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.

Overleaves Validation and All That Jazz!

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In the lead up to the annual Jazz Festival here in town, I decided to seek a bit of inspiration and take in a couple of documentaries.  Both proved rather satisfying.  On a temperate Wednesday midday in June, I made it to the Bell TIFF Lightbox building, to which I had never been before to indulge.  

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Relaxed in my comfortable seat whilst waiting interminably through too many ads, I focussed on the latest book on my KOBO being enjoyed to the hilt.  Just then the lights began going down and I was about to be wowed by Grace Jones in all her fabulousness.

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Without doubt, Grace is a force of galactic dimensions and thoroughly absorbed and entertained was I.  There was no getting around the fact that she felt like family in her West Indian realness of essence.  Of course, she also happens to be a cadre mate of both mine and Merlin’s.  

Jones, Grace 19/5/1948 Spanish Town, Jamaica

Michael: This fragment is a seventh-level mature warrior – first life thereat.  Grace is in the power mode with a goal of dominance.  A sceptic, she is in the moving part of intellectual centre. 

Grace’s primary chief feature is arrogance and the secondary greed, is fixated on accomplishment. 

Grace’s body type is Mars/Saturn. 

The fragment Grace is second-cast in third cadence; she is a member of greater cadence two.  Grace’s entity is five, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – yet another cadre mate of Merlin’s and Arvin’s. 

Grace’s essence twin is a warrior and her task companion a sage. 

Grace’s three primary needs are: power, freedom and adventure. 

There are 10 past-life associations with Arvin and 16 with Merlin. 

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The weekend prior, I decided to drop everything and go catch the André Leon-Talley documentary.  I knew that it had been playing, Juan-Felipe de Castro — a most exhaustingly funny sage… no, they are not all funny — had raved about it and insisted that I go.  In any event, there was I, playing femme au foyer with my Swiffer and came across the coffee table gem: ALT 365+ and immediately took a shower, booked a ticket, opted for some Tom Ford Black Orchid eau de parfum instead of patchouli, hopped on my bike with my Dorothy Grant messenger bag and my snazzy Wellingtons.  

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I got to King West and John Streets, opted to lock up my trusty bike on John Street and dashed across John for the 40 storey plus condo.  There are too many of these damn hideous things and more people jump from them than one would care to have to admit.  That aside, I made my way inside, for the first time — I never do TIFF — and was wowed by the place; seriously, though, what’s with having to climb stairs when your bladder is about to give out?  

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Comfy, the beautifully interiored salon’s lights went down and thus began the pleasurable and immensely enlightening adventure that is, The Gospel According to André.  Great it was to see the grand dame, Diana Vreeland.  Of course, I was reminded of the summer of 1983 when working in the garment district, running errands for milliner, Frederick Jones; these were all persons whom he knew and with whom I became briefly acquainted for tagging along with him to some mid-afternoon or mid-morning meeting after which we would be off to buy fabric.  Frederick had actually taught me how to block hats, which gladly I did as he feverishly worked away in his West 43rd Street Studio/home.  

Talley, André-Leon 16/10/1949

Michael: This fragment is a fifth-level mature atisan – third life thereat.  André is in the passion mode with a goal of acceptance.  An indealist, he is in the emotional part of intellectual centre. 

André’s primary chief feature is greed fixated on satisfaction and the secondary, arrogrance.  

André’s body type is Jupiter/Venus. 

The fragment André is fifth-cast in the first cadence; he is a member of greater cadence three.  André’s entity is six, cadre one, greater cadre 6, pod 414. 

André’s essence twin is an artisan and the task companion a sage who is known to him. 

André’s three primary needs are: expression, expansion and communion. 

There are 14 past-life associations with Arvin and 10 with Merlin. 

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Last Saturday feeling deathly exhausted and suffering from allergies — my sneeze is phenomenally loud — I debated whether or not to make the Liona Boyd concert at Church of the Redeemer, on Bloor Street West at Avenue Road.  

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Slipping inside the pyramid, I grabbed a clutch of crystals, intently focussed on ridding myself of this allergic morass and dosed off for a spell.  When I came to, sneezed louder than normally I would then found myself nose-blowing and ejecting a pond of phlegm.  At that, I felt grounded, focussed and as though I had never been in the throes of allergies.  I took a cold shower, in my perpetually freezing apartment, the AC is always on at 61° — I cannot abide heat… to say nothing of summer.  

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With unassigned seating, I went and sat at the edge of the last pew in the stage left transept.  No sooner than having taken a seat that the smell of the persons to my right precluded remaining where I was; they, frankly, smelt like burnt flesh which also had a melange that was not dissimilar to the loud smell of a long-haired dog when wet.  Who knows what Canis Major world from whence their hybridised alien stock originates but I always find the smell of such persons off-putting.  

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Thus, I opted to stand for the performance’s duration and a gloriously magical interlude it proved.  This was billed as a celebration of Yorkville in its 1960s heyday.  After the youth choir had opened, out walked Liona Boyd in a flowing white and blue gown, looking positively ethereal.  

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This performance for me was just as bucolic as when passing late afternoons in childhood high up my favourite fruit tree in St. Kitts and being swept along by air currents as the branch on which I would be perched, rocked and swayed, taking me higher as I blissed out to the magic of Beatles’ tunes from the neighbour’s radio; naturally, no such ungodly music was ever allowed in our household.  Great fun it was to hear Liona’s recollections of Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, John Denver and others.  For the first time, after her anecdote about working in a London, England studio where also John Denver was working, Jet Plane proved a most poignant moment in the concert.  

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There was a hush after we all sang along to the John Denver tune, with Liona on vocals and guitar, that moment was simply rapturous.  This performance was just as intimate as if we were merely a few persons in a backyard, hanging out by candlelight after a fine meal, good wine and having a sing-along whilst some august soul strummed on guitar.  A truly soul-stirring adage, the evening proved.  I was only too happy to grab my autographed copies of her memoirs — which I have yet to devour.  One had a true sense of communion when singing along and afterwards when briefly chatting whilst she signed both memoirs.  I really didn’t need the overleaves to have validated the connection; quite remarkably she felt solid which is how all soul connections register… at least for me they do.  

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Boyd, Liona 11/7/1949 London, England

Michael: This fragment is a mid-cycle mature sage – second life thereat.  Liona is in the perseveration mode with a goal of growth.  A pragmatist, she is in the moving part of intellectual centre. 

Liona’s primary chief feature is impatience and the secondary, self-deprecation. 

Liona’s body type is Lunar/Mercury. 

The fragment Liona is fourth-cast in fourth cadence; she is a member of greater cadence three.  Liona’s entity is six, cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414 – Liona is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and Arvin’s. 

Liona’s essence twin is a sage and the task companion an artisan who is known to her. 

Liona’s three primary needs are: freedom, adventure and power. 

There are 18 past-life associations with Arvn and 12 with Merlin.  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

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Naturally, no trip to the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall would be complete without crossover from the hall to the old majestic red-bricked building that faces onto Bloor Street West and pay a visit to the Bella Bartok statue.  Vibrationally, I don’t know why, but I am always reminded of Leonard Cohen when looking at this statue.  20180626_194633

Settled in comfortably and it was time to be wowed by Savion Glover and boy did the old shamanic griot deliver!  Never had 1.5 hours of dancing been so phenomenal.  This was sheer uneclipsed beauty of spirit.  Whilst I sat there waiting for the house lights to go down, I poured through photos to include in my Instagram account.  

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Just then, I came across the account of someone met days earlier whom I had added to Instagram but who has yet to follow in kind.  Naturally, this lost soul claimed to be impressed that I knew of crystals and had a pyramid but like too many Canadians, he was really big on letting me know that he was too busy to check  his Instagram account.  To look at it, it is the most flaky, crowd-following, lost soul bullshit imaginable.  Of course, this clown is too busy dropping whatever to even know that there is a Jazz festival afoot and likely would dismiss it as not evolved enough.  

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After having been wowed by Savion’s sheer genius, I stumbled out onto Bloor Street West lightheaded both from the performance and the fact that I was quite frankly hungry.  There had been no water in my building all day; not able to cook, I sped to the performance by bike and soon realised that I was more famished than I reckoned.  Throwing caution to the wind, I poured into the revamped McDonald’s across from the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) — wouldn’t like to be a homeowner in the swank new condo only to have the smell of French fries night and day permeating your tony Yorkville digs?  

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After having repeated my order three times to the vapid-looking but shade-throwing Southeast Asian server, I finally spoke up 15 minutes later, demanding to know what was taking so long.  As the order got to me, I was so bored of having to look at stupid, overbred fools, I took the food said my best “fuck you/thank you” and departed the store.  When finally, I opened up, glad to be able to dig into my two McChicken sandwiches, the above is the sight with which I was presented.  Inside the clear top of the container, which would normally hold eggs, pancakes or other breakfast fare, were two greasy, deep-fried patties that for all the hell I could have cared might have been dog as it certainly was not chicken.  Not in the mood to row with anyone just then, I ubered some Jerk chicken and some coconut water.  20180626_194039

Almost an hour after initially I had ordered food to address my hunger along came my order.  Sure enough another overbred fool presented with the most god-awful malodorous bouquet of smegma, dirty arse, armpits, curry and bad breath that suggested that he had at least half a dozen cavities.  Right about then, I was one none-too-thrilled and hungry motherfucker.  So repulsed was I that I simply tossed the food in the fridge and had one of the coconut waters.  How unaware must one be that you are going to have the fuck-all temerity to serve the public and smelling as unhygienic as is humanly possible?  

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Another day and another church for sinner man moi to grace.  The Jazz festival this year was missing its usual verve as the concerts would usually be hosted by on-air hosts from Toronto’s JazzFM.  Since a couple of months earlier, the absence of Garvia Bailey from the airwaves on her morning show and I began counting down the days to her return from holiday.  Of course, this being Canada, I always worried when Garvia was away from her show as being Black in this country means that job security is as rare as pussy at a bathhouse.  

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Never before had Garvia been missing from the airwaves this long; heck, I had even called the station one Friday to ask when she would return and was told that she would be back on Monday.  That Monday rolled around and Mark Wigmore, who had previously worked at the city’s Gay radio station, was still hosting and now there was no more mention of Garvia Bailey.  Now I was beginning to get more than a little bit pissed off.  Was she ill?  Had she quit?  Had she been fired?  At least, Garvia was still there on her twitter account.  Then one day, I looked at the JazzFM website on-air host page and Garvia’s name was gone.  Wow, I would really have to start rethinking my support.  

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Then the unfathomable unfolded as I opened the day’s Globe and Mail newspaper to read that five on-air persons had been fired and there had been a string of sexual harassment allegations against Ross Porter.  Brazenly, he was still on-air and the station, which relies on listener support, had the gall to keep Ross on-air.  Regardless, there is nothing more odious than having to suffer someone who has been the focus of sexual allegations, true or not; it is just immensely disquieting. 

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So there was I to see Cecile McLorin Salvant weave her indelible magic.  I sat in the back pew in the balcony which afforded a commanding view of the stage and in particular the very engaging drummer.  Cecile was in superb form.  Next to me sat a couple, who clearly did not care to be there; one had to buy tickets in blocks of three concerts — at least for that venue.  Naturally, the night before conflicted with the Savion Glover concert at Koerner Hall.  The third concert would be the day following and as life is about making the most discriminating of choices, I had positively no fuck all intentions of time-wasting seeing another fraudulent arsed Canadian ape black culture and turn Jazz singer because, let’s face it, there is no such thing as a viable pop music career in Canada especially if you don’t stand a chance in hell of crossing over to the America market.  Besides, from my years of crawling the halls of the CBC when Merlin worked there, being the product of the moneyed classes and being able to buy a career does not a Jazz singer make.  Besides, ain’t nobody gots time for chit the day after Cecile’s held court and wove her magic.  

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So as I bobbed and weaved, enjoying the soulful groove that is Jazz — black high art — the Indo-Canadian couple next to me could not have been more disinterested.  She, seated closer to me, kept her hands clasped at her cross-legged knee.  He on the other hand kept on slamming his back into the pew as protest for my enjoying myself.  I think she might have clapped once or twice.  What really struck me as the couple next to me engaged in the usual passive-aggressive BS that one fully expects to manifest partout from tout le monde , is that as JazzFM restructures and returns with new on-air hosts, it’ll doubtless be persons of their ilk who will be the chosen replacement hosts; god only knows, the landscape has been deftly rid of all semblance of blackness in the television medium of late.  A true mystery to me how Canadians can so blithely whistle Dixie whilst purporting to be enamoured and passionate about Jazz, all the while slowly but irretrievably excluding blacks — whatever did we black have to do with Jazz; surely, we must be mad if we so much as entertained the notion that we could have done something so phenomenal as having invented the art form and that there is anything remotely ‘black’ about Jazz.  Indeed, the Canadian way…  That aside, I really missed having the on-air hosts from JazzFM being part of the hosting lineups during the annual Jazz Festival which was exquisitely memorable.  

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 Until next year, as the full moon in Capricorn climbed high in the sky above Yorkville, I say, sweet dreams and as ever thanks so much for your ongoing support.  

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