"It's about words, and words are all I have…"

ROOM 1009


Late into the night my cousin + I  discuss  anarchy   He believes

big money   big brother  +shadowy industrialists  own the world

The petite bourgeoisie still lulled into torpor  with their bon bons  +

chintz seats   And today  anarchy  reigns   Right there on my Bubbie’s

street up in North Toronto   A lone driver in a white van   Mayhem  on

a Spring day   Orange body bags   People running   bleeding  +sceaming


Local newsies ask imbecilic questions: Did people run toward the bodies?

Yes   And away from them   Anarchy  as in the fall of Rome  when moral

backbone  (do Sapiens have one?)  broke down   This week too in India  an

8 yr. old girl  Asifa Bano  was raped +murdered   She from a nomadic muslim

tribe   2 of the 8 gang rapists were police officers   1 was a priest   They are all

in custody


The rape of children is not uncommon in India, where 1.3 billion

people are squashed together in an area smaller than Quebec.

There are 54 child rapes each day, and the number is growing.

(Globe+Mail  April 21, 2018.)


A few years back I worked with a 4 yr. old boy   Adopted at 2   Apparently

the agency  did not know much about his birth family   Dig deep  I strongly

suggested  During each session  a vivid depiction  amidst choking +screaming:

A baby is trapped in a stroller in a motel bathroom   Smoke rushes in from under

the door   More crying +choking ensue   The baby cannot move


Many months later a package from  the agency   An old file uncovered   Parents

were drug addicts  living in a motel  3 children locked up for hours on end   No

food   No toileting   And yes  a fire   My client the only escapee   In our mind’s eye

we see smoke filling his nostrils  +lungs   Arms strapped down in stroller   Later

in sessions he will tie the doll baby in place with sadistic pleasure


The months add up to years   Sessions shift to the savannah   where our boy

becomes enamoured of elephants   Tenderly lifting them out of bins  washing +

feeding them   And as he begins to thrive outside of the playroom   Our good-bye

party looms   One day he says: The great thing about elephants therapist   is they

have their own hose!


Today in our national newspaper the obituary for Daphne Sheldrick   Saviour of

Africa’s orphaned elephants   When Daphne was asked in 2009 why she admired

elephants so   she replied: Their tremendous capacity for caring.  They have all of

the best attributes of humans and not many of the bad.


We can add to this: hoses    The healing epiphany in the playroom?   Many

elephants were brought to the motel   They showered and fed the babies when

they were alone in the dark   And when the smoke came they knew just what to do

That’s the great thing about elephants   But no elephants on the streets of Toronto

To stand in front of citizens as the white van approached   Or even a lone elephant

To lift the troubled young man right out of the van  with its hose






Bloody Monday   April 23   2018




Single Post Navigation

One thought on “ROOM 1009

  1. M. Atkins on said:

    A little too heavy this early in the morning while I’m fasting. Sad testimony to man kind (oh Trudeau would want me to say woman kind).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: