. I’m sure they’ll just shrug and rent a flamethrower. Continue Reading
Like most people, I have a dream that allows me to get through the day. I cling to this tiny life raft of a dream when the slings and Shoryukens of outrageous extroverts batter me down. I dream of a castle, set high on a lonely Scottish moor. A castle with a moat, three dogs, great internet, and not a human soul around.
You see, I don’t like talking to people. I mean, sure, there are a few I don’t mind conversing with, especially the ones I’m married to. But for the most part, I can happily go through my days without saying a word. But in the 21st century, in this age when you need a face shield against the spewing overshare, being silent means you’re either anti-social (I am), in need of medication (do Twizzlers count?) or need a hug (God, no, really, I’m good).
Now, before you fold your arms and get all judgement-faced, I don’t blame other people. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, or that my time is just too precious. In fact, I think the complete opposite. I worry that I’ll say the wrong thing to upset someone. Which in turn will ruin my day, because how can anyone bear the weight of having mildly upset a casual acquaintance? It’s just how I’m wired.
I just find talking to people so exhausting. Even in a simple three sentence ‘How are you?’ exchange there are enough social gymnastics involved to make me want to lie in an empty crypt for a week. (Oh, c’mon, like you haven’t.) Continue Reading
Emotional states are like weather patterns. Sometimes they blow in, bringing all the warmth and brightness of a lover’s smile. At other times they grumble across the horizon of your consciousness like a Morrissey convention. Sometimes they fade. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they hang around long enough you wonder if they’ll help with the mortgage payment.
Lately, my emotional state is akin to a never-ending shower falling upon a Spanish galleon filled with depressed sailors singing Sufjan Stevens songs from the rigging.
I can’t decipher why this low-fi, low pressure system hasn’t moved on. I mean, I’ve tried to turn that frown upside down. I’ve tried to carpe that diem. I’ve tried to read the entire cover of a Hello! magazine. But still the wind blows through the rigging of the Depression Galleon, the sailors mournfully singing Fourth of July acapella. But I knew I had to do something. My family needed me. Besides, my wife must be getting tired of leaving Is Doctor Assisted Suicide Right For You? pamphlets in my lunch bag.
And so I found myself alone one night in my office, staring out the window at the creeping twilight, Lykke Li on repeat, wondering:
How can I shake this off? What should I do? What if Jayson McDonald wrote a Boneyard Man where he had bionics and fought Bigfoot?
And then it hit me like a beam of sunlight through the clouds.
I should become an elf.
And so I downloaded World of Warcraft. Continue Reading
Maggie vaulted across the roof ledge, her boots scraping across the eaves. Blood flew from her mouth. But that was the least of her current problems. The yawning distance to the rooftop below being, at that moment, paramount.
As she fell, she tried to get her feet beneath her. To her right, her peripheral vision took in the man she was pursuing, frozen on a fire escape ladder, watching. But then the roof slammed into her. That kind of took up her attention for a bit.
Jolts of pain arced up her calves as she threw herself into a roll. A roll that continued against her will, the force of her velocity battering her through her army jacket. She instinctively tucked her arms up in front of her face, feeling her knuckles scrape against the scattered gravel as she rolled across the rooftop.
Finally, a pounding eternity later, she stopped. She opened her eyes to see the edge of the roof inches away, the sounds of nighttime traffic drifting up from King Street like a meth addicted siren’s call.
Maggie heard a thump behind her. She scrambled to her knees. She saw the man getting up from where he’d leapt from the ladder. He glanced at her, then bolted to his left.
“Sonofabitch,” Maggie swore. She was on her feet and in pursuit in a breath.
He leapt from the next ledge. As Maggie bore down, she saw the drop was about five feet. Still, he stumbled, struggling to regain his balance. Maggie was already in the air when he turned to see where she was. Continue Reading
“The news had been on the CBC when she woke up. She was surprised by how much it hurt.”
She sipped her coffee and wondered what dying felt like. She thought if Terry in Sys Admin kept on going on about the goddamn Leafs in the lunch room, he’d probably find out before she did. Which is why she was sitting upstairs at the Covent Garden Market, sipping a black coffee, looking out at the early afternoon crowd milling below. Terry was going on about fucking sports again, getting so worked up the spit was foaming at the corners of his mouth. She could hear him over her Ipod, ranting. So she grabbed her jacket and came here before justifiable homicide became her new thing.
She checked her phone. She still had forty minutes. Sipped her coffee again.
She was thinking about death because David Bowie had died yesterday.
The news had been on the CBC when she woke up. She was surprised by how much it hurt. She’d laid in bed, the lights still off, and stared at the ceiling. She didn’t even really consider herself a Bowie fan. Sure, she knew the songs. The old stuff, mostly. But wow. It had really hurt.
She sighed, felt her face slide into a smile that quickly fell away. She reached for her coffee
He didn’t know why he came to this place. He didn’t even really like the coffee. But he always came here, they always got his name wrong, and he regretted buying it by the second sip. Every time. But he had to get out of the office. No, they didn’t call it that. They called it an open work space. Jesus.
He couldn’t wait for his contract to be up. He’d been happy to get the gig working on Vodka and Lugers, since it was the biggest mobile game in North America and it would look good on his resume to get into Blizzard. But God, the other designers needed to dig a goddamn ditch. Get out. See a girl that wasn’t on Pornhub. They’d been playing that My Little Pony card game at lunch, high fiving over lore, and . . . he just had to go.
And Bowie had died. The others had gone on about it, made the appropriate hipster sounds. But their favourite album was Let’s Dance. One of them even thought that was Bowie’s first album.
He sighed, sipped his coffee, grimaced.
This is what happens when you’re over fifty and your co-workers are barely 28. This is why he’d never get into Blizzard, or get remarried, or
She could just go for a walk. She could call her mom tonight, not now. Besides, her coffee was done, and the walk would do her good.
She put her earbuds in, cycled through her albums. She was sure this one had . . . oh yes. There it was. ChangesOneBowie. She thumbed it to play, and headed downstairs. Continue Reading
Martha was drumming Ace of Spades at Dundas and Richmond when Quill put a coffee in front of her.
Martha pulled the earbuds from her ears.
“What do you want?”
“I need to borrow your car.”
Martha finished up the song because OCD is a bitch. But so is releasing the demons buried beneath London’s busiest intersection for the last 217 years, held only in place by generations of tribal drummers, of which Martha had no relation. She just liked to drum and multi-task.
“You don’t have a driver’s license.”
“Well, then, I guess I have to borrow you, too.”
“Of course.” She waited for a LTC bus to pass, then asked, “Is this exorcist shit? Because I’m a bit hungover and the brimstone smell doesn’t help.”
“No. More like maintenance work.”
Martha stood up, running her hands through her white dreadlocks. “Fine. But you’re buying me another coffee when we’re done.”
Quill kissed her on the cheek. “You’re so sweet.”
“Yeah, like diabetes.” Continue Reading
The quaint Wortley Village café had slid between dimensions again and was currently hurtling through a hellscape. As usual when this happened, the barista dinged the bell beside the cash register and shouted “Half price lattes, people!”
Laura sipped her triple, no fat caramel macchiato. “Of course there’s a deal now.”
“I know, right?” Dagger replied, sipping his decaf soy latte. His real name was Alan, but Dagger was his soul name, a name he found for himself after a two week cleanse. People on his Facebook said that Dagger was totally the name for him. He had such a piercing wit and stuff. So Dagger. “It’s like they planned it or something.”
Laura nodded. “Wouldn’t surprise me.” She glanced up at the stained glass windows, currently awash in blood and the screams of the damned. Her eyes drifted back to her laptop.
“That bitch Monica who works Wednesdays has been pissed at me ever since I wouldn’t sign her anti-fur petition.”
“I heard she smells of cat pee, which is why Anne Marie dumped her.”
“Meow,” Laura smiled.
Dagger made a scratching gesture, because Dagger!
Laura sighed, the moment gone. Her shoulders slumped. Almost twenty seconds passed without any social interaction. She felt the panic building, so she said, “You read anything good this year?”
Dagger didn’t react immediately, since he was looking at his own laptop. Laura wouldn’t forget the slight for three weeks.
“What, like a book?” Dagger finally looked away from his screen. “Like a real book?”
Laura dug deep for patience. “Yes, whatever.”
“I don’t know.” Dagger pulled up his retro satchel – it had The Love Boat logo stitched on it – and pulled out his Kindle. He woke it up and scrolled. “Oh, I’m like 43 percent done with Fifteen Dogs. So I guess I’m done with that. It was okay, I guess.”
“What was it about?” Laura was a saint. She asked deep questions like that.
“I don’t know. Talking dogs? I wasn’t really paying attention. I was only reading dialogue.” Dagger shrugged. “Who has time to read?”
“I liked Among Others” a long haired man with a hobo beard said. He was sitting beside Dagger. Laura made a face and made sure her wallet was still beside her Macbook. She totally hadn’t noticed him. Why would she? “It’s by Jo Walton,” the weirdo continued. “It’s about books and magic.”
“Excuse me, this is a private conversation,” Laura said in that tone you used on the homeless and waiters.