I don’t have any windows in my office. And so the wall in front of me is a blank slate onto which I can project my brilliant literary notions and business plans. Or so I kid myself, most mornings.

Truth is, I’d love a window. This winter it’s been really mad out there. When I head downstairs for lunch I have no idea what meteorological freak-out I’ll run into, and I’d like to bear witness to some more of that. Instead, I have to keep pulling up the Weather Network on my phone and, if there’s a warning of some sort (isn’t there always?), I throw open the office door and lope for the exits, where I stand, scanning the white-out horizon, or the ice-rink roads, like some paranoiac shut-in. It aint pretty.


I went through a house yesterday that backs onto some tennis courts. I thought how nice it would be in the summer to sit outside with a glass of something iced, watching the graceful back and forth of a lemon-fresh tennis ball, as well as the athletic runs and jumps of white cotton-clad French Open devotees. I worked myself up into a veritable lather of enthusiasm for the house and its situation.

Today, though, I gave my head a good shake as it dawned on me just how infrequently tennis is graceful, as practiced by the average human. The good stuff only happens on TV. Damn it, this house actually backs onto a scuffed field of broken dreams and torn ligaments. A squalid square of foul-mouthed dropshotters, littered with sweat-heavy towels from Ralph Lauren via Homesense. Again, it aint pretty out there.


And then there’s Willa’s note, a to-do list for me, which proves the world is a grand place after all. Dad’s List, she calls it (and you can tell from the denim-tinged paper it’s written on that I’ve been carrying it around in my back pocket). So what does she want? Tongue Tattoos / Lots of Colours. I can do that. Right now, in fact. I’m out of here.



who is my favourite writer? who can bring me right there, that moment? torn ligaments trumping iced anything drinks? thanks Mark, once again. i re-member why i love words.

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