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Pickle Me This

October 1, 2015

The Possibility of Elephants

adultonset-194x300“I had a job at Pizza Hut in the last years of the old century, the location on Toronto’s Bloor Street just west of Avenue Road. I worked the take-out counter, serving ancient slices that were sweating under the heat-lamps, and one day I looked up from the till to see an elephant lumbering by, a bright emerald ribbon secured to its tail…”

And so begins my essay on rereading Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Adult Onset, which is also about the mutability of memory, of literature, and of streetscapes, Bloor Street’s in particular. It’s about Balloon King, Starbucks, mistakes in fiction, parallel universes, and the Shafia family murders. It’s about Honest Eds and trauma, Daniel Libeskind’s “Crystal” and Jian Ghomeshi’s creepy voice. Plus, about having a two year old.

Anyway, I am really proud of it. As many of you already know, the word “essay” comes from the French verb “to try” and for me this piece was certainly an experiment. But I am very pleased with how it turned out, and grateful for Rohan Maitzen and her colleagues at Open Letters Monthly for their work on the piece, and for giving it such a wonderful home.

Now go and read it here! 

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