Zig Step Zag Step (or) Chains and Signs (an improvised tale)

Nicholas was the only person who could

No. It’s too early to talk about that.

First, two warnings. The most important of the two: if you live at or find yourself travelling near North of Toronto, Ontario in Canada stay away from an area east of a university known as York University known as Droningdale park. It is of utmost importance that you do not approach it. The area does not appear on any map I know of but, fortunately, there is no real entrance into the park. It is surrounded by a wire fence. Behind the fence are large, deciduous trees with large mossy trunks.
Never cross this sign. Do not go through the arc into the park, no matter what.

Secondly, this tale is an unfortunately true account of a time I and a group of friends attempted to change our bitterly dull lives. It is a cautionary tale against drinking, violence, abuse, driving while tried or frightened, and hoping to turn one’s life around. There will be much violence and subject matter that isn’t suitable for most.

That is my warning. Do not blame me if you continue to read.

I should tell you all who I am. My name is Maria Welch, a medical intern training to become an ophthalmologist (though I don’t know if I’ll ever finish my internship). I grew up in a poor family in Toronto and never moved out of the city. I was raised by my mother and older sisters. My mother was relatively neglectful. She was constantly tired and almost never cheerful. Her best friends were her television set and her mood changing medicines. But I knew she loved me, even if she never acted on that love. My sisters have nearly killed me playing rough. I don’t know whether they loved me or not but I really do not care now.  They were always such beautiful little angels when their teachers and friends were around, but were mercilessly scathing about them when they weren’t. I didn’t get any of their false pleasantry, though. My sisters made my life a living hell when I was ten. Being the weaker of my sisters for years until high school, I unwillingly played the role of their cat-toy. My hair was their ball of yarn, and my body and all of my things were their chew toy. They hung me from trees, threw me into pools and anything I had that was remotely valuable. You’ll notice I never mention them by name. I like to pretend I forgot them, and sometimes I convince myself I have.

Growing up with so many morally-questionable women Is it truly mysterious that I hung out with more men? From elementary school (third grade, after the cat incident) to high school and all throughout university I stayed far away from gossiping girls in favor of dirty, trashcan kicking boys. I didn’t hang out with any nice man o woman because I could imagine the things I thought they said and did behind closed doors. I surrounded myself with people who didn’t hide when they insulted someone, smoked publicly and put up no fronts about their delinquency. They’d often insult me but that was okay because they insulted, and fought, each other as well. I was more afraid of the flowers hiding the bee than the buzzing hive

I avoided all nice people. the only exception was Nicholas. Nicholas was my cousin from my deceased father’s side living in Saskatchewan. My mother always avoided anyone from his end of the family, but Nicholas was special. He made my mother laugh when television couldn’t cure her of her depression, my sisters acted differently when he was around. They were a little bit nicer and I dare to believe it was possibly legitimate. Nicholas, since he was seven, was the comedian of his family. He aspired to make everyone he met laughed and even if he wasn’t always successful with other people, he had a perfect record with me. Ten out of ten, one hundred percent.

I realize I’m probably making you uncomfortable right now. I assure you that my relation with Nicholas was never anything closer than that of a little sister, though he was actually my cousin. I’m only telling you the good things of how he affected my life because, right now, I don’t want to talk about his annoying habit of belching into his jacket, or that his jokes weren’t always in great taste (remember how I said he almost made me laugh? A good percentage of that was nervous laughter or pity chuckling) or that even when he made me smile I still felt the cold grip of melancholy most of the time. I only want to write of the good things of him.

When he visited I spent less time with with whatever group of boys I hung out with. Bad and upfront about it was acceptable, but soft and kind without a hidden stinger was great.  We would talk about our plans for the future (I had none so I made stuff up), and hang out in shopping centers while seldom planning to actually buying anything. When he moved to Toronto in 1997, I was in my final years in highschool. That was the year I stopped hanging out with delinquents and I supposed that little fact was responsible for me passing most of my classes and graduating. After one victory lap year in Highschool I was accepted into University, something nobody else in my family can claim, even if I included Nicholas, which I usually did.

This would be such a great way to end my story. I wish I could stop writing here, I really do. This story starts last week, March 7 2010. On an especially cold day me, Nicholas, a friend of his and his girlfriend

I have to go, coffee store’s closing and my internet at home sucks. See you Next Time)


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