Monthly Archives: May 2019

How are you?

He is sitting at the lunch table when I get there, having planned to check out the food (which was pretty good).

“Hi, how are you?” I ask.

He slowly turns to look at me, blankly. I repeat, slower, “how are you?”

“Donald Malcolm. I was Donald Malcolm.”

A long pause and a few stammers.

“I … will be Donald Malcolm, after I get through this.”

So we ate lunch.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized


As long as I remember, I have had a lot of dreams about buildings and cities.

Not too long ago in a dream I reclaimed the slum housing mansion I had been dreaming about for decades (that one downtown with tiny apartments created out of half a floor, where you had to crawl through passages to find your room, in case you share this dream and recognize that building.)

So that house got reno’ed and I moved into an apartment happily, delighted to recognize the old building. Sometimes I spend dream time in happy amazement, chuckling and checking out the floor plans and how it used to be.

However the bigger issues remain, so many nights.

Getting lost in cities, unable to figure out how the trains and buses work, – unable to figure out how to remember – because I have been to these streets and buildings, … universities, hotels,  museums, monuments, churches,  bridges, certain city blocks, and restaurants, hippy streets and government streets, uphill, downhill … so many times I just need to remember how to go.

But I can’t, so there I am, stuck in my dream, walking and walking, trying to find my directions, past places  I am interested in and do like, but  I have already seen them in so many other dreams.

Usually I have a back pack, and as I walk my back hurts and I am getting quite exhausted.

And then finally I find the cab stand, the train, or the subway entrance and the bus that gets me home. (There’s always a bunch of complicated stuff with tickets and transfers and escalators, but I don’t need to bore any of us with that again!)

I have just realised that where I am usually trying to get to is our old family home in downtown Ottawa. When I was about 8 we moved, and things went a bit sideways for me for many many years. No wonder I have trouble finding that place.

But last night, for the first time that I recall, I lost Don in my journey. Actually he isn’t usually with me at all, but lately he has been hovering around the edges of the plot.

As we walked down the same old interesting street together, looking in windows and enjoying some time together,  he wandered off. I wasn’t surprised because we were interested in different things.

But he never showed up, not at the cool cafe with a patio  – ok I admit it was the kind of place I liked and he really didn’t, so I wasn’t surprised. But the kids on the corner hadn’t seen him, and he would surely have stopped to talk and donate to them.

And there i was walking up and down all those familiar dream streets, looking and looking and looking for him.

Eventually after many rooms and strange passages i found him, but he was battered and semi-comitose.

He didn’t want to wake up and talk to me. He had obviously been tucked into a cot by paramedics, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t read their notes to get a prognosis, The words were all tiny and broken and jumbled, just – come to think of it – like his words in real life, now in the care home.

So in fear and frustration, I woke up.


Filed under Uncategorized