What’s in a Name

Whenever I deal with police, a question comes up about nicknames that I have a hard time answering. Or at least I did until I learned that they really don’t what the whole truth, just the big parts.

Do you have any nicknames? Yeah, I guess I do. I’ve had hundreds over the course of my days: some self-generated, but most by others. No, I don’t have any aliases or second passports or anything, but to a few people out there I AM Relic (wore a toque in university that made me look like a longshoreman), and to others I’m Millhouse. I’ve responded to Asshole, G-Spot, Bubby, and Stone Face with varying levels of affection and amusement.

Looking back, I’ve always been me. I mean, the variety of roles didn’t ever change the fundamental person who was playing them and it’s not like I was hiding behind anything. So that’s why it’s easy now to say no when they ask. Cops aren’t big on complex answers.

Yelling in my Car

I’m so far less patient than I used to be.  There was a time when I could endure most any discomfort if it was for the right reason.  Not so much anymore.  Sure, I’m still more laid back than the average gent, but I’m significantly less tolerant than I was.  Noticeably more raw.  I used to tell people that I was so jaded that Chinese people would rub me for luck.  That cynicism was in fact the reason I could pass off nearly anything that offended me as banal and little worth getting my hackles up over.  But my life is different now.  My trust in people and my tendency to reach out have been sharply diminished leaving me much less connected to the world around me and much more critical than I ever was before. This is never more clear than when I’m driving to work in the morning.

Why the hell don’t all automakers use amber turn signals in their tail lights for God’s sake?  I’ve been behind too many people too lazy to maintain their vehicles yet bursting with brake-tapping energy not to be pissed about this design flaw.  A single brake light on one side when repeatedly tapped no longer looks or functions like a brake light indicating that you’re slowing down.  It’s not like there is some magic to an all red taillight section either.  It doesn’t look any better.  And moreover, with modern LEDs, a clear light can shine whichever damned colour you want without affecting the overall palette.  Someone’s gotta fix that.


Had to bust my roomate today on account of his NOT taking drugs. Ironic, that. But I don’t know what these pills floating in the toilet are supposed to be doing for this guy, so seeing one floating there? Whatever. Seeing one floating there every night? Being accosted by an increasingly chatty and twitchy guy with a rapidly diminishing appreciation of personal space and (more importantly) access to the place where I sleep? No. Too much. So, I had to say something. And did. Save the guy from himself, I guess. Poor bastard, living under a pall of medicinal fog. Must be rough. But then, you have to wonder what he’ll be like or do if he lets it all go. What fires in his brain are quenched or diminished by that pinkish-orange capsule? I’m not sorry.

There was a time when I would be irritated by a person’s mistaking of arc and ark. One is a path, the other a vessel of salvation. But then I found myself thrust from the safe harbour of my middle class, do-everything-right life and discovered that maybe just maybe the arc IS the ark. Maybe the path and the salvation are one in the same afterall.