I asked Fagette if she was excited about seeing the Portuguese boy and realized she wasn’t there. I looked around and couldn’t see her anywhere. Finally after looking frantically all over the place I found her holding my other hand. I’d gotten confused when I’d wiped her down.
“Why didn’t you say something?” I asked her in my best loving yet slightly scolding mother voice.
“ I was scared" she said. You go so fast, eh. I thought I was going to fly off.”
“I was worried.”
“I know. I’m sorry” she said.
“It’s not your fault. It’s this crazy crowd. It’s crazy. Why do you think there’s so many people here for a council meeting?”
“No Uncle Buddy, they’re here to skate.”
“Oh my God, there’s a rink.”
I hadn’t even noticed. I sometimes don’t register large sporting structures. I see them as something nice which explains the time I ended up at Maple Leaf Gardens years ago taking a bath at center ice. “We go in this door here.” she said, pointing to a door where a few people were straggling through. That was more like it.
Inside the chambers, it was just like I’d envisioned, an arena style auditorium with seating for about five hundred people, a long table shaped like a crescent on the stage, and a microphone set up about halfway up the steps in the middle aisle. The meeting had just begun and so we hustled over to some seats in the back. There were about sixty people there. Many of them looked mentally ill. I mean who else can afford to take the afternoon off to go watch a bunch of boring people talk about garbage disposal and broken stop lights. It’s probably the highlight of their day, poor things.
“Isn’t this exciting?” I said to Fagette.
“Yes, very.” A disheveled looking blonde woman with six inch roots and a visible egg stain on her blouse approached the microphone and began to speak .
“Look at her,” I whispered to Fagette conspiratorially. “She looks like she got dressed in a shoe.”
“Ssh.. Let’s listen.”
I’d been shushed. I’d never been shushed before or at least I’d never not reacted badly to it. There was still time. I felt a little hand on my neck. Oh my god, she’s trying to strangle me! I looked down and she was looking up at me with the sweetest smile. My hauteur melted. She took her hand away and then put it on my knee and squeezed it like a tiny grandmother. Oh my god, this kid was dangerous. When she took it away I noticed my knee was damp and I managed to not flinch. If my old life hadn’t already slipped away, I would have said that I felt my old life slip away.
The woman at the mike started complaining about a neighbour who lived next door to her. Her neighbour had lived there for years and they hadn’t done anything new like build a fence or a hedge or comb their grass over their yard but she just had a feeling that they were closer. “For God’s sakes it feels like they’re right next door ” she kept repeating. The best part was the entire council actually heard her out, well past the point where a normal person would have pulled out a gun and given her one warning shot. Finally the councilor from Ward 11, Pearl Jewell, a massive black woman with tiny hands and feet, too tight braids and no patience for silly white women had had enough. When the woman started to whine about how she could hear her neighbour talking inside their house when she went out into her yard and listened, Pearl struck out. She stood up and told her to sit down and stop wasting their time and she did, right there on the steps. Fagette and I laughed and Pearl looked up at us and I felt like I'd been slapped...
Gabcast! ewe #24 - Wind in my Belly
The song 'Wind in my Belly' was recorded in one take in the basement of Sal Surroundo's sister Aviva during the Christmas holidays in 1989. The lead vocals are none other than my brother Gaston who was visiting with his fiance Gabrielle at the time. There was a lot of drinking and one thing led to another and before you knew it the weekend turned into one long jam session. Many songs were recorded that weekend by Gaston and Gabrielle. The period was known as the Breakup Sessions because by the end of that weekend they were no longer engaged and Gaston was no longer straight.