|I’ve been having these sharp pains of self aware anxiety, like people are looking at me, especially when I turn around to see that I am all alone. In restaurants I think I hear people calling my name, when in fact they are actually ordering food saying ” I’m havin it”, which sounds a lot like Davinet if you say it really fast. I keep having these suffocating dreams where I am all alone in a boat in the middle of a storm, with no water and no voice to scream for help. Every morning for a week I have woken up in a panic, I sit straight up in bed and go through the obvious checklist of things that could be wrong as I count the length of my inhalations and exhalations and try to slow down my breath and downgrade it’s hurricane status. I always come to the same conclusion that everything is in order, nothing flammable was left plugged in overnight and I don’t owe anyone money ( credit cards not included). This morning however I realized I had felt this way once before, I was five years old and driving away from St John’s to go back to Labrador after the summer crying out ” but my blanket, we forgot my blanket!”, even then I knew it had been left behind on purpose, but still I was heartbroken. Now again as I prepare to put out my first solo record in six years, I feel the same way as I did that day, alone and quite chilly. Kim and I played in Saskatoon on Friday night and as always had a great time, laughing to kill ourselves and even harder when no one else does. The first time we went onstage as Shaye it was like coming home, the comfort of not having to be all alone up there, having someone you love to share the highs and the lows and the long drives with. So now I am getting ready to go to the ECMA’s and perform my record for the first time, the thought of singing all alone leaves me excited and more then a little bit scared. I’ve always found that the things you are most scared of are the most rewarding, so I am hoping this holds true as I buckle down to rehearse without my blanket and rip the band aid straight off.
Cults are a truly fascinating thing, watching intelligent people give their whole lives up to a ” higher” power only to have their lives poached and hawked. Watching Tom Cruise this week on a highly unauthorized video spouting and posing about the superiority of Scientologists was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve made myself sit through since the Newfoundlander lost all that money on The Price Is Right. Remember when instead of walking away with the pile of cash, he went one more time and grossly overbid and there was nothing we could do but watch the Swiss mountaineer fall silently like a stone over the side of the fake hill? It still gives me the creeps, but not half as much as Cruise. I can only imagine what poor old Kate’s (sorry I’d say Katie but Cruise has an injunction) parents were thinking when they watched their once vibrant and bubbly darling daughter mumble and fumble over sect scripted dialogue, squeezing the words out through the mere half a centimetre she could still open her mouth (another bad side effect of a lobotomy) on Letterman the other night. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scientology has a whole control room full of people who are waiting to pounce on innocent column writers like myself who upon flagging key words like crazy and Tom Cruise will mark me as an SP and vow to oppress the suppression right out of me. Actually I am a little freaked out right now, maybe I shouldn’t send this and just press delete, delete, delete. Stranger things have happened in this world, if they can find a way to keep a grown woman who also happens to be an Oscar winning actress from seeing her two children after keeping her in flat shoes for ten years , they can find a way to assault me with propaganda. Maybe it’s them who’s been calling my unlisted number offering me free this, free that? Maybe they’ve gotten a hold of the little boy who keeps coming to my door to shovel when there is no snow- anything to make me crazy. I bet it’s also them that’s making the letter M on my keypad stick.
Even more disturbing is that I just went to their website and it froze my computer, the homepage just sat there pulsing and buzzing, asking me if I was having trouble with anxiety, depression , marriage. So I’m jumping out of the plane and pressing send ,then trading in my computer and IP address, ten years is just too long to go without heels.
There are times when you ask yourself “what is it all about?”, when you just sit and stare, while occasionally pinching yourself to bring your heart rate back up to normal. Life is sailing by, you check off the days on your calendar, you pay your bills, you have a birthday, tax season rolls around, you shave your legs, you get your hair cut, over and over these things happen, it is your anticipated rhythm. Then something skips a beat and you find yourself in mid air without a game plan, stuck over a ravine with the Super Mario Brothers falling sound behind you, the suspense of will you end up safely on the other side or directly below and in that moment you have no idea. As soon as I finish a column every week I start thinking about what I am going to write about next week, but I wait until Sunday to start writing it because I want it to be as recent and true to my life as possible, which honestly means I usually write it on Mondays. Several times throughout the year my manager will get a call from me saying, I am stuck in a hotel with no wireless because of a storm, or my flights been cancelled and I won’t get home in time to send it to you and each time she says that’s why you should have your column written earlier, a contingency plan just in case something like that happens. So being the smartest person I know I take her advice now whenever I have a gig or have to travel and try to get it started ahead of time, but when I’m at home I stick to my down to the wire routine. So last week when she called looking for my column and I had to stifle my crying to tell her I wouldn’t get it done until that night because a dear friend had passed that day, I had to think who has a contingency plan for a thirty two year old woman who goes into the hospital because she’s feeling ill and a week later dies of bacterial pneumonia in the year 2008. The truth is Life has no contingency plan- this is it. So every day, live it and enjoy it and tell the people you care about you love them because you don’t know a curve ball is a curve ball till it’s coming right at you.
I guess I should be thankful I didn’t get a wave tattoo around my navel or the armband tattoo that was so popular ten years ago and all I did was get my belly button pierced. Ah the art of non thinking, ten years ago walking down Water Street on a whim I decided to pop my head into the tattoo parlour and see if they had any open appointments, thinking that they’d be booked up for weeks and by the time I could get in I would forget about the whole idea. Instead when I walked up to the front counter they told me someone had just cancelled a piercing and they could squeeze me in right away.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda turned around and walked out the door, but no, down to the basement I went and picked out a sterling silver ring and sat down in the chair as I mentally prepared myself for someone to stick a piece of metal in through my stomach with a gun. On this day I thought about the pain I was wilfully inflicting on myself, I did not think about the discomfort I would feel for the next three weeks while bathing and turning my new piece of jewellery, or that as a stomach sleeper I simply wouldn’t sleep until it healed. I definitely didn’t think about the two holes that would remain forever when I decided to remove it. I don’t think I thought I’d have it in for the rest of my life, I just didn’t think . Friends tell me that it doesn’t suit me and that it always takes them by surprise and to be honest I’ve been surprised by it myself on more than one occasion. One of those times was visiting a school in Africa this summer and reaching my hands over my head as the kids were teaching us a traditional dance and the looks on the little girls faces as they saw something shiny in my stomach. It was like they saw Mickey Mouse or the Hollywood sign, something so North American they couldn’t believe their eyes, I took them over to the corner where no one else would see and I let them check it out up close. It was almost like I had worn it for ten years just for that moment, sometimes it’s nice to be hiding something out of character up your sleeve, so I’m going to have to come up with something new because tomorrow the ring is gone.