Category Archives: NOV


This is the twenty-first and final chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

“You don’t own that restaurant.”

Janet laughs. “Do you think I own everything? Just a few things.”

They’re walking back from dinner. The evening has gone well. They won’t run out of things to talk about, but he already feels comfortable when there’s silence. The goodness of fit unnerves him slightly. He has had little gapping, no involuntary anagramming. She has done no magic (that he has seen). It seems so… normal. Continue reading


This is the twentienth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

When he wakes up he has a vague headache, no surprise. He’s not sure what time it is but it’s probably not too late in the day. He gets up, opens his door to go to the bathroom

and looks across and sees Janet sitting at the kitchen table, looking at him as he emerges.

Does she know where he went last night? Continue reading


This is the nineteenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

The room is pervasively red. He is lying, in his new white briefs, on a red b—spread ach bedspread how nice, spread fixed the ed gap. The walls are red, the furniture is red, one door, slightly ajar, is red. There is another door, closed, also red. There are just two interruptions in this sanguine colour scheme:

The walls are covered with posters. Some of them seem to be pages of an abstract modern score, some staves stretched like a sticky cat’s cradle, the notes trapped on them like flies, others like kaleidescope pieces and jumbles of letters. Some of them are posters for musical acts of bygone times: Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Jim Morrison.

Next to him, sitting on the bed, in a kimono, is one. In the flesh. In the flesh tone. One is no longer black-and-white. The kimono is many colours; one’s face is a light tone with a faint sunset glow, but unmistakeably unpainted skin. Our protagonist may be only in his underpants, and one is in a kimono, but he feels that he is seeing one naked while he is still clothed. Continue reading


This is the eighteenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

He’s making supper for himself and Janet. He still hasn’t chosen a name for himself. He won’t know where he is until he chooses a name, but can he get back home if he does?

Can he get back home anyway? One was his way back. He made one disappear. Or just go somewhere else? One must just have gone somewhere else. One still has to be somewhere. The alternative is too unnerving to consider. The fact that he is not dispassionate tells him again that he isn’t dreaming.

But even if one is around, one may not be favourably disposed to helping him now.

He looks at Janet. Janet is leaning against the counter in faded jeans and a light cotton plaid button-up, watching him cook. Janet is favourably disposed. But not to helping him get home. Continue reading


This is the fifteenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

HOTEL and RESIDENCE. He sees the sign again as he approaches the building. It may be the latter for Janet, but it’s the former for him: his stay is temporary; he’s not at home here.

He doesn’t even have a —ephone. He has no way other than walking around and hearing what people will —l him to gather in—ligence. Perhaps in this place people use —epathy.

Gah. Why won’t his brain let him see repeated sequences? And as soon as he snags on one it shows up over and over again. Like a magnet, drawing them. Or a mental black hole. He sees the reflection; he can see LET in backwards —ters.

Now it’s blanking backwards and forwards! His mind is going down the toi—! He can’t — this go… He can’t allow it to continue… Let. Yes. Plus OH. OH LET me remember… HOTEL. Well. He seems to be gaining a bit more control.

He gets into the elevator, leans his head against the wall. If he gets home, will all this stop? But how does he get home?

Not that he wants to get home just yet. He has unfinished business. But. Continue reading


This is the fourteenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

He’s sitting on a ledge, literally as well as metaphorically, confronted with the limits of his know—. He is trying to balance the —r of his desires and obligations, his pleasures and p—s. Behind him, a cliff; before him, a precipice; but beneath him, a place he can rest. A ledge, yes. And the view from here, literally, is not bad: art, architecture, cityscape. If only he could see as plainly figuratively.

He does not know a way off that won’t hurt, possibly kill. Continue reading


This is the thirteenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

The houses along the margin of the park are pretty nice. He can see how someone as resourceful and, apparently, magical as Janet would have the means to buy a nice big place, one of these red-brick Romanesque four-storey piles. Which one? They walk along in silence on the broad sidewalk across the street from the park, every five metres punctuated by another pretty elm or maple, each ringed closely by a low wrought-iron fence, its own solipsistic parkette. They are leafy for November.

Generally the space between him and an attractive woman on a walk like this is filled with the fuzz of conversation or the silent electromagnetism of expectation, but this time he feels as if he’s in an anechoic chamber with a glowing sword-bearing bejewelled idol, ensorcelling but ambiguously beneficent or baleful.

And yet she’s just wearing teal jeans and a SPAM-coloured shirt. And walking as though everything is exactly unexceptionable. Continue reading


This is the twelfth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

“I came crashing through the leaves,” Janet says. “The same way you did, I presume.”

“I guess. I was a little disoriented. I might have lost consciousness for a moment or two.”

They’re walking down a street, a different street, perpendicular to the other one. What is the name. He never looks at the signs! It’s a nice enough neighbourhood, feels central, old buildings, restaurants, stores, cabarets, trees in the boulevard. More places are closed now, but the night life continues. No one will hear the two of them talking, not because there’s no one around but because other people bring enough noise with them to drown them out. There’s not a lot of sobriety to go around.

“I found myself in a forest of words with a stack of books and a wad of money,” she says. Continue reading


This is the eleventh chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

He’s no closer to home. Not his home, anyway. Maybe hers. Who knows. We’ll see.

He’s met women in many places, but a men’s washroom is a first for him. A men’s washroom where she was mopping up someone else’s emesis. And now she’s here in this other bar that looks like a famous painting. And it’s he-still-doesn’t-know-but-it’s-been-dark-a-while o’clock. Continue reading


This is the tenth chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

He needs to hit reset and steer himself aright. He likes a game, but he likes a game where he’s on an even footing.

So easy to get caught up in a game, too. His whole life is that. Games. He likes winning. He likes the challenge of playing. He can put up with losing if he was beaten fair and square. If he still has a chance to win again.

He walks down the street. It is post-crepuscular, tenebrous; the time is unclear but it is well into a November e—ning. It’s after se—n, and probably after ten, maybe e—n ele—n, but he has no watch. He ne—r wears one around the house. He was not dressed for external perambulations and peregrinations. Especially not in No—mber. Dammit. The month after October and before December. November! Continue reading