the goodbye girl

Put your tongue against the roof of your mouth, where your teeth start, and blow. Then bug your eyes out and shake all over. You are My Brain. For weeks now (months?) any productivity I have is 32% due to mutant superpowers and 68% due to the heap of cocaine I keep in the flour bin. I write until anywhere between 1 AM and 4 AM then get up at 7 AM and make french toast with cinnamon swirl brioche, organize popsicle stick crafts and take the kids for educational field trips.

(child #1 snorts)
(child #2 snorts also)

This is a roundabout way of saying I'm sorry. I've been a sub-par mother and wife and friend and absent in just about every relationship except with the book editor, a.k.a. Priceless Penelope OR Particular Penelope depending on how vigorous she is in headlocking me and grinding her knuckles into my skull. I kid, although it's the truth that she has pipes like a stevedore. Miss P is sublime and she's made the story better. She's amazing. She is from another very clever wholly bookish planet.

Monday is my 36th birthday, and so it seems right. As long as technical glitches are solved and planets are favourably aligned, I'll share a sneak peek at the book as well as the pre-order link. In the morning I will hit PUBLISH and then spend the bulk of the day throwing up.

It's almost out there. It's so close. Nothing makes you feel quite so alive as vomiting.


I want Goodbye Girl!
Goodbye Girl, mommy.
Goodbye Girl now.

I scroll to it on the iPod, again, and watch my son in the rearview mirror. Sunglasses on, he sits perfectly still, becoming himself, and this is his soundtrack. I smile.


We walk the gauntlet of Yaletown dumpsters as usual, headed for sushi lunch. Vancouver is no longer my home city and I am suddenly raised by wolves, so far removed from this life that I gawk stupidly at the raving madmen and cough like a tourist when passing through random clouds of pot. I am with Johnny O, once a co-worker and now a client. We weave through the tables to sit down, and we order.

"Are you ever going to stop writing for us, and start writing cool stuff?" he says. "No offense. Case studies are alright."

"Oh, well, I've kind of been playing with this... fiction... thing. It's silly."

"Why just playing? You should finish it."

At that moment one sushi chef, who slices avocado, turns to the other who nods and flicks a switch. From the mouth of a ceramic panda bear a notorious Japanese opiate, mukoomizu, is released into the air above our heads and at other tables one couple orders the flaming eel, another decides on a fateful real estate deal and another man finally tells his boss to stick it.

"Um. Okay. Maybe I will."

"I'm serious," he continues. "You know how I was in that band? Well, we weren't any better or more deserving than anybody else. The only thing different about us is that we made a demo tape, and we sent it out, and kept sending it out, and then we got a record deal. Every band wants a record deal, but not very many attempt it. They just talk about it. I was standing at the Junos next to Iggy Pop just thinking holy shit, what are we doing here? but there we were, and it's only because we just did it."

(Pluto was a west coast Sloan. There's that, plus the fact that John is my Obi-Wan.)

"Seriously. Just get it done, and send it out."

(One sushi chef, to another:  私は他の生命と遊ぶことを愛する!)