"And just forget about C——- and S——-. I also have no idea what those two are doing, but forget em. They don’t seem to have any relevance to anyone anymore. She sounds immature and petty."

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Huge rave at Shaw Conference tonight okay idk yeeaahh.

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The title of this story is Infante D. Henrique. Because this is the story of Henry the Navigator, a popular Portuguese prince and explorer. During his reign, Henry’s navigators perfected the use of a technique called The return from the sea. With this technique, one sails into the ocean at a completely different angle from the voyage one wishes to make. It’s all about the prevailing wind, you see. A technique which greatly advanced the European exploration of the Atlantic Ocean. This story, unlike most histories or lessons learned in school, is untainted by provenance or propaganda. Every detail you are about to read is true.

When I was not so young I moved out of my parents’ house for better times in a place near the university. Packing my things was not a chore. A bureau, a few large pictures, my favourite cricket bat, a black leather bomber jacket, a sense of excitement and three thousand books. Everything fit into my old blue Galaxie 500. The two hundred pound concrete unicorn, my father brought that after. And my mother asked me if I wanted to take the old cracked mug. Each of us children had been given a porcelain coffee cup by a long ago family friend in those days when friends feel it’s important to give gifts to the still little children of their friends. I suppose I would have called her aunt.

But it has a crack in it, I told my mother. The coffee always bleeds out, remember? I haven’t used it in years.

But the sentimental value, she said.

I don’t even remember receiving it, I said. I think it has more value for you than me. You keep it. 

I have no idea where that porcelain mug is now. Someone had baked a drawing, done in the Portuguese folclórico style, of a shabby candy rooster on the outside of the cup, a mangy looking cock. The crack bisected the bird in half, right through the heart.

Mother cried when I moved out, and was half angry with me. Dad gave me two hundred dollars. This was all years ago.

The note on the windshield says I couldn’t find you in hasty cursive and is followed by a stick figure with a smiling head and thin waving arms raised high. Look at my phone and of course there’s a missed call. I call him back.

I’m at the new Remedy. Down on 124 Street. What are you up to? Come by for a coffee or something if you have a few.

Yes since the place is only a few minutes south and then left onto 107 Avenue across the bridge and right onto 124. Park the car and walk west across 124 to the cafe entrance. Scan the patio, and nothing, so he must be inside. Day like this, though, I’d rather stay out here. Grab as much of the short summer as I can in this northern city. And look at that. Right there. I see my ex-girlfriend two years gone walking toward me, Shane beside her. He’s doing his usual head down over his phone shuffle and doesn’t see me. Her eyes meet mine for the briefest second and she puts her hand on his arm. Starts chatting brightly, all smiles, a few laughs. He puts his phone in his pocket and they push through the west door in the entrance corner as I open the south facing door. Shane still apparently does not see me, but notices something is off about my ex and he looks up and after the smallest flicker of recognition gazes evasively past me and he says, speaking with a flat affect, still looking past me, Hello, Orlando, and looks away.

With merely two words and a bland washed-out tone he dismisses, once again, our history. He is the civil man. He is not here to confront. He is not here to apologize for skipping out on rent when he lived with me. Not here to acknowledge trying to split up one of my previous relationships. Not here to reminisce how he was the one who asked to start our friendship again after all that acrimony. Certainly not here to discuss how ironic it was that he of all people slept with my girlfriend or the even finer ironic points of my ex-girlfriend cheating on him with me for three plus months. And certainly never why he would move in with her a week after discovering for at least the third time across three months that she was still sleeping with me. And very certainly not here to discuss how he lied to our friends about my behaviour in all of this. None of that. Simply a blank gaze and barest nod and a dull voice flat like the lifeless line across a heart monitor declaring nothing there.

Chan sniggers. She looks up at him, trying to will his eyes to hers. Fails and looks at me and pointedly looks away and even more pointedly says, Well I guess we’re all adults here.

I stare at her in turn and the memories ignite. Battery acid in my heart. How she apologized to me for cheating. How she said Shane was a mistake. How she called Shane deluded. How she led me on continually. How she asked me, with barely a week left in her lease and nowhere to live after Shane dumped her for the third time, to make it work with her. How I asked her in her apartment early Friday morning if she loved him and she simply shrugged and said People have to do what they have to do. How this was after she received a text from him saying Are you sure this is what you really want. How my landlord found her naked in my apartment the next afternoon, the same Friday she moved in with Shane. How after she moved in with him she tried to maintain contact with me, said she hoped I was well, maybe we could be friends, asked to meet with me, but behaved to others and most importantly Shane as if I was stalking her. I think how she tried to break up my relationship with my current girlfriend and how like Shane she is and how much like her is my old friend Shane. Except he’s so much more dumb. Dumb with the horny obedience of a rudderless and therefore easily steered adolescent ego.

I think how the very method by which she is ridiculing me for not maintaining adult etiquette highlights in her the exact petty and immature behaviour she is trying to cast on me. And she stands here beside him, lightly mocking me, knowing full well I see through her behaviour, and that Shane no longer can. I think how cruel she has been to me. And how cruel she is to Shane to keep running around on him. But that last part’s just gossip, or what people tell me.

My hand stops shaking. I see my friend at a table. He’s eating something that looks delicious, and has some sort of fantasy novel upturned on the little table. He waves.

I look back at Shane and Chan. My ex-friend and my ex-girlfriend. I’m reminded of that old split cock on the side of the porcelain mug. Two halves still together simply because they weren’t apart. And where would they fit if they finally split, anyway? Useless as they were, still more useless anywhere else. Useless to hold anything of value. So then no value, valueless, nothing there there.

I turn my back on them and sit across from my friend. He looks at me and smiles, a cheerful smile, and says, Where’ve you been, buddy?

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The gem who owns / runs The Artery is named Phil and right now he has a couple of bands on his rooftop of course singing and playing and of course it is perfect.

What a sweet summer night.

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What does it mean when a good-looking woman wears high-waisted leopard print short shorts?

The question is rhetorical.

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Guys I guess TIN sold out Sunday which was forever [four days] ago. I mean the venue is a small one but still extra chill that my girlfriend’s team sold out all the seats early Sunday AKA on the third day of the ten day run.

Plus VueWeekly mentioned TIN as one of their picks for best shows at the festival.

Blammo.

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Why is there a CBC film crew in the meat section of Family Foods on Jasper Avenue?

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There is just that about Toronto, though, and isn’t there, and yes there is.

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Okay so my girlfriend is now pushing through her third year producing / directing a play here at the Edmonton Fringe festival and the play is called TIN and it takes place in a big ass metal shipping container in the middle of the grounds and you can watch a quick teaser here. They filmed the teaser right here in the river valley. Love that. Anyways the play is sixty percent sold out as of four hours before the first show. Huge compliment there. Affectionate fist bumps. Maybe check it out before it’s gone away forever.

Just saying / not saying.

Otherwise I’ll see you at the closing party.

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