In The Waiting Room

The  French ladies were decades older

discussing chargers

and who to call after the hospital. The man

with the forearm tattoos was making love

to his phone. An older gentleman actually

had a book in his hand. We were the only two

holding books instead of phones. I looked up

to see the color of their eyes and the

aches in their walk. Nicole walked into

the wrong waiting room, her husband chuckling

as everyone giggled, excluding me. The fear

of Alzheimer’s slowly whipping its pain

at the back of my mind. I mixed up my mess,

but clearly being Greek-Canadian has no

privilege in a French society.

 

Vous-etes de quelle origine? 

 

Does it even matter? Why do politics

constantly devour our French Quebecois

existence. At Universite de Montreal,

I was the only anglophone,

wore my soul to the ground. I shaved

off my humanity, bled Allophone stories,

hung out at Andrea’s Jewish Hampstead home

and ate matzo balls. She was that perfect

bilingual student, can never detect if her

accent was French or English. I was done

with my heart, my love, my studies,

but I went back to school. I always go

back to school, too many degrees

that mean nothing, but hang in unison

in framed beauty. I take no chances on

the things I should have, but my wall

displays something that means something

to someone. Damned to question why

I never left. In damnation, in this city

that breeds devils with no horns. Hate

to stay with all these diseases ensuing my

health.

 

Yes, Dr. D, I checked my breasts again

and breathe easier.

 

Yes, Sherbrooke 666

 

I walked down University,

turned Robert-Bourassa, turned down the museum

for a job.

Turn up the volume on Nirvana. It was

1993. Taught at Mont-St-Louis, made the students

recite Shakespeare and modern romance clips.

I made them shut-up for sixty seconds

to honor Kurt Cobain.

One of them said, I should be a stripper.

Oh, the things you remember when

you are in purgatory.

 

Waiting for my name to be called

and the stares, oh the stares,

oh, the internal chatter,

I feel it all.

Took a five hour nap.

Forgot to cook,

forgot the kids

forgot the husband.

When I woke up

it was dark,

and I was still alive.

 

D’origine grecque, I replied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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