I was at work the other day, talking to a work friend about how absolutely illogical I can be. I'm nervous about something coming up this weekend, even though I know I have absolutely nothing to be nervous about - all I have to do is shake someone's hand and make small talk, but for some reason, in my mind, I equate failing at small talk with the end of the world.

I know I am overthinking things, but this doesn't make me feel any better.

This lead me to tell my co-worker, "The thing about being crazy is, you know you're being crazy, and that what you're doing is crazy, but you still can't stop yourself from doing it. You're aware of your craziness, but unable to change. And that makes you crazier."

I meant it as a joke, but then, afterwards, I found myself brooding on it. Crazily, of course.

Love and Music

I fell in love last week.

This happens to me with alarming regularity - I come across something new, get enthusiastic, lose control of my critical thinking, and then get completely absorbed. After a week or two of intense devotion, the loving feeling turns into little more than affection, and I'm back to normal.

I'm talking about music, of course. Most recently, Pink Mountaintops' Outside Love, a 2009 (I believe) release that I described to a co-worker as "A pop-heavy album filled with love songs, as imagined by Black Sabbath", which is as good a starting place as any. It's a great album, and one I thoroughly recommend checking out, but it's not what I'm here to talk about.

Instead, I've been thinking about this capacity to love something like an album, and yes, "Love" is the word here. Because the physical manifestations of how that album made me feel are almost exactly the same as the first few weeks of a relationship are - without any of the dirty stuff, you pervs. I mean is, that sense of happiness deep in your gut, the urge to smile when something just clicks, all of that fun stuff. It's there.

I remember, years and years ago, walking home in a late summer night. The stars were overhead, and I could distantly hear the sound of crickets in the hills. I had on my headphones, and was listening to Tool's Aenima on a walk home. And I clearly remember just this intense rush of pleasure when the solo on "Third Eye" came on, as if my body was just pumped up with Dopamine.

It's happened many times since then. The guitar solo on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" (or the outro of "Eclipse", or the harmonized guitars of "Dogs"). The last ten minutes of Abbey Road. Robert Plant's wail in "Since I've Been Loving You".

I find myself looking back, to past relationships, and not having any clear memories of those dopamine rushes. They were there, no doubt, but they haven't stuck in my head in the same way that one experiences a "first kiss" with a new album.

This is what it's like to be a music obsessive, I think. This is what it's like to get your wires crossed, and to perceive music in the same way that you perceive love and companionship. Some people might say this is sad, and I guess maybe it is, in a melancholic way. But you know what? When you can view an album with love, you are never lonely.

My two cents.

First Draft: St Patrick's Day

I've been writing a lot, lately. And I like to share, even when I'm sharing ugly first drafts. Here's a little piece from a 'long short story' I've been working on. By all means, I'm willing to take feedback! -Dave

Colton once told me that our job is where dreams go to die. He’d point at an office door, and say “see, Pat? No kid ever wants to grow up to be an assistant secretary to the director.”

He had a point. We work in a giant government office that is mostly tied to processing the thousands of applications for security jobs in the province – because every rent-a-cop in every mall of British Columbia has to be thoroughly checked over by us before we let him earn near minimum wage hours chasing down tweaked-out shoplifters.

About a third of the staff here are former cops who some way or another mustered out, while another third are career pencil-pushers who forgot the meaning of “aspiration” about three seconds after they threw their tasselled hats into the air. The other third of us are the students who realized our fancy degrees were only useful as bargaining chips to get us into the doors for a mid-paying, high-benefit office job.

We had psych majors, anthropology majors, history majors, music majors, English majors, philosophy majors. A few people, such as myself, had double majors in equally useless fields (history and music). Basically, we got a degree, and then traded what we knew for a crash course in Excel, file maintenance, and FLEX days.

After my first six months of work, I was given my own office because the head of the department felt I needed one in which to do my own particular brand of work. On moving in, I hung a framed vinyl Japanese print of Pink Floyd’s Animals on the wall – you know, the one with the smokestacks and the flying pig in the air? – and the boss came in, took a long look at it, and said “I’m not really much of a Beatles fan.”

It is that type of place.

The office is more or less empty today, as it’s almost an hour before the main shift begins. Only a few of us – those on the lowest rung of the government ladder – start at the 7:45 shift instead of the more normal 8:30. Normally, this means Colton and I, as well as a few others who hide in the break room, have about half an hour of unscheduled “work” that usually turns into a bullshitting session, a frank sex discussion, or an extra-long coffee break. However, this morning, Sandra is there, hanging bright green tassels from the ceiling. From her step ladder perch, she can survey the entire office like a meercat on the top of its perch.

I catch Colton’s eyes from across the office. He gives a lopsided grin and shrugs, as if to say “what can you do?”

Sandra is the office enthusiast. She takes her election to the office “morale team” very seriously, and whenever there is a holiday, no matter how minor, she’s there to do her part. The fact that she was elected only because no one else ran for it is completely lost on her; in her mind, she is the only force that keeps the rest of the office from sliding down the long slope into despair and self destruction. Were it not for her office decorations and mandatory themed office lunches, we would quickly succumb to anarchy and suicide.

Last month, she even decorated the place for Martin Luther King Day. Mostly it was just leftover kwanza decorations, a dairy queen ice cream cake (black, with a picture of a basketball), and pictures of school busses (“Why school busses, Sandra?” “because he wouldn’t sit in the back of the bus” “That’s Rosa Parks” “Who?”). Being Victoria, about half a percent of the population is black. The one black guy in our office was mortified.

It was pretty funny.

“Sandra, what are you doing?” I ask, throwing my backpack into my office.

“It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, silly!” She has already swathed the office in green tinsel. It occurs to me that there must be companies that make Christmas decorations, and that they must find something to keep themselves busy the other eleven months out of the year. Sandra, and people like her, is what keep them from laying off their staff every January.

“You don’t say. You, um, bought a lot of decorations....”

“I know. Aren’t they the bees knees?”

Sandra is the only person still alive who still says “bees knees”. What’s sad is that she was born in the 1970s. She also says “gosh”, “fanny”, and “oh dear”. Oh, and if you don’t hate her already, her favourite musician is Taylor Swift and her favourite movie is Sixteen Candles.

“They’re definitely... something. Oh god. Are those green candy canes?”

“They are!” Sandra smiles widely.

Colton stands up and calls across the office. “Show Patrick the dancing leprechaun!”

“Ooh!” Sandra squeals, and bounces down from her step ladder. “Follow me.”

She leads me into the break room, which has been converted into a stock room for every St. Patrick’s Day decoration known to man: cardboard pots of gold, little golden chocolate coins, four leaf clover posters, more of those damned green candy canes, and green felt clovers. And there, in the middle of the room, is a statuette, about the size and general shape of a garden gnome. Except, this one is a leprechaun with fiery red hair and a creepy smile painted on.

His eyes bore into my soul.

“He dances.”

“He.... dances?” I say, staring into those eyes.

“Watch.” And Sandra claps her hands loudly. Suddenly, the leprechaun is doing the twist while fiddle music plays from a tinny speaker at its base.

“My god...”

“Isn’t it amazing?”

I shudder. “It should be a war crime, Sandra.”

“A... war crime?”

Colton comes up from behind us. He’s sucking on a candy cane. “Don’t listen to him, Sandy. Patrick is just grumpy because it’s his day and all.”

“You son of a...” I begin, but Sandra cuts me off.

“Your day? Oh, right! You’re Saint Patrick!”

“I am not...”

“But you have red hair. And you’re Irish.”

“My mom was born in Ireland. That doesn’t make me...”

“And your name is Patrick!”

“Yes, but I’m not Saint Patrick.”

“Well, no one’s calling you a saint.” Sandra says, and then giggles. I’ve heard this joke about five hundred times in my life. If you ever see me up on top of a tall building with a high powered sniper rifle, doing a little bit of “spring cleaning”, you now know why.


I hated the day growing up. Every year, my mother would get depressed because everyone would good naturedly make her the star of the show. And my mother hated attention, which made it worse.

Of course, I got a good chunk of it, too. Even in elementary school, teachers would point it out to the class. There’s a picture, somewhere in a family photo album, of me in the second grade. I’m dressed up as a leprechaun, with a fake red beard and an Abe Lincoln top hat that’s been painted green, standing on top of a chair. In the picture, I’m doing my best to hold a smile, but I remember about two seconds after the photo was taken, I burst into tears and then threw my hat Becky Williams.

I wish I could say that Saint Patrick’s Day got better at some point after the second grade, but that would be a lie. Even with the invention of alcohol (I should say “personal discovery of alcohol”, but it didn’t feel that way when I was sixteen), the day didn’t get any better. Usually, I’d just drink until I passed out, or threw a fist at the biggest asshole in the room, daring him to swing back. This didn’t help dispel the claims of my innate Irishness; I was known as “Fighting Irish” until I was twenty.

Yes, I know, it’s just a day. And really, why should I be upset over a bit of attention? Carrie once asked me this, and I couldn’t think of a good answer as to why I so hated a day that mostly just centred around drinking and good cheer. I mean, the lame jokes at my expense were annoying, but that’s it.

Eventually, I decided that I hated the day because it was so hypocritical. Every other day of the year, people would either ignore me, or make lame jokes at my expense. Being short and ginger-haired does not usually make someone popular, and it definitely didn’t for me, either. I grew up with people kicking me on “National Kick a Ginger Day”, telling me “Gingers have no soul”, and generally making jokes about my hair that always kept me at arms length. Hell, when I was nineteen, I went on a blind date where the woman took one look at me and said “I don’t date redheads” and walked out.

So that was the natural state of things. Fine. I could live with that.

But then, once a year, having red hair made me worthwhile, and people would try to make me the star of the show. And I just hated the sudden flip, because I knew that, come March 18th, it would be back to business as usual.


Colton volunteers my services to help hang up decorations, because “Pat’s got nothing better to do.”

Naturally, I volunteer Colton because “his judge said he needs to do some community service, and this counts”.

Sandra rolls her eyes and let us hang crap over the office. It’s not what people stereotypically think of as “the office” – there are no rows of self-contained cubicles. Instead, it almost harkens back to the 1950s, with rows of open desks and miniature offices that line the edges of an open workspace. Every desk is painstakingly individualized with personality-defining photographs of family, comic calendars, and vacation mementoes. It says something that despite this, each desk looks no different than the rest.

Colton and I make fun of each other for a bit, but then Colton starts on with the “St. Patrick” crap, and I get grumpy.

“You know, Patrick, you should be happy. You have your own day!” Sandra says, trying to cheer me up for God-Knows-Why. Even I’m not too happy with myself right now, and if I think I’m being a bit of a twat, who knows what everyone else must be thinking?

“Trust me. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

“You seem to be a glass half empty sort of guy.”

“Thanks, Sandra. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“The glass is half full, Patrick. Half full. Life’s great.” She smiles at me, holding a shamrock with silver glitter text exhorting ‘Have a Safe Saint Patrick’s Day!’

“Sandra, it all depends on context.”


“The glass. It’s all about context. That ‘half empty, half full’ stuff is all about context. The glass is only half full if it went from being empty and you filled it up halfway. If you had a full glass and drank half of it, it’d be half empty. So, whether someone thinks the glass is half empty or half full has absolutely nothing to do about their world view, and all about whether or not they assumed the glass was full or empty to begin with.”

Sandra’s face falls a little bit. “I, um, guess you’re right....”

“I am. And why are you hanging up all this shit, anyway? You’re just going to take it all down tomorrow.”

I realize I’m the douchebag in this situation. Every damn year, it gets worse. Leprechauns and shamrocks in the morning, drunken assholes in the night.

And now, fucking green candy canes.

“I like the day. I don’t care what you think. I wish there was a ‘St. Sandra Day’. Could you imagine?”

Colton snickers. I laugh, and forget that Sandra is not Colton. “Yeah. We’d all exchange staplers and sing about our twelve cats. The day would end at 8:30 pm. And the theme song would be ‘Silent Night’.”

Sandra starts crying, and I feel like even more of an asshole.

Star Wars Geekdom:

I enjoy messing with sci-fi fans. It's funny, because I'm a sci-fi fan... but I'm not hardcore about it. Others... not so much. And it's fun to get them riled up.

Seriously, if you're ever bored, tell a Star Wars fan that you don't like the show because "I don't like any show about Muppets". Then, sit back and watch the fireworks.

Last week, a gamer friend started talking about maybe buying his own Captain Kirk chair. I responded with this gem:

"That sounds cool, I guess, but I wouldn't want it - I'm not into Star Wars. Plus, I think Kevin Sorbo is kind of creepy looking."

Fun times, that.

Strange times.

Two of my co-workers were talking about a guy that works in the meat department. They were singing his praises:

"Julian is such a nice guy. He did my clean-ups for me, without even being asked!"

"I know, he's the best. He's always willing to do favours for you."

"And he's a great conversationalist. Always willing to listen."

"Last week, I left my wallet at home, and he lent me some money so I could pick up a lunch."

And so on, and so forth. I didn't say anything. I just worked over in my side of the deli, slicing turkey and serving customers. I don't deal well with my "serious" co-workers, mostly because they take everything I say too damned seriously. And, like a serial killer who wants it all to end but can't do it, I don't know how to stop myself.

"Hey, Dave, what do you think of Julian?"

I winced. Ask Dave an honest question, and he'll give you a complete bullshit answer, mostly because he's bored. "Well, I'm not a huge fan of him."

"Oh?" I could hear my co-worker's eyebrows raise up - hell, you could hear that shit from space. Saying you don't like Julian is like saying you voted conservative, or that you think Carrottop is actually kind of funny - it's the shitty skid mark in the world of conversational flounders. "Why not?"

I briefly consider fessing up that, actually, I think Julian is a pretty cool guy. But then I realize that would mean I agreed with my serious co-workers. And I'm a firm believer in that old Groucho Marx bit about never joining clubs that would let me in, yadda yadda yadda.

Naturally, when it comes to shit like this, I pull the hipster card. "Would you believe that idiot thinks that The Suburbs is a better Arcade Fire album than Funeral? And he thinks Sheer Heart Attack is a better Queen album than The Game?"

There is a long pause. "I don't think that's a good reason to dislike someone, Dave."

"Have you listened to Sheer Heart Attack? How can you trust someone who has listened to both Queen albums and doesn't think The Game is categorically better? It'd be like trusting an alcoholic to be your designated driver."

There is another long pause. And an awkward silence. "Personal taste can't be judged."

FYI: People who say that have a record collection that is filled with ABBA, Lionel Ritchie, Meat Loaf, and Creed. Personal taste can be judged. Mercilessly.

Naturally, I say the only thing I could in this sort of situation: "That's only what people with crappy taste say."

I have to say... it's fun messing with my serious co-workers.

In unrelated news, my hours got cut back.


April Playlist:

After a long hiatus... time to put up my playlist of the month again! This month is a mix of happy acoustic songs and sad bastard music. Nothing special, really.

  1. "Fireflies of Montreal" by Laurena Segura

  2. "High Hawk Season" by The Mountain Goats

  3. "We Are 1980" by Said The Whale

  4. "While We Were Dreaming" by Pink Mountaintops

  5. "Ends In the Ocean" by Avalanche City

  6. "Hurt" by Johnny Cash

  7. "Gold on the Ceiling" by The Black Keys

  8. "When I Write My Master's Thesis" by John K. Samson

  9. "Bandages" by Hey Rosetta!

  10. "A Girl Named Sandoz" by The Animal

Weekly Haiku #72 - shift work

long bus hauls - each way!

measure our lives in minutes

as time passes by

The Fashion Cycle of Dave:

This has been going on since the fifth grade, and it only took me nigh-on twenty years to figure it out (has it been that long? Holy shit, I'm getting old....)

My wardrobe goes through a cycle, and I can ascertain this by looking through my old piles of clothing, like an archaeologist pulling back layers of debris and finding that human history is indeed a repetitive series of prosperity and collapse. And just like human history, you can name the cycles of my fashion failings.

I call the first age the T-Shirt Age. It essentially consists of a t-shirt, paired with comfortable pants. The exact t-shirts always correspond to how I perceive my personality at the time - in the fifth grade, it was ninja turtles and GI Joe T-Shirts. In my early twenties, it was snarky commentary. And, as I'm currently on the fading end of this part of the cycle right now, it's currently witty, text-light images and bright colours. The pants are just pants.

This stage dips into the Age of Layers. I begin to realize that t-shirts and jeans are a bit simple, and that maybe I'm projecting an image of laziness or simplicity. So, I try to jazz things up. However, as I still maintain my fixation on the shirt being the most important piece of clothing, my response is predictable - I simply double up on shirts. Usually, this second shirt is a button-up thing, most often plaid. And this goes back to the sixth grade, when I was subconsciously emulating all those grunge people I saw on TV.

Finally, I grow out of the Age of Layers, advancing, if you will. I realize that I'm growing up, and I need to start "looking like a grown-up". And so I go into the Age of Threads, This inevitably leads to dress shirts, tailored pants, and (gasp) nice shoes. This started in the seventh grade, and lasted all of one week. Most recently, it happened a few years ago, where I was dressed up every time I left the house... it lasted approximately two weeks. And, like any golden age, it collapses, leaving nothing but a memory.

In my case, I realize that suits are way too much work, and "to hell with anyone who will judge me based on my clothes!". So, to further this new/old point of view, I wear nothing but T-shirts... and comfortable pants. Really, when you see me wearing jeans and a t-shirt, it's my fashion equivalent of walking through a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

This is my long way of saying that I'm tired of being Mad Max, and I want instead to be Kurt Kobain. Or something.

I've Been Thinking, pt. 2 of 2



Later in the day. Same car ride.

“I’ve been thinking,” Lyn says. “We should start going to church.”

I almost slam on the brakes, like I see in those dumb romantic comedies that Lyn used to drag me to. Instead, the car swerves a bit as I look at her in shock.

“Church? Us?”


“But.... why?”

She crosses her arms. “Why not?”

“We’re atheists, for starters.”

“You don’t need to believe in God to go to Church, Adam.”

“Um, I kind of think you do, actually. Isn’t that the whole point?”

“Well then, we can pretend to believe.” She smiles brightly, and puts on her best ‘dumb Asian girl’ face. “I could be the naive Chinese immigrant, and you can be the religious missionary guy who saved me from Paganism.”

“You. Naive immigrant? How would you pull that off?”

She shrugs. “I don’t know. I could wear a whole bunch of Hello Kitty stuff.”

I chuckle. “I didn’t know you even had Hello Kitty stuff.”

“I do. But I’ll have to remember to call it ‘Herrow Kitty-san’ or they’d get wise.”

“So, we’re going to go to a church and lie to people to convince them that we believe in a God we both agree doesn’t exist. Why?”

“I just want to go.”

“That’s not good enough, hun.” I say.

She pauses. “I just want to be around people who know.”

“You lost me.”

She thinks for a minute or two, tapping her foot on the inside of the windscreen as the Beatles sing on in the background. I’m glad I’m not one of those ‘car-guys’, or I’d be thinking about the smears she’s leaving on the glass. “Atheists know what isn’t. Religious people know what is.”

“Except what they ‘know’ is flat-out wrong. Unproven. Unproveable.”

“Maybe. But the knowing is important.”


Maybe a week later. On a Sunday.

I am dashing around the kitchen and living room, grabbing empties and throwing them in the recycling bin. Madly cleaning up as I can hear Lyn fumbling outside the door.

“Adam? I can’t find my keys. Can you unlock the door?”

I grab two more empty beer bottles and drop them in the bin, stepping lightly and doing my best to be silent.

“Adam?” she knocks, loudly.

I sneak past the front door, tip-toeing like some sort of half-cut ninja. I open the nearby bathroom door, step in, and gingerly close the door behind me.

“Lyn?” I call out. “Are you home already?”

We’re speaking through two closed door, so her voice is muffled. “Yes. Church ends earlier than I thought it did.”

Earlier than I thought it did, too. It’s only one. I didn’t think she’d be home until three. “Did you have fun?”

“Sort of. Can you open the door? I’m locked out.”

“Oh. Uh. I’m in the bathroom. Give me a second?”

Part of me wants to fiddle around with toilet paper to complete the illusion that I really was using the washroom, but I don’t. Instead, I just flush the toilet, fiddle with my belt to make that sort of “pulling up pants” sound, and then head to the door. I stop, and remember to wash my hands, feeling silly the whole time.

I let her in, and she leans in to kiss me. I turn around, pretending not to notice, not wanting her to smell the beer on my breath.

“How was church?”

“Boy, those church people sure love that Jesus guy,” she says flippantly, while heading to the fridge.

I try to think of something clever, but my head is a bit beer-fogged. So I just grunt instead.

“What is this?” Lyn says, peering into the fridge.

“What is what?”

“This beer bottle?”

“I’m guessing it’s a beer bottle,” I say, trying to be funny. I’m not.

“What’s it doing in the fridge?”

I think of a few possible explanations, and realize I’m stuck, so I opt for a modified version of the truth. “Oh, right, that beer bottle. I bought a four pack while watching the game, and saved one for you.”

“You drank three beers on a Sunday afternoon?” she asks. I can hear the worry in her voice, and I’m touched. “That’s not like you.”

“Yeah. I just... felt like it?”

She opens the beer using the countertop, a magic move I’ve never mastered. To me, that skill is akin to Fonzie restarting the jukebox, or that special prayer my dad used to utter to get the engine to start in the snow.

While she’s in the kitchen, I roll up the clothes sitting on our coffee table, and hide them into the cushions of the couch.

“How many beers did you have, Adam?” Lyn calls out from the other room.


“There are seven empties in the recycling bin.”

Damn it. “Oh, right. Uh, I had seven beers, then.”

“You had seven beers in two hours?”

“Yeah?” I say it like a question, because I know I’m in trouble.

“Are you okay?” She asks.

“I’m fine. I just got a little carried away watching the game,” I say, less slurry-voiced than I should be. I am proud of this.

“Seven beers, though? I haven’t seen you drink seven beers in a row in... well, it’s been a while.”

“Yeah, uh, it was a bad game.”

“Apparently. Who won?”

“The Canucks. But no thanks to Luongo and the Sedin twins.”

She walks into the living room and kisses me on the cheek, and then wrinkles her nose. “Ugh. You smell like a homeless guy.”


“Well, you do.”

“How was church?” I change the subject.

“It was good. There was some prayer stuff, which was weird, but then people just kind of talked. And everyone was so nice. I guess it was okay.”

I make a face, which she sees, because she pokes me in the ribs. “Sometimes it’s nice to talk to people. I haven’t been able to talk to people in a while.”

“What about me?”

“Yes. But there are things we just don’t talk about.”

I know what she’s referring to. “Is that why you’re going to church?”

She looks down at the floor. “Maybe.”

“Jesus. Aren’t they just going to make you feel worse? How can what those people” – I say ‘those people’ as if all people who attend church can be lumped up into some sort of ultra-conservative, FOX News crowd – “how can what those people say make you feel better about all this?”

“You act like it doesn’t matter, Adam.”

“Well, it does matter, of course it matters, but it’s just life. These things happen.” I know I’m lying, and I think she does, too, but I don’t know what else to do. To let her know how much I’m hurting would be to fail her, and I know that right now, she needs me to be strong. So I keep up the charade.

She isn't buying it. “These things do happen. And I guess I’d rather believe they happen for a reason, than they just happen due to random chance.”

“You’d rather believe that was due to the conscious choice of an all-knowing God?”

“We lost a baby, Adam.”

“You miscarried,” I correct her, and then instantly feel like a jackass.

We miscarried.”

“Fine. We miscarried. Whatever. These things happen. We can’t dwell on them.”

“And you don’t care!”

“I do care! I just... it wasn’t a child, not yet. It was just cells and tissue.” I tell her this, because thinking of a miscarried fetus as cells and tissue and not a human life seems more comforting to me than to think of it as a human being. A child. It is easy not to care about cells and tissue.

“You keep saying that, and then whenever I try to talk about it, you shut down. You don’t speak. And I feel like I’m going crazy, like I did something wrong, or like I’m overreacting.”

“I... I can’t talk about these things, Lyn. I’m sorry. I just don’t know how.”

“You could go to church with me,” she says, softly.


“You could go to church with me. Talk to people there. They... they know, I guess.”

“You want me to go to church with you?”

“I don’t like going alone. It's weird. But I need to talk to someone about all this.”

“You could... you could try talking to me about it all. I can... I can at least listen.”

“But you don’t need me right now. You’ve already moved on. I just... I don’t know...” she says, and then sits down on the couch. She feels the lump under the cushions.

She rummages around, and pulls out the baby clothes – a little Vancouver Canucks jumper, Canucks socks, and a blanket with Kessler’s number.

I awkwardly rub the back of my neck. “I bought those, um, just before it happened. I was going to surprise you, and, and...” and then, for some reason, I’m crying.

She looks at me with these huge eyes. “Oh, Adam.”


A few weeks later. Another Sunday, although this time, we’re out on a green field having a picnic lunch. Church lasted all of two weeks, before Lyn called them “faith-addled idiots” and stormed out in the middle of a sermon, leaving me apologizing to everyone while beating a hasty retreat.

I pass Lyn a bottle of water, and she hands me a home-made sandwich. Turkey, with spicy mustard. I make a face at the sprouts, but Lyn is making me eat them because she thinks I need to eat healthier.

“I’ve been thinking,” she says.

“Most bats can’t perceive colour, but some in the old world can. They can, however, see in black and white, and use their echolocation to aid in perception.”

Lyn makes a face. “How did you know that’s what I was thinking about?”

I smile. “Because I’ve been thinking about that, too.”