Thursday, March 2, 2017

Electric Ladies, TO, wasted days

 My husband brought this book home and it sent me back to 1998, to a long, great day at the Toronto Library spent photocopying the 'Groupies' issue of Rolling Stone - I had heard about it but never seen it - I loved the pictures of these glam/scuzzy nightbirds with flowers in their hair and sleep in their eyes. I had gone to Toronto to try and work in publishing (I'd really wanted to go to the US, but no visa) turned out I wasn't particularly employable. In Toronto I found books like Mike Davis's City of Quartz, Susan Compo's Life after Death and Eve Babitz's Eve's Hollywood.  I saw Todd Haynes's Superstar, the Karen Carpenter Story, and Paradise Lost, an early doco about the West Memphis Three. In my TO folder I have a photocopy of Lynn Crosbie's poem Miss Pamela's Mercy and Ann Powers' chapter on fandom and feminism, 'The Love You Make'. I've never written about Toronto. Flashcubes of the time include Camel cigarettes, half-and-half milk, swimming in the High Park pool, the unexpected appeal of my flatmate's cats, watching a lot of Dawson's Creek. The Spice Girls were huge but I was already too old for them. You could get awesome cowboy shirts in Queen St. I didn't stay. I went a bit wobbly and ended up running away to England.

How is it that can time be slow and fast at the same time? I think about the line in Olive Kitteridge about our 'unconsciously squandered' days. Did I really go to Toronto in 1998? Who was that girl?



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