SIGHTS

Just What I’ve Always Wanted

I celebrated a birthday a month ago today. For most of it, I was only dimly aware that it was my birthday. Felt much like any other day. Guess I’ve just gotten to that age. Either that or I was just high. It was one or the other. Probably both.

To commemorate this apparent eureka moment on the ultimate subjectivity of time (but more so to take advantage of some of those non-essential services now in case another lockdown happens later), I treated myself to a slightly expensive ornament to beautify my physical being. One I’m sure I’ll never accidentally misplace. Because it’s a tattoo.


This is the initial stencil impression they do before they break out the needles.
I did the Instagrammy bathroom selfie thing during the mid-session whiz break.
The time-honoured six-syllable mantra of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig), in the Tibetan script. In case you were wondering.

The tattoo artist did a masterful job, as you can see. I almost felt bad for not tipping her an extra hundred on the way out. Midway through the session, she asked me if I was feeling any pain. I told her I’ve been through worse.

It was also through this (highly worthwhile) experience that I learned of specially formulated ointments available on the market for recently tattooed areas of the skin. A lot of them come in visually stunning bottles. Like this…

Keeps your tats iron. Like a lion. In Zion.

The Zen of SILVER BROWN

Verbal Fluoxetine

“Good Christ, a Jewish man with parents alive is a fifteen-year-old boy, and will remain a fifteen-year-old boy till they die!”

– Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint


I lost my mother earlier this year, shortly after the winter solstice. My mood about that varies with the alignment of the stars on any given day, for my relationship with her was complicated. To put it mildly. She was a rule-enforcer. A dogmatic one at that. More the type of parent to tell me not to do something than to do it. Always more terrified of the possible negatives that could arise from any given situation rather than excited about the possible positives. So I grew up with the feeling that I couldn’t really rely on her as a life coach; I had to look well outside the home environment from an early age to find my inspiration. My mother’s level of depressing merely intensified as she got older, and would leave this world fearful, angry and miserable after a mere sixty-nine years. A slow horrible death, by all accounts.


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I’m still struggling to come to terms with living in a world without my mother in it. She’s been an omnipresence in my life for so long that her absence is almost shocking. It’ll take a bit more time for the shock to wear off, methinks. Some days I’m fully comfortable living in this new world, and other days I’m so uncomfortable with it that I willfully go looking for love in all the wrong places. But if I ever have one of those days when I just can’t deal, it helps to write something. The written word oft proves to be my salvation. Just the act of tapping away at the keyboard puts me in a better frame of mind. The words I write occasionally even shine a light on something I’ve never considered before, even if I end up deleting them soon after.


The Zen of SILVER BROWN

Happy Birthday To Me

Hey, it’s my birthday today. Probably not going to paint the town red tonight, though. Getting too old for that shit. Once you reach a certain age, you’ve been there and done that. I didn’t even go out to party when the Raptors won the big championship this year. My roomies did that, but not I. Being the old geezer of the household, I was content to stay home, watching the game on my trusty laptop Black Betty, ingesting no mood-altering substance aside from a few celebratory tokes. I’ve raised my share of hell, and large-scale sports-related pandemonium is something I’ve already seen up close. I was at the party depicted in the following video, although whoever shot this footage somehow didn’t bother to film the drunks climbing on top on the streetcars.