mosquitos

bur

“I fell in love with you the first time I saw you fall off a horse.”

Her eyes are watery, glistening in their sockets. I can’t tell if it’s drool running over my lips and down my chin and neck or just some bruised emotional response to what’s happened, happening.

“You’re so stupid.”

She’s wiping at her eyelashes. If she keeps doing it I feel she’ll have no eyelashes left by this time next week. The window is open and all I can think is I know the mosquitoes are eating me alive and I can’t feel it. Most people unconsciously wish they could live a life in which mosquito bites don’t itch, can’t be felt. Others don’t mind the actual itching and scratching, finding themselves more inclined to fume at the violation of it all, the unseen bloodsucking and flying off into the night.

“I told you not to go.”

I think what happened was I drank a little too much, as is habit, and walked or stumbled out to the stables, snuck a horse out with what I can only imagine as indescribable grace and horsemanship, thereupon divining myself up onto it’s back, into the saddle… And there’s where all memory stops. And if I’m being honest, something I am not necessarily known for among both friends and enemies- everything I just remembered could be made up. I’d cry if I could feel anything physical. Not for me, but for this girl that knows the truth, the reality that I can’t remember. I can hear Sarah, and I think I can see her, but what I am listening to could be nothing more than unreality catching up with me. She sobs uncontrollably and I see her right arm, the good one, swing and slap my left arm. I can’t feel it and though my head wants to whip toward her in some accusatory fashion, nothing happens.

I fell in love with Sarah under a harvest moon. Sarah says it was blue and I made a mental note to check and see if harvest moons are ever blue. I never checked. I told her before we got serious that I can’t really have friends because I fall in love too quickly, platonic, heart-love, sexual fantasy, all of them separately but often attributed to the same person. And as a result I end up hurting everyone, like a man made of plutonium, some inevitable occurrence will disrupt my atmosphere and I’ll blow up and there won’t be anything left of us: and so I lie. I lie and never stop lying.

And now in an ironic twist of fate, here I am lying, on my back, catheter rooted and probably a dish of some kind caressing my naked buttocks, tubes jutted unfelt into my skin and veins, into my blood and the girl I may have actually changed for is crying and pulling out her eyelashes and I can’t even muster up the words, “It’s okay.”

word by Anthony Statham

colour by Sarah Burwash

sitting on Marty’s lap

I used to care what people thought of me. Like, I’d wonder what the guy at the coffee shop thought about my hair. All through high school I worried about whether or not I was popular. Then I met Marty and he told me nobody gives a shit about anyone else. Seriously, he said, nobody gives a shit. I know that’s the kind of thing people say, but Marty actually meant it. He even put his hands on my face when he said it, not letting me look away, like he really needed me to listen.

Every morning we sit outside on his porch and share one coffee and one cigarette. The first time I went over to his place I brought him his own coffee, but he told me he’d rather just share mine. He only smokes because of the coffee. Those things would piss me off if he were anybody else. I used to hate girls who would sit on people’s laps. I once went on a rant for about an hour because this girl was sitting on her boyfriend’s lap even though there were about five empty chairs right there. But now I get it. I think I’d sit on Marty’s lap if he asked me to. Yes, I would definitely sit on Marty’s lap.

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***

It was the kind of day where everyone’s happy but nobody’s totally sure why. I think it has something to do with the weather, or maybe it’s just everyone being happy that makes everyone happy, like some kind of psychological butterfly effect.

We were sitting on Marty’s porch, but he had to go inside to get something he forgot. He was about to leave for work. Marty’s a lawyer. He says he got through law school by not caring about anybody or anything. He came back outside and just stood there. He checked his phone like he was in a hurry or something.

What if we got married? I asked.

We wouldn’t, he said.

Why not?

It’s not something we would do.

Sometimes I look at him out of the corner of my eye and I swear he’s different, like he’s only human when I’m looking him square in the face. I have dreams about him turning into an animal, becoming some terrific creature, but it always happens just out of view. The only reason I know for sure he’s changing is because it’s a dream, and you always know better in dreams.

***

I go into the coffee shop and I order one Americano. I sit outside the shop in one of those metal chairs that it’s impossible to get comfortable in. These kinds of places, the kind where they write your name on the coffee cup for you, never want you to stick around for long. It’s all a bunch of false comfort. I drink my coffee while I smoke my cigarette and I try to think about all the things I’m not going to miss.

 

words by Leah Mol

colour by EVLUK

breaking news in montreal

city_by_evluk-d5998pi

BREAKING NEWS IN MONTREAL: Woman thrown off balcony is pronounced dead at the scene – in other news one million, six hundred thousand and ninety four people not thrown off an astounding amount of balconies

(young artists in denial that they don’t own the mansions depicted in Renaissance paintings grow up to paint mansions; where are apartment building entrances with those random titles on glass doors- The Benmore, The Stallion, L’étranger- in front of heavily stickered mailboxes with variations of, NO FLYERS, NON, and POR FAVOR, HOMBRE, beside faux-marble stairs; we don’t need any more accidental replicas of Atwater’s informally-gated streets; where is Parc X; where are the apartment buildings with balconies of lone chairs and plastic wrap around iron, with shirtless men in sunglasses, surveilling the garbage-bag-placing-process of his neighbours, every Tuesday; where are the buildings with nice lobbies and average apartments; where is cote-des-neiges; where are our bicycles and lines waiting for the bus; where are paintings that embrace the lack of space, not 4 humans to 2 acres but 50 in 2, no wasted space when you connect, right?)

BREAKING NEWS IN MONTREAL: Middle-Eastern man deported for terrorism charges, born in Canada we’re still undecided where to send him – in other news three hundred and twenty thousand middle-eastern-Québecois not charged, although suspected, said to all continue lives in Montréal

(at what point does the state say, alright, busted, we don’t know how to feel like we’re needed when we don’t have a group to protect you from, we just want to feel valued, if you have any suggestions we’re feeling kind of vulnerable, please send them our way, this shit is getting old, we love you)

BREAKING NEWS IN MONTREAL: Black male suspected in armed robbery is presumed guilty – in other news five hundred thousand, three-hundred and twenty four people of colour will continue to live lives in Montréal, despite also being presumed guilty

(Montréal, listen: We love you. We know you can’t really afford to buy us that last round, but don’t worry: My brother is visiting from Toronto. JK 😉 We know you’re the uncle who gave us our first beer, and we get how you’re keeping strong in your middle-age with the festivals, trying to keep the bars open till 6, etc., and, I agree, let’s not talk about the financial district, the disappearing suits thing – it’s cool… We know our neighbourhoods aren’t 100% everyone hanging out together, hamburger, falafel and miso soup picnics, sure, our ethnicities do not interact like they do in the cartoons of our high school textbooks, under “Multiculturalism in Canada,” (or, in the least, white anglos with white francos) but, uh, could we have a festival based on the merit of the musicians, and not Officially Sponsored segregation?) 

BREAKING NEWS IN MONTREAL: Alcohol may have been a factor in Tuesday’s fatal crash on the 40, not the congestion – in other news literally millions of cars who have passed that spot on road have been pretty okay since : There is a 0.000001 chance that you will die on the 40 today

(cue the commercial that generally says, hey, death is less fun but buy this car and you’ll have friends and you’ll all laugh to somewhere vaguely rural like past Laval and drink on a dock, even if it isn’t your dock, or look a rock, and uh yeah we paid someone to shoot here, but there are so many docks and so much space away from the city, you can escape all your neighbours!)

BREAKING NEWS IN MONTREAL: Concordia survey finds female students more likely to judge self-worth by appearance than male counterparts – in other news when you force a mold on liquid chocolate it will likely harden into that mold more times than not

(Montréal, honey, we love you, tell your police officers we know that they are good people, tell your protesters that everything will be alright, even if it won’t, let’s hold hands and change the way that we train our police, let’s change the way that our classes get treated by the system that values money, even if it’s tough to insert a heart on our coloured currency, because, baby, we just want to share a Boréale Rousse with you by the canal, come feed me curd while I read you French translations of Richler)

 

word by Liam Lachance

colour by Evluk

Trending now: The conclusion

Indie184_TakeMeAway

Yellow. She had recognized him from the news, and so she went on, despite his boring answers about colour, this brother of the accused murderer, wondering if he had thrown out his forks.   

Do you come here often?

Here?

To galleries, do you go often, I mean?

No.

Where are you from?

Why?

I’m sorry if I’m-

Vegas.

She considered taking the next step, asking the question she wanted to ask, about the cutlery, if his sister had ever made any sudden movements during their dinners together, of which there must have been hundreds, thousands of meals that you share with a sibling during the course of your life.

Thousands, probably.

What?

What?

You just said, “thousands,”

Oh, no, you misheard me.

She had again messed up her words, she thought, wanting to ask if she’d ever stabbed him with a fork, or at least used the prongs to fling a pea, but she was insecure about her ability to convince people of things, or draw people closer to her, through the things that she said. She wasn’t as bad as she thought she was, as is always the case with too many mirrors in a house, but she considered that, well, maybe nobody is perfect, aside from Obama, and Sir. John A, but, the point was that everyone made mistakes, it made you human, right, but why did I think I needed to be perfect to start out with?

The news.

What?

What?

“The news.” You just said the news.

No, I said, blue. I like how she used blue, for the necklace.

You aren’t too good at this whole keeping discrete thing, you know.

What?

You heard about my sister.

Did she ever fling a pea at you?

You know, taking news about someone as representative of who they are is the same as believing a stranger who writes the story of your family from your front lawn.*

colour by Indie184

words by L. L. 

see the first scene here