Tristan vol. 3 written 2014-2015

By Asa Montreaux, pen name Andrew James

Though I wondered a little

shallowly, if it wasn’t because both of them were

so taken with her looks. Whatever the case, she

was helping me feel calm too, and I could almost

start to feel a little sleepiness. I wondered where

Agnes was, and if I should call her. We were

leaving so early. Maybe under different

circumstances. I felt like I might see her soon.

Do you want to try sleeping now?

Sure, we certainly aren’t going to leave the

room right now.

We turned the lights off. I felt warmer yet

under the covers. She slept in a compact little ball.

At first I lay on my back, and then fell unto my

side, and eventually, we did fall asleep.

Though, I awoke at five in the morning.

And I lay there for a while. Our alarm was at

quarter ‘till six. It suddenly occurred to me that

Paige had been lying in this position. I got up, and

I took a shower. The shampoo’s felt sticky in my

hair. there was body wash that I used as the water

fell on me in a light setting.

I towel dried, put on my clean set of

clothes, put some putty in my hair and then I woke

Maisie just before quarter till’, and when the wake

up call came I canceled it right away.

Let’s go get Allister.

Teagan let us inside, and Allister was just

waking. He went to the washroom and washed his

face, and put clothes on. Teagan was ready to go.

He said goodbye, and then went downstairs to his

car, and drove back to our old neighbourhood. We

all hadn’t had so much sleep. Allister looked

refreshed though, after he had washed his face and

said hello and everything.

Let’s just go now and we’ll have something

by our departure gate.

There was a cab waiting, and it actually

took almost fifteen minutes to get to the

international terminal. I thought of the shuttles,

the walking platforms, that people had to use to

get from terminal to terminal. So much of our

time was in airports, so much of my time was in

between locations.

Bye me this neck pillow.

What do you need one of those for? It

doesn’t even look comfy.

It feels nice. It’s better than the ones they

give you.

Not by much.

I want these headphones.

We have three or four pairs with us already.

These are noise cancelling.

So are the ones we have.

Yeah but these are noise cancelling for


There’s no difference.

Let’s but something we can bring home

then. I want this massage chair.

I’m not going to buy a chair from an

airport sharper image.

It looks cool. We can put it in my room.

Let’s go look at books.

We walked over to the bookstore, which

was more a Starbucks, at least in part a Starbucks.

It was mostly paperback fiction.

I think I’ve read enough John Grisham and

James Patterson novels. The good thing is you can

read them in one plan ride. I was looking for

familiar books. Ah, so Allister here is a book I

want to give to you. Have you ever read, or sorry

have you heard of the Catcher in the Rye?

Mmm. Never heard of it.

Well. I read it when I was a little older than

you. This, I will buy for you.

Why is it so short?

It was a first novel, I think that’s why. Plus,

it mostly takes place over the span of about a


Oh. Cool. Is it about flowers or something?

It is about someone in high school, which is

what your about to be.

I’ve read lots of books like that.

I don’t think you’ve read one like this.

I looked at the rest of the Salinger books. They

had Franny and Zooey. That was one of my

favourite books as well, though I never found

Zooey’s anger very interesting. There was also

Raise High the roof Beam, Carpenters and

Seymour: an Introduction. Two more short works.

I guess he really was a short story writer. That’s

where the money was, and I guess he was in the

army and stuff so he wrote what he had time to

write. He wrote Catcher when he was overseas.

I looked at some more books. There was

several Canadian authors, Alice Munro, Margaret

Atwood, Barney’s Version. I thought about our

trip to the mall. There was a bunch of Narnia

books and other Christian books. There was a

huge pile of Harry Potter books. They were sparse

upon release, and then they were printed and

printed, and everywhere. These are all books

Allister would like, and that he should be reading.

After he finished Catcher, we’d have to take

another trip to the bookstore. Maisie was looking

too, but I don’t think she needed any more books

to read right then. Maybe a second coffee, that

would be the only thing she would be wanting to

buy right then. You need more books Allister. In

time, I suppose, we will build your library. For now,

onwards. It’s almost time for our flight, Maisie.

Allister, you walk like a penguin.

I try. It’s not that difficult you could do it


I will stick to walking normally. But, when I

was your age, I use to have so much fun on


I like those. But there not safe for most

people, but you’re like a hockey player.

They were so much fun, I used to use them

in department stores, all over. They were really

uncomfortable to walk in if you didn’t take the

wheels off though, like ski boots but worse.

We were on one of the walking platforms.

Maisie and I leaned back on the moving ledge,

and Allister kept walking like a penguin. At the

end of the platform, he had to wait for us.

We have plenty of time Allister, what’s the


I just wanted to walk some more.

Waiting, I phoned Teagan. Hey Teagan.

Just calling to see where you are, how your feeling,


I’m just arriving at work. I’m opening. Yeah

the drive wasn’t so bad, and I’m here a little early.

I feel a little woozy, I’m not sure why, but mentally

I’m okay. Not so shaken up. Happy to help, and it

hasn’t taken anything away from me. Good to see

you again.

Okay. We’re just waiting now. We’ve been

through all the stores and everything, and now we

just have to sit here and wait for a while longer.

Allister seems alright as well. Yeah. If you want to

come visit, we’ll fly you up. We have space for you

to stay for a while. Anytime. Maybe this summer


Thanks. I’ve never been to Vancouver, but

maybe in a while. Work, family stuff right now. I

think my parents could fly me there as well.

Alright. Maisie, Allister says hello. Keep in

touch. I’ll message you again soon.

For sure. I have to go, I need both my

hands right now.

Okay, take care.

I hung up the phone. That smoothie was a

lot. I have to go to the washroom, or is it the

bathroom? Allister do you need to go as well?

I’m alright.

Okay, I’ll be right back then.

There were people with bags that had flags

from all over. That’s an international airport I

guess. The bathroom wasn’t so gross, I guess. I

washed my hands three times, fixed my hair even

though it was already fine. I hadn’t bought any

books, so I walked over to buy some magazines.

they had the atlantic. I got some chocolate bars,

and snacks for the plane ride. It was a pretty long

ride really, and I’d be pretty wide awake. They had

neck pillows here too. I thought about purchasing

one, but they still didn’t seem very comfy. I’d look

for them on the plane, because the fact that were

selling them everywhere doesn’t mean that

everyone has them. If people are using them,

maybe they are comfy. They were talking about

something. I’m not sure what. They were being

serious. Allister hadn’t been talking much.

What are you guys talking about?

Nothing much really, Maisie said.

What, I want to know.

Nothing much, really. You bought things?

Anything I can have?

Sure, you can read the magazines. There’s

some chocolate I bought for both of you. The

breakfast they give us isn’t a whole lot of anything,


I only want the chocolate, Allister said.

Just don’t eat all of it.

The take-off was a little bit rough. It was

raining and there were heavy winds. We waited

forty minutes on the runway, before the winds

diminished some, and then we rocked as we left

the ground. Surprisingly, Allister fell asleep fairly

quickly. It made me wonder how he had slept the

night before. I ordered a soda, and then I started

reading the atlantic and after half an hour or so, I

took my laptop from my bag so we could watch

some movies. I just wanted to watch something

classic classic, so I opened the maltese falcon. Most

people were watching movies on the backs of the

seats in front of them. This was much better. I had

a headphone jack splitter, so we both could listen. I

often wonder whether the volume, even when the

headphones are noise cancelling, is hurtful for my

ears. I guess if it is only on planes, it’s no worse

than being in the back of a concert.

As the movie played, the flight was smooth.

Allister was snoring a little. I moved his position

very slowly, so that he would stop making those

noises. It helped. He was breathing quietly. A few

times the flight attendant offered us snacks, or

refills. After the movie was over, I made us turn the

computer off for a little while, so I could close my

eyes and rest them a little. Let’s watch something

that’s not in black and white. We were looking

through my iTunes.

Oo. Let’s watch Gossip girl again. Second

season this time.

Really? I’m not even sure if I want people

to see me watching that.

Looking at your collection, it’s that or

another black and white movie.

That’s not true. Whatever. Let’s watch then,

if you are so keen.

Okay. Serious question — do you still think

that chuck bass is attractive?

I don’t think that. I just think he’s hot.

What’s the difference?

It’s the way he acts. He’s kind of good

looking. Not like Nate or anything really.

I think he looks kind of silly. Why does he

make that face?

I don’t know that’s the character. He’s really

angry because his Dad is rich and mean.

Hmm. I guess. And you like Serena.

She is so pretty.

Leighton Meester is beautiful as well. Lively

is like the all american girl, though.

This isn’t my favourite episode.

Were just playing them in order.

Don’t skip it. The next one is much better


As long as were both happy. Don’t mind if I

close my eyes here and there.

I felt weary from traveling. The land

yawned beneath me. Mountains peaked, rose up

and went back to sleep. Clouds hung above them

spiralling, up, spiralling, down, into the valleys,

above the vast lakes, somewhere in there, the deep

heart’s core. The plane rocked a little. She had no

idea how many times I had seen these. Sometimes

the show lagged, other times it was ridiculous,

none of this is news. By now it was as much of an

exercise to notice the changing hairstyles and

outfits. That was, I admit, an interesting part of

the new york lifestyle. Maisie seemed to be

enjoying the episodes. She was right about the

episodes. I kind of knew that already. After the

second one, we still had as much as two hours of

flight left. I got up to stretch my legs. The plane

shook slightly. I walked to the back of the plane,

and I did some stretches. A few people stared at

me. My head was hurting a little, but this helped. I

asked one of the attendants for some water. I

pulled the sleeves of my sweater up. I stretched my

hands to the ceiling and grabbed it lightly. Maisie

looked around, leaning over, to see what it was I

was doing. I smiled so as to try and say every

things okay, I’m not doing anything that needs

paying attention to. I held my hands there for a

while, though. I felt the blood draining from my

hands. My circulation was freed up a little now. I

went back up the aisle to our seats. Allister was still

asleep. She had paused the show. Thought I would

miss something?

Exactly. I didn’t want to watch it without

you either.

You can press play now. Hopefully we’ll not

see any delays at the airport, or whatever. I can’t

wait to get home.

Ahh. You’re stuck next to me, watching

gossip girl for now.

Couldn’t be a worse thing to be stuck

watching for a long time. Couldn’t be a better

person to be stuck watching it with.

She hit me softly. I put the air phones back

on. I didn’t feel sleepy, still. Putting the

headphones on reminded me of all of the times

I’d put them on during bus rides, or on the plane

during the season. I missed the companionship,

and I felt as if I could use another groups of guys,

before I was overrun by females. It was strange,

the majority of the time we seemed to just make

fun of each other, and say what would otherwise

considered to be quite mean things. I’m not sure if

this brought people together, as long as it was a

back-and-forth thing. But I guess in the important

moments I felt like we were really close. Some of

the kids went to the same schools, like stm, or

played for the same teams before, and I think by

the end of the season those groups had dissolved

mostly, and we were just one group, which should

be sort of the goal of any team I guess.

Allister was still asleep. I guess it had

something to do with him being just a kid. He had

short bursts of lots of energy, and the events of

just recently were sort of overwhelming for him,

but they didn’t make him worry like they made me

worry, at least not right now. He is a very good

little kid. It was fun to have a little brother, because

I could sort of observe his spirit, and still feel it in

the kids that I played with. That made me feel

better, that even if what we were doing wasn’t

meaningful on a larger level, it was meaningful

amongst us. And yet, we played for audiences,

more people than we cared to think, and perhaps

there really was something important about

performance, and sharing the passion, or the

feeling that something matters, with an audience. I

looked at the screen on the seat in front of me,

touching it with my finger to flip through the

screens. There was a map charting our progress.

We had about an hour left. It looked like we were

above Oregon, maybe. Dan and Serena were

getting back together, and Chuck was ruining any

thing that Blair had developed with other guys

over the summer. A lot of people were asleep on

the plane now. I sort of glanced at Maisie. She was

very awake, and looking at the laptop screen- I

tried to close my eyes without her noticing. I

cleared my mind. Still no sleep. The world was

unquiet, restless, except for the very young at

heart. Suddenly I had to go to the washroom. I got

up again. I walked to the back of the plane. People

we’re looking at me again. Why is he walking back

there twice, I imagined them thinking. The flight

attendant looked at me. I said hello to her. One of

the lavatories was occupied. This is the one that is

open, she said.

Oh, Thank you.

I closed the door gently coming back into

the aisle area. there was someone waiting there. Be

careful as you walk back to your seat. The pilot

just turned the fasten seat belt sign on.

I noticed. Thank you.

I held on to the edges of some seats as I

made my way through the aisle again. People were

still looking at me. Maisie was still watching the

episode. I sat down slowly, and thought about

trying to read my book. I didn’t do anything for a

while, which I guess is what people do on planes.

Then I started listening again. We were almost

finished episode three now.

Eventually, the plane began to make it’s

descent. I could see the ocean beneath me, as we

circled around to approach YVR. The city blinked

in the light darkness. The plane approached the

runway, landing smoothly, not far from the shores,

and quickly slowed to a glide. It was nice not to

have the noise of the plane bothering us anymore.

Shortly, the plane stuffed in front of the tunnel,

and we were off the plane shortly. I lugged

Allister’s suitcase as we climbed through the

tunnel. We entered the airport, and it was totally

different feel than where we had been before. We

made our way to the parking garage, where we

were way up on the top level. Allister wanted to sit

in the front. I put all the bags neatly in the back,

and Maisie sat behind Allister. We drove away

from the garage, through a very circular ramp, to

the parking booths. It was pretty steep for only a

couple days. I used the credit card. Then, we were

driving in Vancouver, in Richmond, only so far

from home. We had the satellite radio on, listening

to acoustic music. No more gossip girl, yay.

It’s good that were home. I should call my

parents, Maisie said.

The traffic wasn’t very heavy, and we were

home in a little more than half an hour. It was

quite inside. I brought Allister’s bags upstairs to

the guest room, and helped him unpack a little. I

said he could go to bed when he liked. I went to

my room, where Maisie was taking some clips out

of her hair, and lightly reshaping it. I got in the

covers, and neither of us said much just then. It

took about fifteen minutes, and then I was fast

asleep. I dreamt about, I dreamt about nothing, as

far as I can tell. I was surprised Maisie hadn’t gone

downstairs to sleep. She was in the space beside

me on the bed. I supposed I hadn’t fallen asleep in

much more than half the bed. It made more sense

when I realized the covers where draped around

her. I got up and went downstairs, after visiting the

kitchen for a smoothie drink. In my hockey room I

had a bench, and I had bought some dumbbells as

well. I think I need it. Otherwise, I was spending

way too much time at the gym. I did lunges, and a

bench press, and a few other things. It was an hour

before I came back upstairs. I think Maisie was

awake but she was still in the room. I showered,

not too long, and then I sat down and thought

about what to do for Allister. Maybe the best thing

to do was to keep his mind occupied. Try and

make him feel alright and help him have fun, and

slowly, over time, talk about Paige with him. I

guess we’d have to monitor him fairly closely, in

the upcoming months. Eventually, they both joined

me in the

kitchen. There were bagels and things I had

bought the other day. When I’d spoken with Dad

he said he would be home soon, like around later

today. I felt like a doctor, as if I should be

monitoring his vital signs. He looked fine, not as

fresh as yesterday. He seemed quite calm. I look at

Maisie trying to communicate my worry, and she

seemed to get it, and suggest everything is fine. I

was never close with Paige. I never really liked her.

She was gone though. It was sad. I guess she

hadn’t been a bad person, even if she wasn’t

nurturing. Sometimes we demand things, young

people, from the adults in our lives, and they seem

to refuse. They are otherwise good people I guess,

who have their own lives, or did, who have their

own concerns and their own memories to think of,

their own wills to leave this world, I guess. We sat

at the table for a while. Maisie was very quiet.

Allister said something. What are we going to do


I’m not sure. I think we stay here, unless

there was somewhere you really wanted to go. I’m

going to the grocery store later. I was thinking

about cooking something tonight. If you want to

come then.

Okay. Can I pick some things to eat.

That’s okay. We’ll just be here for the day. I

don’t know if you want to watch t.v., if your in the

mood to play video games. There are lots of books

you can read. Whatever you’d like to do, we’re

here with you right now.

I watched some playoff games I had

recorded from the previous night. Allister watched

too. We didn’t talk much about the games, we just

fast forwarded through the commercials and time

stoppages, and really any parts of the games that

were boring. Especially as he was watching, and I

had to think a little about whether it was

enjoyable, and not just observe the game, we

zipped through a lot of the games. Hey Allister,

what is your favourite team?

The Penguins.

Really? Coincidence?

I think I would walk like a Penguin either

way. It makes me feel philosophical.

That’s an interesting way to feel.

It’s bad you’re so old or you could do it too.

Hey. I’m seventeen.

Allister, Dad will be here later tonight.


I imagine he’ll want to know you’re doing

alright and he’s concerned about you. He misses

you and he’s happy to see you now all the same.

Am I going to stay with Dad now?


Alright. Hey do you think it’s about time to

go to the grocery store.

I was going to go a little later, but if your

bored, we can go now.

Let’s go now.

Alright. Let me see what Maisie is doing.


So you like the front seat, hey?

Yes. I like to be able to see the road.

That’s a better reason than I was expecting.

I thought you would say, I don’t know, that you like

to control the stereo.

Well, that too, but that comes second. Your

drive slowly. The speed limits are different here.

Oh. How fast is thirty kilometres an hour.

This fast.

You really won’t hurt anyone going this



Hey, how far is the grocery store.

Not very much further. This one is a little

longer distance from our house than the other one

that we sometimes go too, but it has better



Look up ahead, that’s the entrance to the

parkade. We went up two or three stories to the

supermarket entrance. Go get a cart, Al.

You have a quarter.

Here. Have two.

Can I push the cart.

Yes. Sanitize your hands after, though.



That’s kind of silly.

Someone taught me that when I was your

age. Think of all the people who use these

shopping carts. It’s a lot of people.

Sometimes I see a young person washing

them with a hose in the morning.

See. They must be dirty, if they need


As we walked through the entrance, I

pointed at a table nearby.

Here. grab some of those cookies. They are

so good. What kind.

Chocolate chip of course.

They look good.

Try one. He ripped the seal.

Yum. They’re very buttery.

Yes. That’s why they’re good.

Where are we going first?

Through the meats.

We picked up things from a list I had


If you see anything you want, just grab it.

I’m not sure what you’re in the habit of eating.

Me neither. I’m just picking stuff that looks


I’m okay with that. We have to suit your

tastes as well, now I suppose.


Okay we need a few more things for dinner.

There over on the other side of the grocery store.

Well then lets go there.

We needed some spices, some more cooking

oil, and some things for a salad. When we were all

finished. We went over to the registers, and lined

up. There was some self-serve one’s, but we had a

lot of things, and the lineups were fairly long.

We got a lot of stuff.

Just wait until you see how expensive

groceries are here.

Yeah but it’s because of the dollar.

Not just that. Foods are imported from

other places, and we lose money on the exchange.

Vancouver is expensive. It’s so expensive.

A lot of people want to live here. It’s a

desirable place to live. Hey. Meat isn’t that

expensive. We get that from Alberta. Except for

Mad cow disease. That wasn’t a good thing.

Indeed. The people look different here.

They do. Different environment.

I’ll help you pack the groceries.

Thank you. Alright. To the car.

Put anything dairy, meat, in the back seat,

and put everything else in the trunk area, and give

me those bottled waters.

Some of these bags are really heavy.

We bought a lot of things. Alright, almost

packed. Get in the front seat there, let’s get driving

some more.

What are we going to do when we get


I’m not sure. We’re just going to sort of wait

for Dad to arrive home from Houston.

Can we go somewhere now?

Sure. We can drive around some. Here.

Let’s drive up burnaby mountain. It’s wide open,

and there are nice views up there. It isn’t like


We climbed the hill, went past the

conservation area, up towards SFU. He looked out

the window. Wow. Cool. It’s like when were on the

plane. It’s cool from the earth too.

We can go up grouse mountain another

time. There are some really cool views from up


I’ve always wanted to go up there. I’ve

heard people talk about it.

It should be really fun for you. You can go

up there whether there’s snow, or there isn’t like

this time of year. It’s nice to walk around up there


Also, I want to go to a Canucks game.

Maybe in a few weeks time, or something

Al. We’ll spend some time at home with Dad first.

Look, it’s more fun on the way down. I can let off

the break a little too.

This is a big hill.

And look, you can see where we live.

It’s cool to live next to such a big hill.

When we got home, Maisie had gone to

visit her parents for a while. Allister helped bring

in the groceries, and then we put them away.

The cabinets are arranged a lot differently

then when we lived in Houston.

I organize them now. Before it was Paige.

Or Dad. I’m going to go walk the dog. Do you feel

safe for a little while by yourself ?


Okay. Do what you want. Nothing stupid.

See you in a little while. Pup, come her pup! Well,

then. Let’s be going, pup.

I walked through the school grounds and let

him off for a bit. He ran around excitedly in big

circles. One thing that was really silly about

Vancouver, is that all the schools seemed to have

gravel soccer fields. It was really silly. Maybe they

were more baseball fields. I guess any soccer

association would play on grass or turf or

something. Then again, the younger kids played

on these fields. They were good for the dogs

anyways. There was a short trail up the road about

five minutes walk, and I would take the dog that

way, where there was another park. sometimes, I

used to ride my bike over there. There were ramps

and things. There was usually only a few people

there, And there were big fields for the dogs to run

around too. You could see the backyards of the

houses in front. They had huge lawns. Houses in

Vancouver tended to have bigger backyards, but in

Houston a lot of houses had front yards, with

driveways. Time was running so slowly in

anticipation of my dad coming home. Dad’s could

make you feel that way, when they were away at

work, or just in any situation. The Dad was the

one that was supposed to care of you after you

weren’t a baby, in a way. He was the one that

offered protection, and it seemed, emotional

protection too. He was the one who said.

Everything’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.

That was for Allister. I could do it. But I didn’t

have so many years here. As many things hadn’t

happened to me. Hollander was just going around

sniffing things now. I walked over to where he was

at the end of the field. Come on. I said. Let’s

head home. We won’t leave Allister alone in there

for too long. It was a bit of a trek getting home.

The heat had died down a little. The evening was

beginning. Hollander was more relaxed now.

There weren’t as many interesting scents on the

sidewalk either, it seemed, as his head was up, and

he was panting some. The other car was there.

Maisie was back again. That was good. I

wondered if they were doing something together

now. We were just up the street now. There were

distant yells from the playground, that

reverberated off of the school. There was a noise

that sounded like a bell somewhere. I owned the

gate, and let Hollander off his leash. He ran ahead

and waited at the door. He ran up the stairs to

greet Maisie. Hey Hollander. Why are you so

excited? He just likes you so much, that must be it.

You guys bought so many groceries!

We are both growing. Our appetites are

immense, I tell you.

I’ve noticed. My parents said there sorry

about Paige.

That’s nice. Where still going to see them,


Yes, before we leave. I just said hello briefly,


Okay. I’m going to get some work done.

I’m just going to read screenplays and stuff.

Okay. I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me.

My desk was a little uncomfy at first. I kept

fidgeting, shaking my leg, and that seemed to take

my mind away from the feeling of discomfort,

which definitely had something to do with the

proximity of my bed. I thought it would be a good

idea to try and write about what had happened.

Though I found myself writing about things in the

past. Somehow, it all fit together. the event was

given significance by what had been lost now.

April 18th:

I feel tired again. I took Hollander for a walk, and

afterwards I just want to go to sleep. Shouldn’t be

that way. Maybe it was the shopping market.

Thinking and thinking about the bedroom. She

looked horrific. Blood all over her. Her mouth ajar.

Will I ever forget that image? Why did she do

this… why did she wait so long. Didn’t she care

about Allister? Not very much. She cared about

him. Allister pretty independent. Not just her that

is breaking down. Dad too. He’s not the same

anymore. Different lately though. Is it age? Is it

loss, divorce. Is he the only one, or is it a lot of


Starting over was helpful. Parents stagnate,

stay in the same place where they raise their

children, wait for a long long time to travel, or just

to do things differently. Where would we go in the

coming few years. Maybe we should stay were we

are right now. Only our relatives mostly knew

about this here. In houston, people driving past

the house, watching. I might as well have let them

in, and said walk around with me. As long as they

don’t go in the room, every other room fine.

Nothing strange except as indicative of two people

living together, not enthusiastically. Glad I wasn’t

there, a weird year. Maybe we were too selfish

before this. Getting things you wanted, having fun,

it made me a little more selfless. Maybe it was just

a time to step up. That’s how I want to be, though.

Allister changed a little bit already. It’s different.

You can tell that this city smells different to him

even. Wants to do things. Wants to be around us.

Not hiding himself in a room. Even if we’ve given

it too him. Hiding from something in there.

Vancouver safer? More likely to have your car

broken into. Safer, though. Less weapons, smaller.

More educated. Less heat. People calmer. Not

always friendly, calmer, anyways. We’re friends. In

Houston, I’m here, and then I’m gone again.

Here, a constant connection. Always here,



April 20th

Unsure about leaving. At first it looked like it

would only be a few weeks. The more we talk

about it, the more places we want to go. We’re

going to live together, just didn’t think, right at

first, it would be over there. Packing pretty heavily,

then. Leave everything in the hotels. Day trips.

Maisie is excited, happy to get away. People say

have fun. Enjoy it, whatever. Why don’t they just

come. We’d probably say yes, though, it’s just the

two of us going there. We’ll get away from

everything, people sort of desire that for us.

Maisie’s parents happy with it, no qualms. Like a

graduation thing, something of a reward, more a

career opportunity thing for her. The idea came to

me to bring one person, bring Allister. He’s getting

along well with Dad, though. He took some time

away from work, as well. Last few days haven’t

done much with Allister, just see him at meals, and

talk with him around the house. Maisie and I

going out together, our lives sort of going on

again, back to normal.

Haven’t skated lately. A lot of my

teammates skating right now. Still running,

working out a little. Don’t want to get tired of it,

most people take breaks, longer than this too.

Can’t skate all year. Want to skate with Texas

players again, for fun. Not too much, pick up bad

habits from them. Have to visit again one day

soon, missing them, even if it isn’t same with

Agnes. Have to see here again. Not too soon,

though. Maisie buying me things. Clothing. Don’t

like mine anymore. A little out of season. I just

want you to have more. Wonder when we get into

Europe. Probably need different styles there, what

she is thinking. wouldn’t have worried about this

till we were there again. good of her to think

ahead. spends more time thinking of some of the

planning things when i’m busy. it’s a good thing.

Writing about this first thing is leaving the

house, and no one says goodbye. Thinking of the

wallpaper, in that room. Then the call from

Allister. Felt light headed. Thoughts start moving

right away. Write it close to your thoughts. Stream

of consciousness. Helpful, for me. Anxiousness

getting there, even waiting for the door to open.

relief seeing him. sort of a relief as well he cries.

feels safe hopefully. feels there is sympathy from us.


April 21st

Leaving four thirty in the morning.

Managed to sleep some. Allister is awake. He’s on

the counter, sitting. He want’s to come. Sleeping in

the back of the car. Maisie getting ready, packing

her last piece of luggage. Everyone in the car,

Maisie in front right now. Dad, driving, not in a

hurry. A car coming to take us to our hotel. What

is the name of the hotel. He’ll have our names. We

just have to wait for this person. Hope driving in

Moscow isn’t like driving in Mexico, South

America. Doesn’t make me feel good. Why would

it be. I don’t feel very different from yesterday, or

from a few days before, strangely. sort of in the

little adventure already I guess. The excitement

happens right at first. Maisie looking through the

window. I was listening to my iPod. Still thinking

about Paige. Hard to shake it from my mind.

Couldn’t tell if anyone else felt the same.


April 30th

Seen so many new things. Walking a lot.

Can’t wear flip flops anymore. In Berlin walked

back and forth over where the wall used to be. the

graffiti pretty cool. hotel nice. everyone speaks

english. didn’t get to drive the autobahn. next

time. Maisie so social. Everyone wants to talk to

her. Keep the italian guys away from her. Not

really. allowed to go to bars here. some of them

nice. some, nice pool tables. eating bratwurst from

stands during the day. everything very efficient

here i.e, the trains. language is jarring. loud. too

many consonants. under din linden really cool. like

the atlas museum. ancient civilizations. the

holocaust memorial. sad. moving. very sad.

nightclubs open until dawn. weird experience. fun.

flying mostly. took train to paris. boulevards.

crepes by the eiffel tower. so many crepes.

Versailles. so hot. so much money, so much art. so

big. the gardens. more crepes. talking to allister.

feeling him stories. he sounds alright.


June 30th

Allister with us now. Happy to come across.

Very willing to go places with us, he’s growing.

looks taller than last time. big appetite afterwards.

talking in a british accent all the time. combing his

hair like a british actor. not sure why. reading

keats. Maisie gone during the days now. british

newspapers. so harsh sometimes. have time to

watch movies. still get a little down sometimes.

weird buzzing noise in the apartment. just me and

allister a lot of the time. miss teagan and agnes.

stick handling in the apartment. no one has

complained yet. only during the day. weather nice

for a long time. then raining for a while. another

nice stretch again. teagan. reagan. no connection.

bored sometimes. feely really sad. can’t get

overthinking. feel better when accomplishing

things. Maisie really emotionally stable. helpful to

see how she does it. dad calls sometimes. not too

worried about us.


August 9th

summer almost over. visiting home again. allister

getting ready for school. Maisie visiting parents

today. Have to go see them next week. skated a few

times already. feel an extra bit of jump after a

break. hands feel fine. comes back easy. saw

spelling. few other people. people coming to visit.

relatives calling. dad home more. working on the

house. miss europe. allister still in good spirits.

doesn’t seem to think about it anymore. thinks

about the new school year though you can tell.

watching rain from my window. the drops are

clean. steady. light. april showers. august showers?

hollander is sniffing at the door. curious. just

listening now. waiting for Maisie to come home. I

can write more some than other times. tired from

exercise. feeling excited about the coming winter.

so excited. nothing in our ways. fingers.


Agnes sort of appeared. not even me

answering the door. appeared in my room. happy

to see her yes. but what the heak. she looks very

good. did she look me up. remember telling her

where we lived. surprised she remembers/ knows

the address. She doesn’t know who Maisie is. we

hooked up. it’s okay. Maisie and I never talked

about this. Agnes and I left things uncertain. Just

the one time. Then we talked about it. Exclusive.

love. good. good thing… Maisie and I have been

together every night since. don’t know what to do

all the same. whether i should entertain her.

entertain people. maybe at parties. all day. agnes

doesn’t ask quite so much. allister is entertaining

for her. he’s more acknowledging of her as a

couple days have gone by. that kid. she doesn’t

necessarily want to do things either. she is just I’m

here. I want to see you, is all. still comfortable

together. we just sat in class, through things, many

times. a little disconcerting. it was like transposing

a whole period of time. all of us together. a little

awkward to say the least. making things work

though. feeling like people expect a lot of things

from me. that’s okay, mostly. took her around the

city just a little. not that exciting. just me and her,

not to awkward. not sure how long she’s staying.

not so long, I don’t think. might have stayed a lot

longer, under different circumstances. her and

maisie get along okay. maisie ironic, sharp. agnes

sweet, the south. tan. red lips. and the constant

smiling. allister likes the company. teases them. silly

humour, speaks his mind sometimes.


sept. 17th

In our place. feeling a little better. happy to be

finished school. Don’t miss it. Walk a lot more

now, not so much sitting. feel calmer on the whole,

whatever is going on. don’t really miss anyone

from high school there. a little. some. Now just

want to be the best version of myself. do more for

others. time precious now.. my life is my life,

hockey is hockey. things we love go by the way

side. we hold onto the things we love the most.

only a game — even if I loved it. play for Allister

sometimes. he likes the silly songs i write. brought

new amps can use them in the days. hmv. iTunes. I

feel sort of compelled to expand my artistic taste,

as Maisie does, and as we are in Europe. photos

just for us. Facebook not the same as telling a story,

not appropriate for many things, electronic

existence lessons things, isn’t a short cut. day trips.

stone hedge. Maisie thought it was indicative of

nothing less than a very humble British people.

bretons? anglo-saxons. Thinking about when to go

back. Christmas. Then what. We aren’t so sure yet.

I was waiting in the lobby, circling in a

relaxed figure eight. people were starting to enter

into the theatre. Their chatter, slowly disappearing

through the doors, the music seeping through.

British talk, the occasional cough, beautiful lobby.

Maisie just finishing up. drinks. they don’t know

how old i am. as long as it isn’t warm beer. There

was a car outside. her, hopefully. dress elegantly,

paler than ever. medium heels. through the doors.

Hey, we should get inside. I hope you will

understand that I have started drinking before you.

Not in the least, it is all the better so i can

catch up. Things happening already. Their people

were mostly understanding with us, almost upset.

She had things to do. been all day. it was okay.

good seats. big theatre. okay.

there were two elderly couples in front of

us. sword fighting scene. language clear and

unstressed stressed in their trained voices. long

soliloquies. little laughter. hushed feeling. she really

is trying to catch up tonight. no more texting

under tables. wearing the dress her mom bought

her. I’m surprised. when did she find time to put

make up on? Capulet. What a silly last name. the

couples in front of us both holding hands. this

can’t be about their grandchildren. almost two

hours. intermission. arise, fair maisie. Can we go

meet the actors? honestly, yes. after the play,

though, Maisie said. The aisle was to our right,

and she was closest. I waited for a second to get

up. It is my lady, O, it is my love! O, that she knew

she were! Wait for me. Well, you were certainly

dramatic enough. people were even louder now. i

adore what you wearing. oh, thank you maisie

said. I brought it with me. We’ve been here since

the end of August. Wonderful. I’m just here for

the weekend. We live in Oxford. It’s lovely there. It

really is. I suppose you liked the cathedrals, and

everything. yes, of course. It really was a lovely

time, being there. who are you here with. My

husband, we were married a few months ago.

Well, lovely, lovely. romeo mistaken for dead. juliet,

in despair, Maisie is upset. her body has tightened.

it is a very good performance. — Juliet swooning.

fatal potion. romeo dies. I do have to write to my

father, as well.

dagger. juliet dies. Maisie discomforted. for

never was there a story of more woe/ Than this of

Juliet and her Romeo. in our seats as the play ends.

cast returns to the stage. then clapping. I turned

and looked at her. It gets better every time. I agree.

Hungry?, I asked. Not really. Let’s go home. Cool.

In the taxi home, tired. eyes a little weary. Maisie

giving directions. Upstairs. Made myself

something warm. Some chill from the previous

night. She came over and sat on the couch with

me. She put her head on my shoulder. She was

tired. I put the blanket over us, and after, we were

comfortable there. We feel asleep, happy, as the

night came to an eventual end.


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