Pink Chair I & II

Within days of George’s 44th birthday on February 9th, 1990, I had been to his McCaul Street loft, which looked east to the buildings lining University Avenue. There, on the top floor’s tiny balcony, we would retreat for some privacy, late at night and suck each other off with his son spying on us… ever he spied on us and it became a definite source of one of our many volatile breakups that George wanted to watch whilst his son and I fucked. I am not about doing anything that I find repugnant. George’s son’s legs are ridiculously bizarre; the space between the knees and ankles inordinately short – he also has too much gum for my liking. Did not matter to me that he was very thick and big; I was not playing. End of discussion. In any event, that winter, after George and I had riotously fucked with his son’s conspicuous silence in the open loft definitely indicating that we were being spied on, I fell asleep whilst George, thoroughly, noisily ploughed right, went to shit and shower, which was always alone and a very lengthy affair. On exiting the bath, as I soundly slept, awaiting my turn to shower, George grabbed his polaroid and took several snaps of me in his sole pink armchair as I remained sheathed in a used full and droopy condom.

By the time that George would present me with the iconic, masterful serigraph, he and I were not then on speaking terms on conclusion of the work. Months earlier, in November 1989, Merlin had passed and as George made it perfectly clear that he did not want to be in a committed relationship, I walked away. He was, of course, pissed but I was not getting the support I felt that I then needed. Truth be told, the relationship with George was ideal, I could no more have given two fucks about his friends anymore than they did me. George was totally controlling – energy body of 9 – and in that way, I was his muse and a great fuck; this left both his family and friends off limit – of course, there was obsession with his son, which meant me fulfilling his fantasy. Not happening. So as I did not play along and began taking lovers of my own, as George wanted to celebrate my life in the event that I, soon after Merlin, perished of AIDS – at that point, I still had not gone out and taken an HIV test; I was simply then too solipsistic to have been any support to Merlin who was then slowly dying of AIDS. So not able to bring himself to name the serigraph after me, it became Pink Chair; of course, for his friends, it was a great dig at me whom they thought of dismissible and an utter non-entity. Of course, I never said more than two words to anyone at that point in my life – that is, if I did not think you worth my time why bother saying fuck all?

For the next three years, George and I saw each other on and off. During that time, I was rapidly self-exploring. Of course, at the core of it all, there was the one ritual that grounded me, each day as I went to bed, I closed my eyes and smiled, knowing that on awaking, I would recall a plethora of dream experiences which before sleep, I could not readily have fathomed. Each morning I woke up, grabbed the tape recorder and began audiocassette recording my dreams. For this reason, as it had been a promise made to Merlin, I had no desire to be in a living relationship. No, I do not want to meet your fucking family, most definitely do not want to be caught dead, wasting a nanosecond of my time, listening to your loser friends and their redundantly specious regurgitated anecdotes – been there… fuck that. With Merlin’s passing, I had found a new groove: go to a few bathhouses, fuck a couple or a couple dozen hungry bottoms, head home by bike and listen to either classical or Jazz and get on with reading, writing and looking forward to travelling to the next art exhibition or Jazz concert and, of course, collecting art.

At one point, George moved out of his McCaul Street loft and with his possessive son remaining at the loft, this opened the way for us to get back together. This, of course, was not without its angst. One evening, I was hellbent on ploughing George to the hounds but he kept on begging off and finally blew up at me and told me to fuck off and, perhaps, he wanted to fuck his brains out with someone else. Are you fucking kidding me? No need to sit about when possessed of that irrational cocktail of obsession, passion, lust and mistrust. With regards his sexual activity, George always lied… I knew this. The first time that he had lied, I noticed the tell-tale sign – his right index finger and middle finger would involuntarily quiver and he would always try to cover it by rubbing his right index against his right nostril. Whenever this occurred, he would always get up and walk away to try and better cover up the physiological quirk. As ever, nothing escaped my eagle-eyed perception.

That night, unable to sleep and more importantly being robbed of valuable dreamtime, I got up and hopped on my bike in the middle of a bitching winter’s dead of night. George, who then lived at 62 Austin Terrace, had me pedal like mad in the biting cold and after locking my bike down the hill, made it up to 62 Austin Terrace, which stood right at the northeast corner of Bathurst Street and Austin Terrace. Truly possessed, I hopped onto the mountain ash tree and began scaling the damn tree as though at 0300 on a cold winter’s night with a street lamp nicely illuminating things, my being a black male, climbing a leaf-bare tree in the Annex, was a perfectly natural thing to be doing, among other illogical considerations. The lights were on in the bedroom; alas, he was not being ploughed by someone who was not me. Of course, George always spoke in his sleep and in one of his little pernicious moves, days earlier as I ploughed him good, he let out someone else’s name whilst pretending to be more asleep and or drunk than he was. Of course, seven years of being the lover of an award-winning director, Merlin, I knew fucking bad acting toute de suite.

There were clothes on the bed that were not George’s but he could not be seen. Undaunted, I scaled and scraped my way down the tree with simian ease, passion-possessed and made it up Bathurst to the rear of the property where I scaled the slippery stone side of the hill and made it atop the garage where for walking across packed, crunching inches of snow, found George being plough on the large draught table in his study. I was beyond livid but wanted and gotten definite proof to slap down his lying when confronted. His response was, of course, feigned indignation at my having had the temerity to spy on him. As with all passionate lovers, that entangled, drama-rife bit of Sargasso was soon traversed to calmer seas. Months later, we got in from dinner, sat down for a drink at his Austin Terrace apartment and laughed and savoured our cognac, after having been out shopping in the early afternoon to choose a new frame for Pink Chair. As ever, George wanting to be plough long and hard, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies – ever, I favoured the London Symphonies. I had just returned to Toronto after amour fou absolu had attempted to steal a dozen pieces from my art collection, among which was Pink Chair.

By March, 1993, I was hanging out in Washington D.C. with Bahamian relations when for walking out on my host, would meet Yuri, the most thoroughly consuming S&M bottom. This, of course, was at a time where all I did was crawl bathhouses partout, ever on the prowl, as finally I had discovered my metier with Merlin’s passing. S&M was the right groove at the right time in my life. So as I crawled predatorily the halls of yet another bathhouse, this one on the edge of a military base in the U. S. capital, I was hotly pursued by Yuri as my swagger and riding boots were just what and more his wildest dreams were in search of. We fucked for several hours, he professed his love and we returned to his place just southwest of Dupont Circle in Foggy Bottom that was the epitome of house proud faggot and way too minimalist for my liking. Alas, we went to his bedroom, which had a bed that was custom-built and made to service his every S&M whim. We were insatiable and it was just right. I looked past his drinking and excessive use of poppers, which second hand ever left me with a splitting headache, he had an actual freezer in which he kept handled bottles of vodka and the salacious bottom with the thick Russian accent was all mine.

Soon he took me to dinner, presented me a ring and demanded that I move to America and his position as lawyer in a queer law firm would allow me to live without the worry of working and the ideal Daddy to come home to. A city full of museums, he had season tickets to Kennedy Center and just a short flight to New York City for more culture and art, it was not very hard to say yes. Soon we went looking at places as I came down every other weekend from Toronto; we dined out and did all the things he had not before. On the off weekend, he had to himself with friends and family, which I made it perfectly clear were a non-negotiable in our relationship.

No sooner than having brought down choice pieces of art and much of my wardrobe as we chatted daily three to five times, I was returned that Sunday evening to no calls or calls going unanswered. Finally, that Thursday evening, he coolly answered the phone and wanted to know what I was bothering him for as, said he, he thought that he had made it clear that it was over between us. Perhaps, I was in denial but now he was with Tyrone who had a big 11.5 inch cock that he just couldn’t get enough of. Putting my master numbers to good use, I morphed and pulled out personalities 33, 47 and 56, all the while not so much as appearing remotely upset. Soon, he was answering the phone whilst being ploughed by Tyrone. Alas, my diamond cutter charm wore him down; we did after all have concerts to attend at Kennedy Center. So fool him, he accepted as Tyrone was going home to Philly for his mama’s 50th birthday – as if I could give two point five fucks.

Returned to Washington, I charmed him though he was wary and mistrustful – his guilt not mine. Finally, he gave in and we had one last S&M session. Tied up, he stood upright in the leather bedding with black bath sheets everywhere to catch his piss as I ploughed his arse, exposed by the thick leather chaps, rough, long and hard. I then slipped beneath the bed and got out the duct tape purchased earlier at Heckenger’s across town – everyone in the neighbourhood knew him and I had no intentions of anyone tipping him off. The hood zipped tight, revealing only his eyes and mouth, I smeared half a dozen strips of the black tape across his lizard-lipped cocksucker mouth and left just enough room for him to comfortably breathe.

As the opera fag neighbours below were in that evening, I turned up the music – Maria Callas CDs on the Denon stereo system – really loudly and pulled his big-boned body from the black leather sheets and hauled him by the harness through the 2100 square foot duplex apartment to the living room, took the strap to him as well he loved it; however, this was not about him, left him slumped and seated on the floor and quietly and meticulously cut my fucking art from the god fugly gaudy gold frames, into which the fucking racist moron had placed my stolen art, 12 pieces in all, including Pink Chair. Having returned my art into the tubes, in which they had months earlier been brought down from Toronto, I called my ride and with lots of time to spare its arrival, I hauled the blasted fool – who to that point had royally pissed off at least half my known 72 personalities, to his large bathroom, where clad in leather from head to toe, I heaved his bulky body – his legs and hands bound as he loved it during play, over the side of the tub, ripped out his butt plug, squatted down, violently ripped off the duct tape, replaced it with my gauntlet sheathed left hand whilst riotously fucking him hard. Hissing into his right ear, still hammering away at his ravaged mangina, ‘you fucking thief… what does that make you. That’s right, you’re a fucking nigger and don’t you ever forget it.’ Slamming the bathroom door shut behind me, my head ached from all the poppers he did. Coolly, I went to the freezer and got the handled bottles of vodka there, where else but America, and slowly undid his suit so that his welted body beneath could really sting from the vodka’s cold, unforgiving bite, after shoving his whimpering body into the tub. When I was done emptying all his vodka on his shivering, enraged body, I straddled his wet body below in the tub and whilst standing on the edge pissed and relieved my bladder which since removing my stolen art from his walls had been straining for release.

From there, I hightailed it to New York City and stayed a few days at Valerie Pringle’s only brother’s West 16th Street walk-up where I grounded anew by going to all my favourite museums by day and crawling the village in riding boots, making further conquests, which usually began whilst gyrating and face-fucking on the tiny dance floor down the mirrored winding stairs at the historic Stonewall Inn. Returned to Toronto with my art, over dinner at a tiny Spanish restaurant off Yonge Street, after we had taken Pink Chair to be framed, raising a glass of red, I winked at George and said of the vanquished amour fou, the best way to piss on a fool’s grave, is to do so before they actually are dead and buried. Dinner was beautiful and with that, we returned to his apartment at 62 Austin Terrace and George was no end of happy, reaching back and holding on to my riding boots, his arse high in the air, as I ploughed and staked my claim to his heart centre as never before.

‘What the fuck are you calling me for?’ On my return to Toronto, I lethally hissed down the phone at the racist boor in Washington D. C.. ‘We have no business together. Obviously, all you can handle, is nothing more than 11 IQ points. Let’s make this perfectly fucking goddamn clear, since your HIV status – that’s right, I have known all along, precludes you making it across the border, you will stay the fuck where you are and get over it. You’re a fucking thief.’ He then violently demanded that I return ‘his’ art and be man enough to bring it back. ‘What the fuck has AIDS and poppers done to your fucking pea brain? Bitch are you fucking nuts? You are dead to me. Shit, I already pissed on you… you are as good as fucking dead! Cutting him off as he launched into his foul, drunken nigger this, nigger that, I boomed down the phone into his gutted soul, ‘Hang it up! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up! Now! Go on, hang up your fucking phone now. You fucking drunken diseased rat. Now! Hang it the blasted motherfuck up now! Hang it up! Finally, the line dropped, collapsing his weak sobbing. A bottom to the core, he never dare dialled my number again.

Also, at 62 Austin Terrace, I announced to George that I had accepted a job offer in Vancouver and would be leaving in mere days. George was devastated as he felt that he was being abandoned for not having been fully engaged in a committed relationship. In the end, not long after I was happily ensconced in Vancouver’s West End, that George visited. We had some of our best sex deep into the musky wholesomeness within the woods of Stanley Park, lorded over by centuries old Sitkas. There in the dead of night, George buried his left cheek in the mud, held on to my riding boots as ever he loved to as I plough and took us both to beyond the edge of ecstasy. George’s first visit to Vancouver – there was a second, was passed going to galleries, having an early dinner, likely on Davie Street, going home for a nap before getting up late at night to go do that most primal of deeds, fucking surrounded by the sublime beauty of nature.

On the eve of Bob Marley’s birthday – a very brightly, crisply cold Friday in 1999, my wife and I emerged in full African garb onto Saint Laurent from Montréal’s palais de justice accompanied by George and my sister, Pandora, both serving as witnesses. That evening at our lovely Cote des Neiges home, the four of us were joined by a lovely Jewish boy from Hampstead. George and I were reunited after too long on the cusp of his 53rd birthday and among other things, we warmly celebrated his upcoming birthday. The evening was beautiful. Five years later, my wife and I relocated back to Toronto as both our fathers experienced health crises. My first visit to George’s Borden Street penthouse was beautiful, the view looked north to one of my favourite high-rises in the city; it is a deco affair at the northwest corner of Spadina & Richmond Street West. I am always reminded of Merlin and New York City where we met and how much he loved the architecture of 1930s New York City. Paris, my wife, and Pandora were invited to dinner in the late afternoon.

George seldom hung art about his homes, and rarely any of his; there was one however which moved me the moment I walked into the room. Who is it, I asked, to which George laughed and said, ‘it’s you, of course. It’s the companion to Pink Chair… it is Pink Chair. Back in 1987 when we first met, George had asked me to sit at his loft on Brock Avenue in the Queen West Queen neighbourhood. As a result of our carnal passion, George experienced a new creative drive; he became more creatively focussed and produced more. George’s attack was dazzling and he created with feverish speed. He was always grateful for that time, he was not yet 41 when we met and for him, it proved the mid-life crisis he needed. It was great, too, because Russell, a lover of his, had slowly been dying of AIDS and I became the anchor that kept him focussed here and now.

I was invigorated by this second Pink Chair, which had been completed in 1992 but which he had never shown me. Finally, George and I met separate of my wife, Paris, who has since transitioned and become Denver, for dinner at his Borden Street penthouse condo. Even though I had become a portly little cock-bottomed, short-breathed eccentric with age, I still wanted to return to being George’s muse and, of course, lover. As ever, we dined on another exquisitely prepared meal, which featured a George staple – asparagus and another sublime sauce with the right accompanying wine. At this dinner, however, George began opening up and told me of a murder at University of Toronto where he taught printmaking; it was a murder, George shared, for which he was a major suspect. For the next couple of hours, I watched George come undone as he talked of how unrelenting the authorities were in surveilling him. At one point, as he slumped in the chair across the table from me, George sprang back to life and said that he wanted to apologise; said George, all the years of hearing me speak of the insidiousness of racism and the effects it had on one’s wellbeing, he had dismissed and for that he wanted to apologise.

George trembled at times and he seemed to age before my eyes. Keenly, I kept a raptor’s gaze fixed on his every move. Never once throughout that dinner did I fail to look out for George’s right index and middle fingers’ movements; they never once quivered. George shared that he was terrified of sleeping because he constantly suffered nightmares of losing everything with his being pinned with the murder, going to and dying in jail. George said that he constantly felt as though his every action was being monitored, analysed to discern whether he was the murderer or not. Getting up, I went and knelt at his side at the dining room table and held him, hugged him. I let him know that I was there for him. Slumping forward, George hugged me and dissolved in tears, we both cried. I cried because I realised that there was no way that George could ever be passionate again; there could be no sleepovers – he talked constantly during sleep.

George and I never met at his condo again. Walking away that evening, I was struck by how neutered and consumed with fear George had become. At one point during dinner, with his back turned whilst cooking dinner, one of my notoriously loud sneezes exploded. Though George had heard that loud explosion countless times before, he responded as though a high speed train had unexpectedly zoomed past. George and I seldom spoke by phone and rarely emailed after that dinner. As a matter of fact, apart from meeting twice to catch a movie, we only saw each other whenever I turned up at Dr. Tsang’s. It was one of these visits – whenever I went to the doctor’s, George happened to have been there, George shared that he had cancer. I was stunned. Over time, George’s stomach became more distended, his look more wounded and what pained me most, was how much he remained as if possessed, thanks to having been a major suspect in the murder of a colleague.

After dinner, as I made to leave and we hugged long and hard, we then looked at Pink Chair, another of his masterpieces, George kissed me and said that whatever happened, it was mine; George wanted the piece to eventually become mine but for now, he was holding on to it because it reminded him of the passion we shared and how intensely I had inspired him to create and drove him, drove each other mad with the passion we shared. Getting down to Borden, I was so immensely drained at George’s despair that I walked with bike a block south to Adelaide, hailed a cab, securely tucked the bike in the trunk and silently wept on the ride home. I got in, lit beeswax candles everywhere, listened to Haydn’s Paris Symphonies, then had an extra hot soak in the tub with rose petals and Epsom salt, smudged my home afterwards with sagebrush, crawled into the pyramid, gathered crystals and upped my frequency whilst collapsing through the labiate folds of sleep’s sweet, welcome embrace. George died a dozen years after my return to living in Toronto from Montréal, and all attempts to acquire Pink Chair have proven unsuccessful. A lover scorned… indeed.

As ever, Life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Pluto in Capricorn and in Opposition – Pandemic and Retribution.

Last February as I made my way by subway to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing arts, the season’s latest opera was on that night – of course, what I then did not know, was that the rest of the opera season would eventually be cancelled – the most jarring thing occurred. A young Amerindian male with the glossiest black mane, took two steps back on the TTC train platform and dropped his black gym bag. “Are you fucking talking to me? No bitch, I’m talking to you! Did I invite you into my country?” The rage and the booming power of his voice was arresting. The tall effete Caucasian male tried brushing him off as though he were so much raped and abandoned non-whitedom. Before I knew what next, The five-foot-nothing, proud Amerindian punched his adversary square in his girly man face. Crying out like a right candy-arsed sissy, the Caucasian weakly protested, all whilst rushing backwards. My proud Amerindian brother was just getting started. Of course, I, who have grown soft for making peace with being a black male in this racially suffocating society, cried out when the first punch landed. Bam, another punch to the face as the much shorter warrior defended his land, his people, pride and history. “Yeah you, did I fucking invite you to my country?” and another blow. Bloodied and cowering, the all-mouth, cowardly closet cocksucker was resoundingly handed his arse and put in his rightful place.

The opera, Hansel & Gretel, was beautifully staged – set in the stark isolation of Toronto condo living. I was, though, never fully engaged as I spent the next several days readjusting to having had that young warrior shaman heal my spirit by his very proud actions and the conviction of his words. The next several days, I kept returning to the incident with the proud Amerindian. My reaction at the time had stunned me and in hindsight, I kept revisiting why I chose to be so upset at the attack on the arrogant male, who was being pummelled. He had taunted and dismissed the Amerindian male – a socially aggressive behaviour from whites with which one was long familiar. I realised that so many times in situations as then, we as blacks are programmed to sublimate and ‘take it’ rather than defending oneself from the hideous ugliness of the spiritually stunted.

Then something quite remarkable happened, the murderous lynching of George Floyd in callously stark veracity that cell phone ubiquity has afforded in the modern age. The event was seismic; the raw brutality of the racial predator on the hunt was so glaring, so jarring that it set ablaze protests across the planet. Indeed, the cell phone, like the beating of Rodney King, has been able to capture the ugliness that is whiteness which prior to, meant that one could lie away and grin away with exquisite triumphant glee, fucking with the enemy – an enemy on whom one preys never having been preyed on by that enemy. Slowly, the exoskeleton with which one straitjackets oneself in order to make peace and to be a black man peacefully making it through one day to the next, began losing its grip.

Scenes like in the early days of lockdown 2020, I was in line at Pusateri’s at Yorkville Avenue and Bay Street to pick up a couple of bottles of VOSS water. Old, ugly as fuck, the woman in line ahead of me turned around and began screaming at the top of her hateful lungs in a scene that could easily have been played by her in South Africa. She demanded that I get the hell away from her because I was clearly not practising proper social distancing and remaining more than two metres apart. Of course, this had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic but everything to do with her seizing an opportunity to be a hate-filled racist boor. As much as I wanted to readily turn rapaciously vituperative and tell her to try 2 metres below ground; instead, I took two operatic steps back and coolly and eloquently boomed with scathing condescension, “Look at you! On your hind legs and everything! Seriously though…” With that, after having laughed a vulgar dismissive breath, I impatiently strode to the back of the line to be rid of the fugly parvenu boor. Everyone, staff and clients, froze. She, of course, squawked and grumbled as I focussed my discriminating attention to a conversation via Whatsapp video about dinner with my transitioning spouse at our art-filled home, who on the eve of Bob Marley’s birthday, two decades earlier, I wedded at Montréal’s Palais de Justice both decked in gold-threaded, crisp white linen Yoruba agbada with her a matching gele. As can be expected of cowardly fare, the anaemic-looking young couple now two metres in front of me, simply ignored the social dustup by hungrily face-fucking in their best escapist Bonobo turn. Naturally, the old harpy got from the line to kvetch to whomsofuckingever and when the cashier asked if I wanted a bag, I declined, telling her that I would rather be kind on the environment. Turning to leave the tightly spaced store, I paused and shot down her evil glare by raising both VOSS waters, one in each hand, and shouted, L’Chaim! That ought to have left her pissy knickers smelling louder on leaving the store.

Soon enough, the acts of racially predatory social aggression became more frequent and pronounced. There was the incident one cool morning where a hirsute covering of blond furred redhead stopped jogging in front of me, grabbed a hold of my bike’s handlebar and began screaming as though I were both blind and deaf as he demanded that I keep the hell off the sidewalk. It wasn’t enough that cell phones had exposed their murderous ugliness but as though to protest, whites have grown more emboldened with the affront of blacks and Black Lives Matter movement to demonstrate and demand change.

By early June last year, 2020, I had had enough, each morning on the ride to work through tony Rosedale, I was being accosted by various burghers of the beautifully tree-lined streets – then again, which Toronto residential neighbourhood street is not beautifully tree-lined. There was one Jew in particular, who caused me to go out and get the above bodycam. Each morning, as I am a creature of habit, he was in the habit of leaving the sidewalk to come into the middle of the street, approach as I bike-ride to pepper me with hideous racial slurs and demand that I keep the hell out of the neighbourhood. Good morning, Shithead! Good morning you black piece of shit. Get out of here! Finally, one morning, having quite had enough of him and his special brand of ugliness of spirit, I told him to go fuck himself to which he incredulously demanded at the top of his lungs, unlike his usually sotto voce delivered insults as he approached the bike, “Get back here! Get back here now! I’m talking to you. Come back here now!” The nerve of some people. That last incident occurred on a Friday and thank god for Jeff Bezos, by Monday, I had me a bodycam. So as my special kind of fugly, hairy back and arsed nuisance came bopping off the sidewalk, ready to be racial predatory white male asshole number 1 billion, 500 million and 99, he caught sight of my bodycam, lights on and all, and like the bipedal, über poilu Rottweiler-hybrid that he is, he readily retreated for the cover of the sidewalk. I have never seen him since and, of course, I had ignored everyone’s advice to take another route to work. What the fuck for? As I am born in the year of the Rat, I am no different to any other rat; we live firmly self-aware that rats fear no one.

A few months back in between spells of too much snow, I abandoned my bike and elected to take a ride. On the way home, as I go from job A to job B, I told the unibrowed, wild-eyed driver that I was in a bit of a hurry and would show him a shortcut to my place. He again said nothing, just as he hadn’t as I got into his ride and said hello. Though, I wore a colourful silk mask over the daily disposable N-95 mask, his shitty ride I swear, smelt like what no doubt just-fucked camel pussy does. Told to take a left off Yonge onto Roxborough, finally not surprised was I when he proved a short-tempered fuck whose pointy fingers on that wheel had me dismissing him as so much forgettable small-cocked fare. He barked rather than spoke that he followed the GPS, which had called out to make a left onto Crescent so many metres ahead south down Yonge Street. Thus, we ventured, clearly grudgingly for him, along Roxborough and as we approached, I announced that I wanted him to make a right turn onto Wrentham to Crescent. Immediately, the über-poilu beast, which made me think Ursa hybrid, stepped on the gas drove east past Wrentham, down the hill and pulled onto Mount Pleasant without so much as having looked left in the process. As it was rush hour, there would be no left turns south of Bloor along Jarvis which Mount Pleasant becomes before Gerrard Street East or possibly Shuter Street East. To be sure, I was more than a little bit pissed off when telling the inbred, short-fused jackass to turn off of Mount Pleasant, onto Elm and turn right at Sherbourne North as had been intended. “You fucking idiots, who the hell are you people to talk to anybody like you own something?” Then he violently broke the car, just north of South Drive and demanded that I get out of his car. Coolly, I got out and left the door open and when he swore at me and demanded I shut his fucking door now, I told him I thought I would do him a favour and air it out, seeing as how it stunk of camel… the camel-fucker did not, of course, get the insult. Readily, I pulled out my camera and told him, ‘yeah come out here and get some of this.’ He got out of his shitty little car, cut the beady eyes at me, slammed the door shut, told me and my people to go fuck ourselves to which I replied, “happy black history month to you, too…” By the time I got onto Sherbourne North, my Samsung S20 had died. Naturally, thanks to coronavirus, I had no cash and there was no way to call a cab or Uber. In this neck of the woods, a random taxi was a nonstarter.

Foreground Bloor & Parliament in St. James Town, to right distance, Yorkville, Centre distance, One Bloor East currently tallest condo at 76 storeys, at Yonge & Bloor, Centre mid-distance Sherbourne to Church (east to west) Upper Gay Village or more pretentiously south Yorkville (ha!).

Doggedly, I decided to simply walk it home, just as I got unto the Sherbourne Street bridge, I began experiencing an anxiety attack. Years earlier, I had witnessed someone leap from the Jacques Cartier bridge that spans the St. Lawrence in Montréal. Suddenly, out of nowhere as anxiety attacks tend to function, I was in the grips of crippling fear. I knew that there was no way that I could cross the bridge, even to try and make it back seemed a feat, there was a sudden desire to start running, which I knew that I could not do. A young Amerindian couple in the city, for the first time it turned out, crossed the bridged, going south on the west side – same as me. I explained my dilemma and asked if they would call me a cab. The proud warrior-looking man, barely into his 20s insisted that I simply conquer my fear by walking beside him and his beautiful girlfriend. I tried…. I wanted to. I could not, though, as I began shaking… just the sheer weight of why I was there in the first place simply for being black and asking the driver to take a preferred route – it all seemed so absurd, yet it is an indignity that one endures at every turn in a million ways every frigging day in this society. The warmest eyes winked at me as he smiled and the Beck taxi came up the bridge made a U-turn and the young warrior closed the door on me, wishing me well. Eventually, I got home late and when I was done job B where I fundraise in the arts and remain unrivalled, I wrote a detailed account of my ride with the bigot who kicked me from his car and was summarily refunded. As if Jazz the blasted motherfuck were invented by unibrowed, camel-fucking, hairy back-and-arsed dreck.

Days later, and still black history month, I was riding my bike through the wet streets of Rosedale where the snow melted fast after the latest snowfall. As I emerged onto Crescent Road from the footpath which Scrath becomes, to cross the bridge that spans Mount Pleasant Road, a white female in a black, skin-tight, jogging suit was way in back of a group of jogging white males whom I had seen with fair regularity. She was clearly not part of their group. Jogging in the street as she was, she moved to the side as I approached and then with the arrogance of the truly somnambulant, aggressively called after me in a tone that was both accusatory and possessive as I moved past, “Excuse me, where are you going?” That morning, I happened not to be wearing my bodycam as when I got downstairs, realised that the snow had sufficiently melted such that I could actually ride my bike rather than take a cab. Without so much as missing a beat, I broke hard and stood straddling my bike when reaching into the shallow depths of her sphinctered psyche, “I’m going to your house to fuck your man!” She stood there arrested, catatonic as my use of language was both vulgar, rapacious. “That’s right, I’m gonna hog-tie that fucking cocksucker of yours and fuck him good… Yeah, you wanna come watch? Come on!” Arrested in place, her eyes welled up as mine remained unflinchingly enraged, her lizard-thin upper lip actually trembling. With that, I resumed riding my bike to job A to which I was already running late. In this the age of Trump, some whites at every chance, turn racially predatory at the drop of a hat.

Then there are the casket fugitives; these blasted tiresome, overstayed boomers, who simply will not stop showing off and just crawl the fuck in their caskets. What other generation but boomers would find a new way to show-off in their smelly diapers and drug-wasted dotage? They, these lost souls forever hurrying about way off-piste, are ever bitching and at times raising their silly poles at me, demanding that I not ride on pathways but dismount and walk. Once confronted by a turkey-necked mannish boor, I leaned in and asked near-inaudibly, “Don’t you tire of breathing? Go on, go chill the fuck out in your casket”

And then November 3, 2020 turned into January 6, 2021 as that porcine pathological compulsive liar – America’s biggest loser and racist swine, finally left the stage with crooked tail between his fat thighs with the Eurotrash escort cum parvenu snob in tow. The cold-blooded murder of George Floyd, staged or simply instinctual racially predatory behaviour, like the big fat coward that he is, having miserably failed at leading and taking command of the pandemic, Trump latched on to the murder of George Floyd to win the vote. That’s right, it was all about not haemorrhaging the white vote; thus it became all about cops and law and order – all code language for white privilege and racist white supremacy. Well, it did not fucking work! Fuck you!

Not only did Trump fail to steal the vote by declaring Marshall law and leading an insurrection on the Capitol, he and his racist ilk’s poster boy for racially predatory murderous scum was convicted on all three counts. George Floyd’s murder occurred at the Pluto opposition in Capricorn and thus the past four hundred years of murderous racially predatory blood sport of blacks finally led to George being anointed as the One. That’s right, for the first time in 400 years, a cop has been found guilty of the murder of a black male. For blacks, America the past 400 years has been nothing but a giant game reserve where they are hunted with the arrogant impunity of police getting off time and again when murdering blacks. Let that sink in for a moment. America the land where whites can murder whilst dressed up in the hunting gear of the police uniform – all the while, other whites the world over perpetually on holiday having predatory sex with minors whilst everyone looks the other way. Thanks to his murder, and trophy-hunting racial predator Chauvin having been found guilty of murder, George Floyd became a martyr who has broken the long 400 year tradition of the justice system in America condoning the racially predatory murder of blacks at the hands of police. Pluto in Capricorn indeed. The hijacked American justice system where blacks are corralled to spike the profit margins for BlackRock shareholders… talk about genius, indeed.

Always… with every breath… it is quintessentially Jazz!

Recent ride through Rosedale because of whose venal classist/racist aggression, I have taken to wearing the bodycam. As ever, Jazz permeates my every breath; how could it not when my father’s first cousin, the recently deceased actor Cicely Tyson was wife of Jazz genius Miles Davis? A new friend with lots of past-life history, asked why I am always singing the same Jazz tune when cycling; it is a form of meditation, I shared, as I move from job A to job B. By vocalesing and singing a favourite Jazz tune, I am getting refocussed to the task next in hand – fundraising in the arts… at which I am damn good. In the above clip, at the 06:24 mark, one can clearly see the septuagenarian white female with bags in hand, walking north in the southbound bike lane. Likely she chose to do so to avoid being too close to persons on the kerb. Either way, her choice and no business of mine. Minutes as I got further down Sherbourne Street, at which point, I had stopped recording, as I was now going south in the northbound bike lane a total of 3 white female passing, violently yelled and called me every kind of asshole imaginable. White females are ten times more likely than white males to be verbally abusive in such situations; however, non-white, non-black males and females almost never engage in such predatory social aggression. The idea that I am going to time-waste by yelling at someone for simply going in the opposite direction of the usual flow of bike traffic in a given lane is beyond absurd. So fucking what? Last winter before getting the bodycam, there was a white male in early forties with about 4% body fat running north in the northbound bike lane along the Sherbourne Street bridge. As I approached at a leisurely pace, I could tell that he was wearing air buds and not wanting to surprise him simply rode pass saying and doing nothing. Shocked, though not surprised, was I when he upped his jogging pace and began running alongside on my right. Yelling as though a drill sergeant, he began calling me an asshole and demanded to know why I had not used my fucking bell when passing him. Not jogging on the kerb was he, nor was he jogging towards oncoming bike and vehicular traffic; yet, he and his perceptions had perceived me as being at fault for riding alongside and passing him without having given him warning of my approach. This world is overrun by truly blind assholes, very well-armed, truly blind assholes.

A few days ago as I hopped off my bike with time to kill between jobs A & B, I slipped into the reconstituted shrine to Canadian ice hockey which became the flagship store of Loblaws, another of the Weston family’s retail gems. On entering, there was a police officer just inside – a new pandemic feature. Tall, handsome and of South Pacific heritage, the male officer engagingly greeted me, willingly, I ambled over and he commended me on the bodycam. Said he, every person of colour ought to be wearing one; indeed, I agreed, it amazingly affords one peace of mind and a harassment free ride about town. He laughed when told of how hostile the burghers of Rosedale can be, adding that he was not surprised in the least at the account of in-your-face open bigotry.

With nimble vivacity me and my paniers whisked through the place, emerging minutes later with organic ginger, beautifully pungent organic turmeric, Ocean Spray’s Cran-Grape drink – this drink screams sugar is the drug y’all – and of course, the most exquisite cheddar cheese. Whether at tea, with pâté or dark chocolate, the President’s Choice (Loblaws house brand) aged 5 years crumbly cheddar cheese is as musky and satisfying as a full Moon night spent indulging rugged mansex in the moss-saturated bois of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Slipping outside, as I loaded up my paniers on my trusty brown Schwinn Gateway, the four bottles of VOSS water made the paniers hard to close shut – larger than the VOSS available in Yorkville, who needs Pusateri’s and Yorkville’s parvenu pretentious bullshit anyway?

As ever, life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

4.3.4 = 11

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Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex has the most masterful numbers. She does, indeed, have master numbers: 11. Look at those eyes, the eyes of Queen Mother, to HM King Henry VI, grandmother to HM King Henry VIII and great-grandmother to HM Queen Elizabeth I. She has staying power, thanks to those double 4s and with an attitude of 3, she is renowned for being most articulate and a skilled communicator of the message.

4 – focussed, solid, self-made, resolute, inner-directed, reincarnated with an agendum.

3 – attitude of 3 – gracious living, the great communicator, when one speaks others listen. There is only win-win, failure is never an option for these persons. Incidentally, Ben Mulroney is an attitude of 3, which is why he is a gracious interviewer – non-confrontational. Also, I have noticed that a lot of persons who planned a life in the public sphere tend to have 9 and 3 in their make up, as in both HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his lovely wife, Catherine, HRH Duchess of Cambridge. Incidentally, these three persons, Ben and the Cambridges would have been very relaxed in each others company and true to her 9 energy body, Catherine would likely have made a dig at her husband along the lines, ‘He certainly has a great head of hair…’ As it is perfectly naturally for straight men to be attracted to each other, they would not be human if they did not, both men would have been pleasantly warmed by the other’s make-up with their similar 9 and 3. Catherine and Ben both are 9 energy body; they would have found each other more than passingly fascinating. Catherine is a warrior which means that she will always be steely; as for Ben, don’t know his overleaves but I am guessing that he is more so on the expression axis rather than not – an artisan or sage soul. In my experience, whereas 9 women can be extremely rude and dismissive, 9 men are reserved and not given to readily passing judgment.

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There is also the matter of Catherine, HRH Duchess of Cambridge being in perseverance mode, which is as unrelenting a foe as you can ever imagine, on top of which she is a warrior. This woman was born to be Queen Consort and that’s the end of that, there will be no Camilla rewriting the script. Interestingly enough, both Diana, Princess of Wales’ sons are wedded to very strong women – as well they should be. In both cases, both couples are entity mates, which is as good a partnering as one can hope for. Meghan, however, with double 4s and master number of 11 is here to rule as when previously she had as Queen Mother and Tudor dynasty matriarch.

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Not only is 11 a master number but it also leaves all such persons lone wolves, regardless how popular they are. This explains why Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex will faster-than-a-sneeze dispense with persons when need be. And yes, she has every damn right to be done with the blasted dreck that do not know the meaning of family: honour, fealty, discretion. I am, where the master number 11 is concerned, just such a person… 2.1.8 = 11. Of course, like Catherine, HRH Duchess of Cambridge that attitude of 1 means that I am more inclined to be shy and reserved than ‘on’. At least that was the rule when Merlin was incarnate and we were together. Now, more of the 11 comes to the fore and I simply give two-fucks and sound off loudly and most articulately.

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Recently, owing to a host of prickly transits, to say nothing of the mercury retrograde, I have found myself beset with some entanglements that have provoked the less polished side of my Venus/Uranus conjunction. This all began around the time that I wrote the blog about that blasted tarbaby frog finally showing his true colours. I had no less than 8 French Canadians getting up in my business, demanding that I delete aforementioned blog and that these were the indiscretions of youth. Bitch please! After having lived in Montréal for seven years with the best task companion/comrade-in-arms an equally seventh level mature soul, though, she a warrior, we gave as good as we got. Of course, said warrior became my wife at Palais du Justice on Bob Marley’s birthday in 1999. Today, we remain the best of friends and she now he, has a fully beard than I have ever sported…. alas, I digress. A couple of weeks ago, I was being regaled by my sister who lives in Nevis about my mother’s cousin whose funeral it was that day. She died at age 107 and was attended by quite the turn out with le tout Nevis’ elites in tow. Though I have never met, her great-granddaughter was part of the descendants who eulogised the grand dame; that great-granddaughter was Mel B (Scary Spice) of Spice Girls fame. I have though several times met my fathers cousin, the inimitable and truly regal, Cicely Tyson, wife of Jazz genius, Miles Davis a man who did not gladly suffer people who hate him or his race…. as well he damn ought to have.

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As I entered the little school in my neighbourhood, a spry spirit who always is good for a laugh, beamed on seeing me as he sat on his scooter with equally situated mates and inquired, “And who will you be voting for?” to which I shot back, “You can damn well bet it won’t be for no blasted motherfucking, cocksucking tarbaby-arsed frog!” raucous laughter peppered the air as I went in and voted conservative for the first time in my life. Enough of that sissy-arsed twat, who is nothing more than Modi’s pappishow with his displaced femme au foyer, fag-hag frau, Madame Plotte-Visage herself, who looks more and more each day like Tammy Faye Bakker. You don’t like black people… go fuck yourself… god only knows, you did not invent Jazz!

Days earlier en route home with my little suitcase in tow, I got up off the bench to take the Wellesley 94 bus eastbound to my art-filled lair. The bus pulled in and queerly parked such that the back door was a good three feet away – I have never seen the appeal of metric… nothing beats knowing whether you are dealing with 9.5 or 10.5 inches! Though my suitcase was too heavy, I was prepared to step off the platform to make for the rear doors, yet, the doors did not open. Finally, I joined the Dravidian male who had been waiting to board the rear doors as well. When I got to the front door, noisily pulling my suitcase, I looked up stunned as the doors slammed shut just as I was getting ready to board. The doors then opened after the driver looked at me with a smug smirk creasing her lizard-lipped face. I got in and as ever, I said thank you. As I progressed towards the double seats by the rear door, the bus suddenly broke, causing me to lurch forward. Taking it all in stride, I opted not to assume anything by this trio of events which most blacks would see after the third incident as being racially provocative. Up the couple of steps I got with my heavy suitcase; this only made me realise my advancing years as suddenly the urge to pee came on. I had switched from Bleu par Chanel a couple of years back when senior leak suddenly meant that after five minutes Bleu fades and gives way to god forbid that most malodourous of bouquets: loud-smelling, dribbled piss. Now it is Christian Dior’s Sauvage as the scent lingers and dissipates any provoked thoughts of raunchy water sports.

Having made my way to the back seat, there were all told less than a dozen souls on the bus. On arriving at the first stop from the station, the driver got up at Church Street. I thought that there must be someone wheelchair bound, trying to board, hence she got from her seat to assist. As I was otherwise engaged in thoughts libidinal and what I’d like to do with that burly mesomorph at work, whose woman just upped and left him, I remained focussed on artisan channels 3 to 5 instead. Just then, I noticed the bus driver step up the two steps and make it towards me, seated at the centre of the bus’ long back seat. Leaning her, her nasty-looking perm straight out of the 90s, she gruffly barked at me in a manner that suggested that couth had ever been foreign to her. “Look, everybody has bad days okay. There’s no need to swear at me.” I said nothing, looking instead past her as the thought occurred to me that the bus was being driven by duppy incarnate. Since my name ain’t Shaneequa, I remained calm and looked up at a face warped uglier by rage, which I also found uncomfortably too close. I was hemmed in. “Get off my bus or I call the police!” As I chose to say nothing or move a single muscle, she got even more incandescent with irrationally unprovoked rage, “That’s it get off my bus now, I’m calling the police!” As she turned to walk away, it gave a good look at her flat-arsed, no-calved god fugly hideousness and I got up and began making it for the bus’ front doors. As I slowly strode for the front doors, I expertly memorised her bus ID and every detail of slender hipped, extra-vertebrae-looking alien body and realised that she was likely trans; either way, just then a definite non sequitur. For once, I said nothing on exiting and as I really needed to pee, thought of hailing a cab when noticing another bus directly in back of the scene of my misadventure. I got aboard, said hello to the driver, a guapo Filipino and grabbed a seat on the even less populated bus. Also, I memorised the ID information associated with his bus. On exiting the bus, as per usual, I said thanks and exchanged pleasantries. As soon as I got situated at home, with Buster on my lap purring away, I took to the TTC’s site and chose the tab that allows for filing complaints. In exquisite detail, as well you are I shared what occurred and confidently knew that at no point would any of the bus’ cameras capture me saying anything to the female driver. She is, as per her contract, never to leave her seat nor confront a passenger. I have never seen her since.

Well in the grip of Mercury retrograde, I strolled into one of many little joints which I love frequenting as I like chatting with the proprietors and in the process, giving them my business. On close to a decade of frequenting this particular store, where I picked up a lottery ticket or two, my bike was leaning against the row of sugary treats, I turned just in time to see an old weathered hag out on Yonge Street beadily gawking in and cutting her hateful eyes at me. Possessed of some right afforded her by god only knows fuck-all whom – the blasted motherfuck, she bounded into the store, well into her ninth decade and looking and smelling of ill-health and poverty, “Get that goddamn bike outta here.” I was wearing my helmet with lights attached front and back in broad daylight as one does. Without so much as missing a beat, I launched into her with a ferocity, she likely had never before encountered, which is why she felt perfectly entitled to take such liberties. “Get your fucking ugly arse out of here, go the fuck to Wal-Mart make your way to the back of the store and tell them I sent you to put a down paying on your fucking casket as you are obviously too fucking poor to afford to die all this time…” Never having had her racially predatory behaviour challenged before, she stood there suddenly catatonic. “Go on, here you go, start that fucking down paying today…” with that, I tossed the few coins in my pocket at her feet and barged on in full throttle loud, vituperativeness. “Pick it the fuck up, high time your fucking ugly, broke arse and casket were lowered into the ground. Come in here opening your motherfucking lizard-lipped mouth, barking at me. Pick it the blasted motherfuck up and crawl the fuck in your casket.” She tried to weakly say something to which I kept up my defense against being racially preyed on, “Shut up and die, go on… scoot. There’s no need for your fuck-all ugly, broke arse, smelly cunt hanging around… get the fuck off the planet.” Never ever during a mercury retrograde will this venus-uranus leo hold his tongue when being racially preyed on. Faster than the loudest sneeze, I rammed my fist up her rotting arse, yanked and ripped at her calcified soul, pulled it out, wiped arse with it, then slapped her silly in the face before making her gag on a soul being held hostage by her useless maudlin existence. I have become so less inclined to tolerate this perpetual abuse which we as blacks endure on a daily basis yet pretend as though it does not exist. There are, though, times when you need to protest. Back in 1988 after meeting Wayne Robson’s firstborn, as I moved south down the west side of Bond Street to go visit Merlin at St. Michael’s Hospital who was suffering his first bout of AIDS-related pneumocystis, I screamed at the top of my lungs at an old Caucasian female who on noticing me began hurriedly crossing to the east side of Bond, “I don’t want your fucking handbag…” Never ceases to amaze the arsenal of behaviour that non-blacks project onto us as they get their racially predatory fix: sniffing, outright ridicule, dragging feet, yawning, bumping into you, blowing cigarette smoke in your direction… those are the passive racially predatory acts. More often, it is like that act in the convenience store, so racially obsessed that one feels oneself perfectly entitled to project that ignorance in a malicious, accusatory, bullying manner towards blacks. Indeed, ever notice the inordinate number of overweight blacks; they like all persons who were sexually preyed on in their early years more often than not develop eating disorders.

With Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex’s lynching daily in print media, social media and just about everywhere else, I have become increasing intolerant of any and all such BS. Do not because I am black start, apropos of fuck-all nothing, braying about how much you hate and can’t stand that Meghan bitch as if the blasted fuck these arsewipes know the woman. Out of the blue someone whom I thought had long made the only logical move viable to her sorry arse and crawled into her casket, called up trying for the nth time to get me to start today and join that pyramid scheme of hers for which she is ever travelling to some rah-rah seminar and on the cusp of getting rich yet still ain’t and needs you to join this very day; this, I can assure you, is about as appealing as trying to get me to bed some moneyed old fuck with a micro penis and bad breath. Nah… I’m all about the dharma.

Last summer everyone called up, demanding to know if I were not going to the Raptors championship parade. Hell no! Crowds you say… not happening. The day of the parade, I kept being called up by excited friends, asking me if I was watching and wasn’t it phenomenal. Very matter of factly, I declared to one, “When these fucking Goys do Yom Kippur, they certainly do know how to go all out.” Of course, after having explained myself days later at a dinner party, the point was well taken. This is a country with soft ethnic cleansing of blacks: negative immigration and population growth, a entrenched history of employment discrimination, which sees blacks being ghettoised in casual positions in the work place, especially at crown corporations (government-owned) – I have worked at two: Canada Post and the Toronto Convention Centre; in the case of the former, I arrived in Montréal from Vancouver to find myself the first full-time black in the work place; as fighting is nothing but foreplay in my books, I organised a lone Haitienne and got her to file a Human Rights complaint which she won. This resulted in back pay and all the mostly Haitian blacks awarded full-time and back pay where they had served as casual for 5, 10, 15 years. Naturally, the messenger/lightning rod always comes into someone cross-hairs. At one point, where they tried firing me the local union president told me to go to hell and go back to Canada; thus, I ventured into my firing interview with a lawyer in tow – had never happened before and was not then fired after multiple frantic calls to Ottawa to find out how to deal with him. Before being fired, that blasted porcine pequiste fucker decided to avail himself of my tax dollars by running in the federal election, thankfully he did not win but when he tried two years later, I wrote to Jack Layton who had frequented our Cabbagetown home in the 80s when we lived next door to a rather parvenu and highly snobbish Alfred Sung and informed Mr. Layton that if he did not withdraw that vile racist, my lawyer and I would go to the media and expose him – the letter of course was cced to all the other federal party leaders. In the end, the Bloc Quebecois thanked me for the letter and ran a black Haitienne in the riding from which the union head was summarily dropped and that Haitienne, Ms. Bardot won her seat, only to be replaced in Papineau riding by that blasted, racist tarbaby-arsed frog… but I digress. Two million persons cheering on black excellence when this is a country that actively eradicates any participation of blacks in its cultural fabric – hello JazzFM where you would be dismissed as stupid for thinking that Jazz is black culture. Sure, there are window-dressing blacks in the TV medium but they are not the norm. Not a single prominent Canadian protested and demanded that the vile racist politician resign when his blackface past emerged. Naturally, his people stridently argued in his defense. Would that these ungrateful fucks who hold the country to ransom would finally fuck off and leave. No one outside of Québec, who does not work in the government, is remotely bilingual. Seven years of living in Montréal made one thing perfectly clear: theirs, by its sheer ubiquity is nothing more than a northern confederate flag… and they certainly are possessed of unapologetic xenophobia. The only people deserving of having a party in the Canadian parliament, which not all Canadians can vote for, are the First Nations and Inuit peoples.

Back in late 1982 whilst Merlin and I held up in the Trockadero loft in Manhattan’s Chelsea on Sixth Avenue below 23rd Street, I got in one evening after looking at rehearsal of the Nanette Bearden Dance Company, to find Merlin having dinner and strategising with Jim Henson. As they shared the same agent, Joyce Ketay, they were prepping and throwing around ideas for how to thematically film the series, Fraggle Rock which would be shot in the coming new year in Toronto at CBC’s studios. Merlin had made his favourite dish a chicken paprikash which John Hirsch had taught him. Joining them, I dug in to what was my favourite of Merlin’s prepared meals. I will always remember Jim saying, “first you start with a compliment and then you hang back and listen, listen to what’s said but most of all, what is not said…” Sage advise that I have always followed. What I love about us artisan souls is that we always reveal our nature and the fact that we input on five channels whenever we speak. Listen to Naomi Campbell in her acceptance speech for the CFDA Icon Award. Straight out of left field in the tenth minute, she remarks, “God my lips are dry… sorry.” No other soul but an artisan soul would shift subjects so abruptly so seamlessly and carry on without so much as missing a beat. This quirk of ours, mine, Naomi, Meghan and every last artisan soul who has ever breathed, makes for a master tactician and someone not easily understood or shaken. With a destiny number that proves master numbers like Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex, she is a 11 – she is a diamond through and through and why HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales refers to her as Tungsten.

As ever, life is like a flying dream; if you look down, you’re fucked. Enjoy the ride and fear no one!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

Buster En Repose Pyramid Green Room.

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(L to R,) Yonge Street Mask (George Hawken Lithograph 1971), Pink Chair (George Hawken Lithograph 1990 of yours truly; there are only three copies in existence) Woman (George Hawken Lithograph 1980) Sockeye Salmon (Bill Reid Lithograph 1991), Four Standing Figures (Henry Moore Lithograph 1978) 

Buster is a really keen familiar.  Recently, someone of dubious intentions visited my home; needless to say, I had dreamt of the encounter days prior.  As he spends long hours therein, Buster came from the pyramid and promptly hissed at the individual then returned to the pyramid where no doubt, he communed with his Egyptian ancestors.  He only ever enters the pyramid at the eastern corner and when meditating will face one of the four corners in the sphinx position and remain thus for long hours.  

Buster loves that duvet; therefore, year round I have to sleep with one.  Now that it is summer, I avoid roasting beneath the down duvet by having the AC on high 24/7.  Bad carbon footprint; then again, I don’t drive.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

The Fawn… It Definitely Was A Miracle.

Merlin Christmas 88

On this the eve of what would have proven Merlin’s 72nd birthday, I share these rather totemic dreams.  This November 18, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of Merlin’s passing of full-blown AIDS, on a cold November Saturday morning when icy snowflakes aimlessly drifted across the city streets.  Whilst at dinner recently, a dear friend asked if I am never saddened at the loss of Merlin and if I ever do miss him. Of course, as I write this blog, I am warmed by the fact that on December 2, 2006 – almost 13 years ago, Merlin was reincarnated in a canalled northern European city.  Merlin is now female and the third of three children – two older brothers. 

What’s more, Merlin reborn has eyes that would now be even more phenomenal than when last I gazed besotted and rhapsodic into those large, soulful hazel eyes.  Whereas Merlin was on his sixth life as a seventh level mature scholar soul, now reincarnated and female that soul is now living its first incarnation as a first level old scholar. These next dreams were dreamt in May, 1989 when Merlin was then still incarnate and at that point, he daily listened to the audiocassette recording of my dreams.  This he did because they fascinated him; more than that, he did so because ever the director, he was keen to give insight and direction. 

“Come on, Arvin, you have to be more descriptive.  I have no idea if the car was blue, green, for that matter a convertible and was it a tan or white leather interior?” 

Certainly, it can never be underestimated the pivotal role that Merlin played in the depth and thoroughness of the audiocassette recorded dreams.  He was ever a loving but tough taskmaster and happy am I to have had his loving input and direction. After having listened to the recorded dream being now shared herein, Merlin came to dinner at our 20 Amelia Street home and declared, “Well, let’s not get too caught up in trying to interpret and figure out the symbolism of those dreams.”  After, he winked, we softly kissed; his lips as ever warm and full as internally an unrelenting disease determinedly consumed his body… but never alas his spirit. 

These were potent, lucid astral plane dreams.  To say that they were totemic would be understating fact.  The dreams were a glimpse beyond the veil as Merlin shamanically wound down another incarnation and got ready to put to rest another life. Ever focussed on my spiritual maturation, I am immensely proud to have survived so long after Merlin’s passing.  Had anyone wagered that I would be still in the game 30 years later, I would have said, “You are reading the wrong tea leaves.”  

Well, here I am still shaking arse and the Rathore to the core.  These totemic dreams were dreamt on Monday, May 22, 1989, audiocassette recorded on tape IX of the 250 audiocassette recording of my dreams and yet to be found in Volume one the 25 Volume dream opus. Too, at the time, the Moon then transited both Sagittarius and my seventh house – wherein my natal Moon is posited.  Truly few are they who are brave enough to drink from the chalice that is life. 

Your support and choice to be focussed herein are both humbling and a source of inordinate pride.  I am immensely grateful. Sweet dreams and as ever do remember, death is just a shift in focus; one is merely focussed at a different frequency.  Besides, as one rather beguiling astral plane habituée put it, “Trust me, death is not wasted on the living.”  

Dreams serve as the most expedient conduit for sustaining the bonds and communion of souls between persons who are no longer focussed in the physical plane but refocussed on the astral plane between lives as astral plane habitués whilst resting, reviewing and weaving the tapestry of future incarnations.  So, drink and live in the moment.  Take a deep breath, open your eyes within – don’t be afraid – and there within the silken folds of self is the massive beauty which is spirit.. go on explore and discover the true you.  I love you more. 

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Montpelier Plantation Nevis

The first dream found me posited on a hilltop looking down into a valley which then rose up into a lower hill.  From the vantage of the mountains in Sandy Point, St. Kitts or Nevis, the view was of being down towards the ocean.  Topographically, it seemed more like St. Kitts – however, this was definitely set in Nevis.  I looked out and what did I see but a house on this hill; it was a very huge and lovely house.

Down from the sky, before the house on the rolling plains, fell a column of white light that shimmered.  The manifesting light had the power of a tornado and it was a force that moved… it undulated.  Truth be told, this was a liquefied white light – not unlike a waterspout.  As compared to the left and right sides of the shaft, it was as though the centre of the light was faded.  The centre of the column of light seemed invisible but it wasn’t.  As a matter of fact, it was sort of greyish-coloured.  

*A very fleeting dream this was but it was one that was potent.  The sky overhead was ominously dark as though the cloud cover was simply to mask something else.  There was no getting around the fact that the light was used as some sort of transport or conveyance.  The light was being used for the relay of energies between the house’s occupants, if there were any, and whatever was beyond the clouds.

The dream seemed to have abruptly collapsed because I had happened on the scene.  There was no one else about.  Too, it was the only house on the landscape.  I felt as though I had been ejected, from the dream, for having been there and witnessed what I wasn’t supposed to have been privy to.  The dream collapsed around me; I was deprived any further knowledge of what was going on.  In light of the dream that would follow, it became fairly obvious that the light column was channelling.

Eventually, the astra-human soul quality of Merlin’s would quite potently manifest.  Of course, just as in the dream of Thursday, July 7, 1988VI, again, there was a lone house on the landscape.  As will become evident, in later moments of the dreams, Merlin’s soul quality would manifest.  END.

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Satiro de Aaron Sims

The next dream immediately found me in bed with Merlin.  He got up and he looked very old.  Looking very tired and old, he turned around to me then went out into the hallway.  He turned around and asked me, “When are you going to start moving on because I’d like to die by the end of this year?  When are you going to go back to school?  I’m really tired of this; I’m tired of this illness… I just want to move on.”

He was terribly impatient.  Indeed, Merlin here was very forceful.  That was when he began shapeshifting; Merlin underwent a metamorphosis before my eyes.  He became, as he spoke, more impatient.  I watched spellbound as his physiology morphed into the very astral-looking faun – though elfin-looking, he was taller than his known humanoid self; Merlin became the archetypal Chiron.  I started crying sounding real childlike and said, “No… no!  Please, please don’t!”

His face then became part of the pink walls, thus his transformed face was flesh-toned.  Here his face looked faunlike; his eyes were on the sides.  He had the face of a faun and I only ever saw the right eye.  The eye was black-within-black.  The eye looked down at me because the head – which was the only thing visible when mounted – was up on the wall.  Shapeshifted, Merlin’s was a very hard-looking eye.

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Merlin’s eye rapaciously looked right into the soul.  An ancient eye it was.  I caressed the softness of the fur-like skin and pleaded with him and said, “Please, I can’t live without you.  I couldn’t go on.  Please don’t lose your strength and get ill,” I pleaded with the shapeshifted Merlin and cried.  I was aware of being here in bed asleep whilst dreaming and that my body was going through the motions of crying and being pained.  Merlin did not hear me, although, I thought that as I slept that I was talking aloud in my sleep.

*This was an intensely upsetting dream because it dramatised how Merlin wished to be allowed to move on.  He no longer cared to be focussed in the life.  Though it was obvious that he could have soldiered on for months more, he simply lost the desire to go on being focussed.  Clearly, this was owing to the bilious discord created by Tytanikka and Oleg’s betrayal.

Though he never physiologically resembled the classic centaur, Merlin’s face not only further morphed becoming like a fawn’s, more accurately, his head and face did have the eventual shape of a young bison’s – very Taurean, strong and potent.

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On preparing for the video to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Merlin’s birth back in 2017, I decided then to head off to the costumer, Malabar on McCaul Street where artist and lover George Hawken lived in the late 80s to early 90s.  Inspired by the first dream of Merlin had 41 years ago in July 1978, I decided to get a cowl as a tribute to the cowl Merlin wore in the inaugural dream encounter with him, four years before having met on Friday, October 1, 1982 in New York City.  So, there was I at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Saturday, July 15, 2017 in my cowl and the panama hat purchased at Versailles to escape the heat.  I thought it fitting as Merlin always loved wearing panama hats.

My trusty friend, J.J. who happens to be an artisan entity mate whom I have known in 20 past lives –- which is a high incidence of contact -– was the director.  Initially, I had hoped to throw a white party on the lawn to the southwest of the chapel at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and have a drone film the event where a gathering of friends would raise a glass to Merlin on the anniversary of his ennobled birth.  Merlin always threw a white party each year for his birthday at his parents’ stunning backyard in north Toronto’s Servington Crescent.

The plan was not approved by the cemetery and thus, one had to improvise.  I got my panama hat and my cowl and together, we proceeded with a dozen long-stem white roses to visit Merlin’s resting place.  I had a pretty good idea what I was after.  With the matching white cowl, I wanted to evoke the magic of meeting Merlin in that initial dream which is shared in volume one of the dream memoirs, which is already published: Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey.  

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Get your copy!  Thanks as ever for your support!

In the hardcover edition of human civilisation’s first dream memoirs, the initial dream encounter with Merlin is shared.  The dream begins on page 110 in the hardcover edition.  I wanted the same sense of wonderment and magic that I felt for having met Merlin in that first dream four years prior to having met reflected in the video.  In that dream, Merlin’s appearance was preceded by a white totemic creature which seemed, in its astral plane outréness, to be part Russian wolfhound, part alpaca, part dog.  

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So, moving to the lawn, having descended the steps of the chapel, I began walking across the open lawn towards the statuesque lion-festooned mausoleum with the five remaining white long-stem white roses.  Seven roses, of course, were left at Merlin’s grave -– one rose for each of our seven glorious years together.  As I stepped onto the lawn, it seemed magical… timeless even.  Slowly, confidently as I approached the filmmaker at the other end of the lawn, I thought of Merlin and that initial dream.  

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Just then, I very distinctly thought of Merlin greeting me by purring, “Hello Lambs.”  As if right on cue, from off stage left, an adult deer came from behind the bushes and tombstones that line the far edges of the open lawn.  Never before had I seen a deer at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  Indeed, the good burghers of Forest Hill who clearly regularly jogged in the park-like setting stopped and were overheard remarking that they had never seen a deer in the cemetery before.  All that I could do was tear up and continue walking as the deer then bolted and ran from stage left to right as I continued my stride uninterrupted –- unfazed by the appearance of an adult deer on the grounds of the cemetery.  What is more astounding, is that J.J. at the time was filming my walk; at the last minute, I decided against a run-through as I was concerned about the natural light possibly changing if we were to rehearse the shot.  

Unbeknownst to me, the deer after having made it to stage right, then returned to the centre of the lawn and stood there perfectly still whilst observing my progression across the lawn.  J.J. who was astounded by the occurrence remarked that he had just witnessed a miracle.   There is no doubt in my mind as I tried to recapture the magic of that initial dream encounter that there was a subtle validation of that dream from the magical shaman himself on the other side by having had Merlin’s spirit step in as director emeritus and had the deer enter the shot as validation and a token of his appreciation of the love that we shared and my steadfast loyalty to him.  After crossing the lawn and turning to watch the deer stand there, looking down the lawn at me, I felt such utter peacefulness and abandonment of spirit — just as when alone and intimate in the dark with Merlin.  

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Yes, I believe in magic as did Merlin and as though an appreciation of having stridently done everything to fulfil his mandate to me, Merlin’s astral body conjure up the same magic here and now as he had in July 1978 –- four years before slipping inside a Hell’s Kitchen walk-up and readily winning me over with his sexy elfin charm, magic and sex that proved the most grounding shamanic passion… every time.  Standing there, I was reminded, too, of that dream in 1989 before Merlin passed wherein he shape-shifted and became a fawn-like creature who morphed and became one with the wall in our Cabbagetown home.  

All the music chosen for this 13-minute video is music that Merlin loved whilst incarnate and to which he returned time and again -– whether at Joe Morton’s tiny Upper West Side apartment in autumn of 1983, Toronto’s 20 Amelia Street in tony Cabbagetown.  From Glenn Gould’s mastery of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, to Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick singing That’s What Friends Are For –- in that segment of the video, I included friends whom Merlin valued: Kareem Benezra, myself, Wayne Robson and his oldest and most loyal friend, the ever-gracious, Maxime Gascoigne-de Montigny.

Of course, for Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely, I exclusively included photos of Merlin and his very handsome and gracious father, David Ben-Daniel.  Whereas I favoured Sir Paul McCartney’s Hey Jude, Merlin ever loved George Harrison and especially My Sweet Lord.  Of course, one Saturday, whilst staying at actor, Joe Morton’s Manhattan apartment, when Merlin and I secretly committed to being together, we slow-danced to Supertramp and Roger Hodgson’s unmatched magical vocals on Supertramp’s Breakfast In America.

Additionally, Jeffrey Osborne’s On the Wings of Love which was one of Merlin’s favourite ballads is also included.  Merlin loved Black male soul singers: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Jeffrey Osborne –- most especially –- George Benson, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, Donny Hathaway, Barry White.  Most of all, I am especially proud of the video that J.J. and I have created; I think that it masterfully captures the depth of my love and fealty to the most fabulously magical shaman encountered on this incarnation’s spiritual odyssey.

Naturally, before having left for Mount Pleasant Cemetery, I had flooded my apartment with the music that appears in the video.  Perhaps, unwittingly by so doing, I was invoking Merlin’s spirit, which later joined us when he played ultimate director and pulled off the most magical bit of stage direction –- an adult deer in the middle of a cemetery in the heart of mid-town Toronto.  Lastly, I played the sublimely soulful Shirley Horn’s interpretation of, Here’s to Life!  Whilst raising a glass of coconut water, I had forgotten to pick up some champagne the evening prior and it was too early in the morning to find champagne anywhere –- the lighting was way too good.  Besides who knows if that magical deer would have been anywhere about.

Here’s to life… most of all, here’s to Merlin… here’s to dream shamans everywhere!

Merlin & Arvin 1987

Merlin’s mandate to me ever remains:

“Please my darling, I want you to write about our lives together.  I promise you, however possible, I am going to send you dreams to include in the story of our love… our lives together.”

Of course, there is my Instagram account:  Instagram Arvin da Brgha

The YouTube channel is:  Arvin da Brgha YouTube

For now, here’s to life, here’s to you and thanks so much for your ongoing support all these years!

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Otello: Race and the Arts.

After having pored through an interesting OperaCanada article that featured the opera Otello’s lead, Russell Thomas, and a predictably snide review in The Star – look there is no black lobby in Canada, so one can always be expected to be as curt and dismissive of blacks at every turn; this is after all the culture where the obsession with Jazz is almost as fever-pitched as the predatory late-night runs of Klansmen with nooses at the ready – I comfortably settled into my usual ring three seat, next to trusty Lucian Mann-Chomedy and warmly awaited the magic that is theatre to unfold.  

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After a month that was not soon revisited, my mind was at times distracted by the dreck that one must at times endure in order to get by.  I thought of the heaviness in the air that the subject matter of the opera addressed; the quartet of retired ladies who usually chat about who has taken ill, moved to hospice or died since last they gathered, did a lot of coughing, sniffing and whispering.  And as these things are as predictable as flies on shit, sure enough, I heard one of them whisper, “Meghan Markle.”  Will these people ever just leave the damn woman alone and stop hunting her at every opportunity?  

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Otello, Verdi’s take on Shakespeare’s take on race relations did also from the row of retired and widowed ladies spirit the whisper of O. J. Simpson’s name.  Some things just never change… alas.  Indeed, at some moments as I looked at Otello onstage, I began to realise how we as a people are stigmatised and stereotypically projected onto.  I soon got greater insight to why Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex is so reviled.  Objectified, she as a black woman was only ever to have been nothing more than a bit of rough, a tryst.  

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Naturally, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex with his double sixness is seen as being readily taken advantage of and needed to be protected against the lascivious bit of rough who clearly conned her way into the royal family.  Born September 15, 1984, Henry born in the year of the rat has quite beautifully empathetic, compassionate numbers and with his double sixness is given to OCD behaviour as displayed by his need to fidget with his clothing – right hand inside his jacket et al.  Six people are awesome beings and Henry, a double six, is no exception.  15.9.1984 = 6.6.1 = 4.  

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With Otello, this projection of the black male as emotionally volatile, violent, easily manipulated has certainly proven an archetype that fits blind fools like Tiger Woods and O. J. Simpson to the letter.  Either way, it was uncomfortable to watch this production in places as it so mirrored the warped perception of a people by persons who question our humanity and who never seem able to perceive us beyond their generationally custodial perception of a people. 

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Be that as it may, I so hungered to be removed from the morass through which I recently waded at the end of which, I dismissively remarked of yet another power-mad woman in the work place: “She certainly doesn’t look like a fucking horse for no good reason…  Oh please, it’s just a matter of time before she rots the fuck in hell, eating every pope’s arse!”  If you cannot take offence then don’t damn well give offence…  Honest to god, some women in the work place are nothing but dickless faggots addicted to creating drama for the sheer sport of it and simply because they are just so drunk with power… to say nothing of being bored out of their frigging minds.  Well, like a bowel movement, it did not take too long for me to sniff, flush and walk the fuck away from the BS,  

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This Desdemona was an earthy, warm, beautifully soulful portrayal of a wronged woman, a woman dominated by an insecure and deceived man.  This production was a beautiful sweeping affair; I especially loved the dark broody look of the sets that captured the essence of the human condition portrayed.  Indeed, it proved a good elixir after all the dross that I had recently endured in the work place.  

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During Otello’s intermission, I received a forwarded Instagram post from an old dancer friend, which he labelled #everythingwasbeautifulattheballet.  Of course, it was a direct response to my last blog, which highlighted the intense isolation and racial animus that I experienced for two god fuck-all maudlin years in Winnipeg.  Yes, indeed, the world of art is saturated with lisping, bottom-feeding, small ‘b’ bigoted boors who see positively nothing remotely gauche about this sort of fare well into the 21st century.  

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On yet another too cold, rainy day, which proved all too reminiscent of Vancouver, I abandoned my art-filled lair in search of more inspiration the day after the opera.  I cannot quite recall a season in recent memory that has proven both so cold and rainy as this protracted winter.  

That’s right, the day before attending Otello, there was a break in the perpetual rains that gave way to snow and hail…  truly, the dog days of summer cannot get here fast enough.  As more of the city’s 19th century streetcar tracks were being ripped up and replaced so that the racket that is the TTC outdoor workers and the local constabulary can make a killing in overtime, it took close to 40 minutes on a bus for me and my fuck du jour to get from Yonge and Dundas to Dundas and McCaul.  

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My date, a lissom twenty-something with smoky hazel eyes, which were vaguely reminiscent of Merlin’s, was good company.  I had for the past several hours pummelled his prostate as his daddy issues were satisfied and my angst from work place tensions were nicely dispensed with.  We men when in our 20s can be so alarmingly insecure; I have often wondered how Merlin managed to stay with me during those angst-ridden and redundantly solipsistic years.  

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My date on exiting the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room expressed chagrin at not having done magic mushrooms before leaving my place where incense and Jazz magically perfumed the air, intoxicating our spirits as we riotously fucked our way out of winter’s gnawing frigidity.  

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Without question, no trip to the AGO is completely inspiring without a visit to the galleries where the stellar art of Inuit artists are housed.  There are some real masterpieces in the AGO collection.  

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As it was the tail end of this exhibition and I still had not visited, I simply had to make it there.  Whilst walking along the long corridor to the start of the exhibition my fey-eyed beauty suggested that we take a break and go make out in a stall in the washrooms.  Fingers interlaced, I assured him that there was better intimacy to be had the sooner we got through the exhibition and hightailed it back to my place by Uber.  

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To my very discriminating eye, the moment I saw this verbose title, I fully expected to observe a show that was curated by too much extraneous fare and not enough impressionist art.  Tumescent and impatient, I had no time for reading, reading and reading more yada yada, all of which was to compensate for the lack of genuine, to say nothing of quality, impressionist art.  Just as well, I was growing achingly moist by the minute as both my energetic ectomorph and I hungered to be carnally consumed with each other… yet again.  

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This marvellous bronze fully captivated me; it would prove my favourite piece in the shoddily curated exhibition.  

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Highlights from a rather underwhelming show.   

Detail featuring two of the most beautiful creatures.  Their depiction is not the most masterfully executed but there is something rapturous about the look of the dogs as they ambled with their human companions on a journey which they had taken countless times before that made me stop and gaze overlong whilst being truly inspired.  

Detail of what for me proved sheer magnificence… the lighting is phenomenally executed.  

A masterpiece to be sure; however, where it was hung and the palette of the salon were decidedly inappropriate.  This was all I needed to see to finally wink the left eye at my horny power bottom and to speed home by Uber in the rain for noisy, exhausting, passionate play.  

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As ever, for your ongoing support I am both deeply grateful and indebted.  Sweet dreams and don’t you ever forget to push off and start flying because life is a most beautiful drink.  Cheers! 

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© 2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

#BestDespinaEver!

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Opening nights are always such fun… Tuesday night past, I was reminded of all the opening nights that I would attend with a slightly neurotic Merlin as some show or other that he had directed was being presented to the world… As ever, it was great to see my plus one, Lucian Mann-Chomedy as the ideal partner for these occasions. Always reserved, pleasant and just the right amount of chatter and wit.

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Whilst Lucian enjoyed the pre-show lecture in the Four Seasons Centre Amphitheatre, I slipped next door into the warmth of the Sheraton Centre Hotel and warmed myself on a glass of sherry whilst finishing off 2018’s Scotiabank Giller Prize winner on my KOBO.

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What an utterly stunning tour de force. It was a moment to reflect, this Black History Month on just where we blacks are in the scheme of things. God only knows, it has been bruising to watch Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex become the print media’s most reviled and hunted fugitive from justice of that most vile creature, the racial predator.

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I was still smarting at the events of a week earlier during the winter season’s first major snowstorm. I had been recalling to friends how strange it now was, compared to my first winter in Canada. December 1, 1974 and it snowed that day more than 8 inches. Back then it generally was guaranteed to snow once if not twice weekly. Now at end of January, 2019 and we were finally having our first major snow. This was not like snow from years past… Now it was a dirty, sooty-looking hard mess that lingered, largely in part because the city has contracted out its snow removal services.

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As there are no windows in my apartment – Sol’s too damn bright by far and besides, boarded up windows afford me more art-hanging space – I got down in the early afternoon that Monday with my bike, only to be met by falling snow and several accumulated inches. Back up I went, retired the trusty chrome steed and returned and hopped into a snazzy Audi A6 Uber ride with a Macedonian whose spirit was as smooth and elegant as matchingly was his car. The mood set the tone for my day. As I am known to work 16-hr days, I called another Uber at the end of gig one whilst hoping to get to gig 2 in good time. The snow was still coming down; it was also bitterly cold and windy.

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When finally, Uber #2 arrived, cold and dark with icy pellets mixed in with the snow, the driver rolled down his passenger side window and declared, “Sorry Buddy but I am going to have to cancel this ride…” Already running late, with my wheeled suitcase at the ready, he edged along as I tried to open the door and raised his voice, his eyes almost feral-looking beneath his turbanned, narrow skull. “I said I am cancelling you. One: I never take people like you in my car. Two: you have a shitty rating… Sorry, not sorry. Fuck you Buddy.” With that, he stepped on the gas and I had to swiftly haul me and suitcase out of the way as the rear of his red older model car whose interior did have that blasted malodorous melange of curry, dirty armpit, dirty arse, smegma and whatever the fuck else that passes for immigrants of choice these days. Finally, after having struggled out onto a still-not-ploughed Bay Street, I managed to hail the fourth cab whose West African driver insisted that I call Uber and report him… Days later, I was afforded assurances that the racist Dravidian was no longer part of Uber’s fleet. Similarly, when calling a Beck Taxi with a fairly generic name as Arvin, on coming downstairs the Indo-Canadian drivers on several occasions as though staying on script would feign obsequiousness and state that they were deeply sorry but owing to a family emergency, they were having to take the cab out of service. No sooner than having refused me a ride, they would then be observed heading out to Wellesley, turning on their unoccupied light and picking up a fare off the road. As if the blasted motherfuck, the likes of your overbred arse invented Jazz.

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Each and every time that one experiences racial animus, is preyed on racially, it always harks back to that first winter in Toronto. My best mate from two summers earlier, when I would come to Canada to visit with my dad during school break, had been sick. After Sunday church service at Knox Presbyterian at Harbord and Spadina before returning to our beautiful home at 122 Mortimer Avenue, I would visit – my dad and I – with Tommy who was holding up at Toronto Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue. My father explained that Tommy was sick with the winter flu, which sometimes could last for months and well beyond winter. I was a scrawny little fourteen-year-old who looked like most ten-year-old Canadian kids as I crawled the halls at Harbord Collegiate where among my mostly Italian-Canadian chums was future lawyer, Rocco Galati. As Tommy, who was a couple of years older than me, had gladly shared books with me the two summers prior that I would take to Knox summer camp and read then have a good stroke off, lusting after my inamorato, Tommy, I readily agreed to do his newspaper route for him until he came home. My first Saturday, the cart was overflowing with the thick Toronto Star newspaper and there was a good foot of snow everywhere. It was hellish but for Tommy, I was game to go the distance – who knows what hot frottage, docking and more was in the offing for having done his route for him! When I got to the northeast corner of Floyd and Bater Avenues that first Saturday to collect the funds, the door opened to a woman whose response to me was the most hideous display of the displaced madness that is white bigotry. Screaming at the top of her lungs, the woman in her upper seventies, vituperatively cursed my black bugger arse off and laid down the law. Never again, “you dirty little nigger” was I to set foot on her verandah.., I was to put the paper between her screen and front doors, knock then return to the top of her steps and wait for her to pay the bill. That first Saturday, she ripped the paper from my hand, flung the money at me. She was terrifying, in her faded blue A-line dress, black spectacles that had those upturned pointed edges at the sides; she wore faux pearls. Most of all, she wore the most hideously terrifying eyes. I remember how much they looked like eyes of a rooster, especially so for being such puffy eyes. Like the evolved, winged and feathered reptilians that roosters are, her eyes truly did look not the least bit human. She was so consumed with racial animus that it was truly frightening. By the time I made it home, I found myself regurgitating. Thereafter, every Saturday, I would take my spot at the top of the steps and consistently she would hurl out pennies mostly at me rather than the verandah where that first winter I had to suffer the indignity of picking through inches of snow on the verandah, steps and lawn to collect my money. Naturally, without fail she called most Saturdays to the Toronto Star, complaining of either not having received her paper on time or that it was missing altogether. This would mean having to buy her a replacement at the corner store, take it and only to be fed on by the hideous-of-spirit racial predator. Like a true cockhound many an indignity I suffered in hopes of my spectacled, full-lipped and scholarly inamorato, Tommy hooking up with me for having been so loyal to him. The summer prior, I had ventured to the public pool on Broadview at Riverdale Park with him and a couple of others and thrilled beyond belief was I to spy his large pendulous balls and that hammer-headed girthsome salami that pummelled his bikinis. Indeed, for Tommy I would suffer much indignity. There was a low-rise apartment building at 1111 Broadview where on the ground floor, there was another predator, this one equally septuagenarian who lived alone, smoked incessantly and always answered the door in various stages of undress, mostly ever only wearing a soiled merino. He was always a generous tipper; a whole 2$ bill in 1974/75 was serious cash. Naturally, in the pre-Ciaslis epoch old anorexic, drunken paunched predator would sometimes tug on the old bulbous semi-flaccid/semi-tumescent, though, pendulous but perfectly useless appendage, trying to lure me in. Sitting there in all that squalor and acting as though he was sugar daddy material… indeed. He was always keen on trying to grab me when giving me the “tip” and I was ever sly and crafty enough to get away from him each time. He, too, lead me to regurgitate, which I had not done since age nine and suffering my first racial attack. Of course, to this day, neither academia nor medicine will concede that there is any such a thing as the racial predator and the effects it has on those preyed on – mostly blacks – and the psyche/mental illness of those who prey on others chiefly non-blacks in varying degrees of severity based on otherness.

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Finally, the house lights went down and I was met by the whimsical vista of the COC’s production of W. A. Mozart’s glorious opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. Previously, I had caught productions of this Mozart gem in Chicago, Montréal and New York City. I was not expecting much at this rate. The Frida Kahlo connection was a bit of a stretch but the butterflies fast won me over.

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From the moment that she stepped onto stage, my spirit soared aloft higher than Mozart’s glorious music to that point had spirited me. Never before had there been so captivating a Despina. My eyes teared up and I was ever on the cusp of explosive giggles. Then what made me truly come undone was the moment Tracy Dahl took to the stage as the notary… by now, I was losing tears and beginning to emit choked snorted chuckles. Each Saturday back in 1974/75 when doing Tommy’s newspaper route, I would end off taking the Saturday Star to Giovanna an octogenarian Italian, who was plump, charming and more adorable than any mere mortal ought to be. Soon, we were fast lovers and she loved fussing over me, baking me each Saturday nice, warm, oven-fresh biscotti washed down with a glass of ice-cold “gingah raleh”… her thick Italian accent was part of her charm. Hers was a large black and white cat, simply known as pussy gatto, who always sat nesting on the armchair. Each week, Giovanna sat transfixed as I read her the newspaper; her vision was to that point fairly deteriorated. As a way of better forging our bond and because most of my mates at Harbord were Italian, for three years, I studied Italian and that really impressed Giovanna, who was simply known as “Mama Mia.”

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As the opera progressed, Ms. Dahl as the notary, dashed and took cover beneath the table at which point, I buried my face in the program with explosive laughter. Straight away, I was reminded of each Saturday when the ever silent pussy gatto would bolt from the armchair and take cover beneath the sofa where I sat as Giovanna began an explosion of long-winded farts. Even the singer’s voice sounded much like Giovanna’s as she sang the role of notary. Remarkably, it was as though she was channelling Giovanna. In that moment, I was healed of the bile, which the recent Uber incident had caused to surface, bile that dated as far back as 1974.

In the end, Tommy’s parents sold their house and it was not until a couple years later that I discovered from the neighbour next-door that Tommy, who had never returned to their Mortimer and Logan home, had died of Leukaemia. Indeed, the winter flu was my dad’s way of protecting me from the callousness of having to lose a friend so early in life.

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Apart from the catharsis that Tracy Dahl’s performance personally effected, I don’t think that it would be biased of me to state that hers was the runaway performance in the COC’s fantastic, and fast-paced I might add, production of Cosi Fan Tutte.

As ever, mischievously push down and melt with laughter in celebration of the joy that is life and start having yourselves a most glorious of flying dreams. Thanks for your ongoing support of this happening astral joint on this side of the astral plane. I love you more.

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.

An Awakened Dream Like No Other!

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On the final full day of this trip to London, it was also the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing.  I had planned on visiting Spencer House, the Monday evening prior; however, the event which was a ticketed lecture had been cancelled –  this was my only chance at getting to Spencer House.  

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Climbing from the Underground at Green Park, the park was relatively empty and there was a crisp bite to the early morning air as I walked along the periphery of the park’s western edge.  I opted to take that route and be close to the park’s trees than use the suggested route – St. James Street and St. James Place.  The only persons in the park were intermittent joggers, looking fit; strange in November it was to see persons running in shorts.  

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Walking along, I passed a narrow break in the shrubbery; the narrow path that ran beneath on the houses stated that it was a private road and to keep out.  A few more steps revealed the signage; yes, indeed, this was the place that I was looking for.  Turning back, I made for the private narrow pathway and awaited as a tanned, moneyed man approached with a wonderful, happy dog before him.  The fat little thing tried its best to act on his vibes and grumbled; staying my ground, I waited for him to get closer, said hello and asked if this was the way to Spencer House.  

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“Is this the way to Spencer House?” 

“It is a private path…” he replied from behind thicker, darker and more-expensive-than-mine sunglasses, to which I brushed past his American accent by elegantly rebutting, “Thanks, I’ll find my way…”  

Entrance to Spencer House: looking west to Green Park & East.  

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On entering Spencer House, I noticed that the splayed and slightly bloated feeling that began on approaching the stately home continued.  Inside were two men; both were rather pleasant.  We began speaking; for the next half an hour, we warmly visited.  Seemingly, there was a group tour booked and they thought that I had simply arrived especially early.  

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As members for the guided tour arrived, I slipped into the ante room and enjoyed the still-life.  Remarkably, there was a real ease for being in his place, which seemed more than passingly familiar.  Finally, when enough of us were arrived for the tour, a silver-haired lady with clear, focussed eyes entered the foyer, walked up to me and smiling, we warmly greeted.  A group of no more than twenty-five persons, the informal gathering was cosy and engaging.  

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As the tour began in earnest, it dawned on me that this house was remarkably familiar.  There were no doubts in my mind that I had never previously visited it; however, even the tour guide approached me and asked when I had last been to the house.  She was convinced that I had been there before and scoffed at my response that I had never before visited the stately home.  She had done so because I seemed with uncanny accuracy to know which door to next use to progress on the tour.  That aside, the energy between us flowed with the greatest ease.  

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As she spoke, the guide mentioned that Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, who lived in the same street as Spencer House had actually had their wedding reception in the Georgian masterpiece.  As she spoke of the ladder, I suddenly experienced a vision and it was of seeing the room as it looked during Georgian times; however, as in dreams everything was back-to-front from the current life experience.  Indeed, I had definitely been in this room in the past; moreover, I had a rather memorable dream, which was set in this house.  Then as I intently looked to one corner of the room, the rather knowledgeable tour guide announced that in that very corner, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson loved sitting in that spot as he was a frequent and favoured guest to the house as the 2nd Earl Spencer had been First Lord of the Admiralty.  

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In this marvellous salon is a painting of the Death of General Wolfe… it is even more grand and emotive than the painting of General Wolfe’s death on the Plains of Abraham at the Royal Ontario Museum.  

During that time, as a countertenor with Merlin (then female) my accompanist on harpsichord that I would have encountered Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson.  I have dreamt of this man many times and some were set in the very house where, though it had not been planned, on the 29th anniversary of Merlin’s passing, I was taking a tour.  

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Just before we left the library, the tour guide then announced as she drew our attention outside the window from the library, there on the grounds of Green Park were cattle and other livestock kept.  Indeed, in one such past-life dream, which was set at Spencer House, there was the intense smell of livestock.  For this reason, I had assumed on awaking that this stately home on the edge of vast acreage was situated in the English countryside rather than in London.  

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Definitely, this room – the great room – was familiar; however, somehow, it did not seem as large as it ought to have been.  

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The view from the great room out to the beauty of Green Park.  Suddenly, it dawned on me as I looked out the window that is why on Armistice Day after I left the splendid exhibition: Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs at Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and cut through Green Park en route to Green Park Station, I felt so joyous. 

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That is why too, for moving past Spencer House earlier on November 11, 2018 and in essence, becoming harmonised with the locale of a past life that I would have such lucid flying dream activity on returning to the hotel that late afternoon and napping.  

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Without doubt one specific dream was centred in this room and there, a play was being staged in the past life dream.  In between acts, one retired to this room from the great room and visited whilst the performers took almost forever at costume changes.  

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This was the setting of great music and laughter; indeed, I may well have performed for the Georgian glitterati on this balcony/stage-like staircase.  

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Lady Spencer’s room.  lovely.  

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The Music Room where 2.5 centuries earlier, Merlin and I were in creative full bloom.  I had a really powerful response when in this room.  I was left teary eyed and on looking in the mirror, I actually saw the outline of my aura; it was silvery as it picked up the stunning sunlight streaming through the windows on either side.  Somewhere in spirit, Merlin was with me and there was further validation that this place, this day… indeed, nothing is coincidental.  

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This room was pure sensory overload.  I felt gay and as though on the cusp of flying.  This visit was more adventure than even I could have imagined.  When the tour was concluded, I warmly parted with the staff and assured them that I would be back.  Then out into all this balmy, glorious sunshine, I headed into St. James Street and made my way to Piccadilly Street. 

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Feeling way too glorious, I decided against using the Underground and instead, headed east along Piccadilly and slipped into the Burlington Arcade’s splendour, browsed then went coffee table book-shopping at the Royal Academy.  Though I hardly had room to pack the six books.  Well in excess of 300£, the handle-barred and zoot suit-wearing poseur – eccentricity is never affected, asked way too condescendingly what did I mean by VAT “dear” and why would I get money back.  You blasted, silly little twit; as I do not gladly suffer fools, I shot back, “Look do us both a favour and go restock these… and try finding a brain while you are at it…” the latter stated whilst walking away from the counter; you’ll get no commission from me.  Who are these people, forever trying so damn hard? 

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With that, it was across the street into Fortnum & Mason to buy more teas and rose petal marmalade and jelly.  From there, further easterly I bopped and grooved in the glorious sunlight and circumambulated Piccadilly Circus and bailed into Coventry Street and into the crowded intensity of Leicester Square. 

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From there, I snuck from the rear of the National Gallery and inside.  

The delightful guide at Spencer House had insisted that I return to the National Gallery before leaving London and catch the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition.  She could not have spoken more highly of it.  I did tell her that I had reservations about seeing Italian art as it was much too ecclesiastic for my liking.  However, since she had been such a gracious host, I decided to just this once to go with an open mind and just explore. 

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You cannot believe how fast, I got out of there.  As I said to the West African museum worker, who asked why I had left the show so quickly, “You cannot imagine how deeply disturbing I find a culture that goes to such great length to never address in their art their savagely ‘civilising’ influence in the world.  It is as though it never happened or they played positively no role whatsoever in the brutal murder, enslavement, extinction of peoples and cultures.  His response was, to the victor go the spoils and the shaping of history in his image; he added that he was very very proud that I am aware, unlike so many of us.  With that, we bumped fists and it was back out into the bright sunlight of this glorious day.  

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Apart from the usual suspects, Yodas seemingly levitating – now there’s a gig! – I made it past a rather engaging African artist who had the soul of a sage if ever anyone ever did.  Being drawn to its beauty, I drew closer to get a really good shot of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and it was then I made the most glorious of discoveries.  

Well, there could be no better way to restore the spirit after the disquiet that I experienced for moving through the Mantegna & Bellini show.  Great art should reflect life, not neatly reinvent and compartmentalise away all that which one would rather not address – likely, though, Bellini had no knowledge of Columbian expeditions to the New World. 

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Presentation at the Temple – Giovanni Bellini c 1460

Certainly, the prominent artists of the 16th century: Tintoretto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian were supported by the Church of Rome, which by its patronage of these artists was intent on depicting itself in a glowing ecclesiastical light rather than the brutal realism which afforded it the prominence and wealth it then enjoyed… which endures even now. 

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So with that, richly inspired by both the guitarist and Spencer House and all that it represented, I slipped into the National Portrait Gallery, to drink once more Wim Heldens masterful Oil on Canvas of the collectors Harry and Carol Ann Djanogly – she passed earlier this year.  Satiated of spirit, it was off to grab a bite and then a nap of glorious dream-filled sleep – one of which was a flying dream.  God it felt goodly glorious to have returned in spirit to Spencer House.  

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After having overslept by a hair, it was a mad dash by Underground and taxi make it by mere minutes to Royal Albert Hall.  One of my favourite concert halls, any show would do.  

Ah nothing beats a good old nostalgic adventure.

Interior of Royal Albert Hall.  

Intermission from the stalls at Royal Albert Hall.  

You cannot beat a room full of love and wonderment.  Truly spectacular.  Of course, it goes without saying that Merlin was wild about Jim Henson, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.  This was a glorious way to have capped off a great trip and to remember the life of an extraordinarily phenomenal human being, Merlin.  

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And like that, the following day, I was returned to Toronto, my art-filled home and this most glorious photograph of the most magical fellow who made life truly a happening, for seven glorious, love-filled and magical years.  

As ever, sweet dreams and thanks for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

The Day After the Night that Was.

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By now the effects of the stewed fruit at breakfast has seen my waist shrink; I am grateful.  The morning after the night that was, I am still elated and humming away that catchy melody from Ludwig Minkus’ greatly composed ballet.  

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After breakfast I decamped at Leicester Square where it was time to enjoy the bright, cool sunlight and catch a movie.  The Vue cinemas are rather interesting; I was keen to know if I would have a repeat of what had transpired last winter. 

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Back then, I was upstairs at the same cinemas watching, Darkest Hour, which proved a real tour de force performance from Gary Oldman.  Sat in the back row, soon I became bloated and expansive.  Though not the least bit drowsy, I felt wide-open and lucidly self-aware.  Next, as the film progressed, I watched as several pure white humanoid forms simply stood up and walked to the sides and quite seamlessly walked through the very real walls of the cinema.  

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One of the things that Merlin and I always loved doing, was seeing a film during its opening weekend.  Naturally, so close to the anniversary of his passing, I was keen on seeing a film.  J. K. Rowling is among my favourite contemporary writers and having seen the first film in this series, it only made sense to go.  

Whilst waiting for the cinema to open, I caught a series of items; all are favourite actors of mine, especially Sir Kenneth Branagh.  

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The first screening of the day was a special affair with about one third of the theatre occupied.  A lovely Chinese couple sat to my right with their precocious son of about ten years stuck between them.  We chatted briefly and I thought it so strange that conversation with strangers is almost unheard of when attending a Canadian movie.  

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I emerged into the crisp Saturday morning in Leicester Square a bit teary eyed as thoughts of Merlin at one point during the film overwhelmed me.  It was after all the eve of his passing some 29 years earlier.  

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Slipping inside this tiny joint – I always favour hole-in-the-world, ma-n-pa joints, I got a couple of really good slices of pizza whilst pouring through the Times of London.  There was conversation close by, which struck me as interesting; it went from Theresa May and Brexit to Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  I soon realised that both persons were openly criticised chiefly for being women; in the case of the Ms. May, she is dismissed and not taken seriously chiefly for being female.  As for Meghan, like every woman who marries into the BRF, she is readily reviled, though, some of this has bordered on racial hysteria and seriously threatening.  

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In a bid to cleanse my very soul, after all that, I slipped from Leicester Square for the uplifting sophistication of the National Gallery where I deftly moved through my favourite salons with usual mercurial speed, taking the time to pause and admire the key works of art that bring me the greatest pleasure.  

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Well, after all that art, it was time for more prowling the decidedly unCanadian wintry streets of London.  Along Shaftesbury, I strode my Crockett & Jones booted and blistered feet into Neal Street where my favourite hippy-dippy (as Merlin would remark) New Age store, The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden.  Though, it most definitely does not have the best choices, I still love the feel of the place and their sagebrush collection is second to none.   

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Along with marvellous pieces of crystals and a wonderful Citrine, I really connected with this gorgeous agate ring.  The moment that I saw it, I really resonated with me and it felt so right. 

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After a rather warm conversation with a green-eyed, redhead, she was fascinated by my custom Reuben Mack messenger bag.  

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I then headed back to The British Museum for more shopping.  As it was the weekend, there was now a sizeable lineup to gain entry.  As though my impatience with crowds were not enough but soon, I had two Torontonian women doing what Canadians do best; they spent much of their time gawking at me, talking about me and cultural appropriation for wearing the custom Reuben Mack messenger.  Standing there in line, I was reminded of what petty, small-minded bigoted jackasses the average Canadian can be and god do they love being openly racially predatory towards blacks. 

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Never once had I experienced a scintilla of racial animus from a Briton or for being in London to that point; there you have it, the land where racism is enshrined in law: employment equity law of Canada: All employers must employ, Caucasians, First Nations persons, Disabled persons and visible minorities and therein is the framework of Canada’s own form of Apartheid – state sanctioned racism.  All employers, in particular crown corporations (government agencies – federal and provincial) employ visible minorities to the exclusion of blacks and if and when they do employ blacks, they then hire blacks only as casual workers which means they are not entitled to benefits, pension and guaranteed hours.  

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So smugly established is this state of affairs that the current prime minister refused to attend the 50th anniversary of Caribana – the nations West Indian community’s gift to Canada on its 100th birthday in 1967; however, he attends ever Gay pride parade in the same city as Caribana, Toronto, and has repeatedly been to India, to dress up and act a right clown because who gives a damn about blacks in Canada.  As one friend said, blacks over the past three decades have become as marginalised as First Nations persons.  But enough about aggressive young souls and their racialised worldview.  Meanwhile, as they were openly rude towards me whilst queueing to enter the British Museum, I grabbed my phone and pretended to film them to which one of them suddenly became enraged, demanding that I not film her…  You have to laugh or truly you would go mad.  In any event, I got the feisty Buster a nice but scary Egyptian stuffed cat – he is actually afraid of it.  

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On my return to the hotel, a couple of blocks from The British Museum, I slumped into bed and decided that my aching feet needed a break from the rest of the day’s planned events.  To that end, I stayed in that night rather than return to Barbican Hall to catch a celebration of the Windrush Migration.  At that concert were to have been Calypso Rose and The Mighty Sparrow; though it had been years since last seeing either performer, I just was not into it.  Moreover, I wanted to take the time to be with myself and reflect on the eve of Merlin’s passing some 29 years earlier.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and ever remember to push off and start flying.  

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©2013-2022 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.