It takes a pandemic to raise a fuck

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Two bags of tortilla chips in hand, corn starch in my hoodie pocket, I pushed my skateboard over the speedbump, foot hit wheel and I land horizontal, Old Dutch Lightly Salted tortilla chips expectorate from the plastic bag, obliterated between my hip and asphalt. They lay scattered, shattered.

“That thing’s even more dangerous than downhill skiing” the old man with a gouged face said about my skateboard, from the sidewalk as I limped away. “I used to downhill ski. I used to downhill ski!” he shouted at me from a social-distance as I walked home.

The pandemic gave me six rotting avocado from work, and two jugs of expired goat milk. Chips were for guac. Corn starch for chocolate pudding. When a pandemic gives you rotting avocados, make hip-smashed rib-bruised guac.

We hand out unwashed apples and pipes and rigs and hand santizer and swabs and tinfoil and glass tubes and everything you might need to function and feel better and forget for a minute that we live in a movie now. A movie you always loved when the main character gets bit and they don’t know if they’re infected or not and if they can pass it on to everyone else they love in the film.

One person said they’re getting moved to one of the 35 hotel rooms made available by the city and the province. They are keeping it on the downlow. Don’t tell anyone. Thirty-five hotel rooms for four-hundred people. The guy who couldn’t get his shot in, is rooming with, well he can’t actually count there’s so many, a bunch of roommates in a motel room. But if they all sit in each corner, they are six feet away.

We make handwashing stations from Boy Scout schematics and hand out granola bars from behind a table. You’re only allowed one juice box a day in the apocalypse.

Everyone, yes everyone, yes everyone, knew it was a problem. But it takes a pandemic to raise a fuck. Only when the socially-distanceable, the quarantineable are scared for their own lives does safe supply make sense, does housing everyone become understood as imperative to health, do public washrooms with sinks and soap become humane. It takes a pandemic to raise a fuck.

Support important work on the street by the Indigenous Harm Reduction Team (I-HEART): https://fundrazr.com/streetsurvival?ref=ab_6TO124zHCMh6TO124zHCMh

 

MEN WITH SIGNS Book Release Party

 

Please come out to the MEN WITH SIGNS Book Release event on Feb 21 at Spartacus Books in Vancouver BC.

Order the new book and download an audiobook from ballsofrice.bandcamp.com.

[Art by Alex Murray (atmmurray[at]gmail.com)]

Albums of the Year: 2018

Foxwarren – S/T

Tik Tu – Shuma

No Name – Room 25

Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar

Faim – 7″

Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance

John Prine – S/T

The Weather Station – S/T

Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death

Books of the Year: 2018

Go, Went, Gone – Jenny Erpenbeck

Fighting for Space – Travis Lupick (read my book review here)

The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin

The Break – Katherina Vermette

The People’s History of the Russian Revolution – Neil Faulkner

2312 – Kim Stanley Robinson

World of Apples – John Cheever

Legalizing Drugs – Steve Rolles

Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

As We Have Always Done – Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Policing Black Lives – Robyn Maynard

Neil Degrasse Tyson – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

America: A Farewell Tour – Chris Hedges

Malcolm X: An Autobiography – Alex Haley

East End

This story first appeared at Poached Hare. It is now available as an audiobook here, and for sale in book form, here

I think I’ll walk to the East End. Yeah, the East End. I got some stuff I need to get out there. I’ll come back down to Lester’s place later, ‘cause he’s got a place now. He’s not answering the door, but he’s not going anywhere. Can’t even walk. It’s only a hour and a half walk from downtown. I’ll go straight down and maybe warm up at the McDonalds. I’m already at the big trees around the hospital. Might as well keep on going.

            Gotta step over that pile of snow that someone left. Just shovelled to the end of their property. Not a damn millimetre more. Give me a shovel and I’d shovel the whole block. Give me a house and I’d have a sidewalk to shovel. Give me $20 and I’ll shovel whatever you want for a hour. Give me $20 and I’ll shovel the bullshit coming outta your mouth.

Click here to read the rest of the story…

Ukraine 7: Camping

Ukraine 6: Machina


Ukraine 5: Spaces

Ukraine 4: Food

Advocating for Alcohol Harm Reduction Policy in Regina, Saskatchewan, Round 2

To read a literature review on the topic of Managed Alcohol Programs, you can click the link below. The literature review was done by lead author Erin Nielsen and co-authored by Gabriela Novotna, Rochelle Berenyi, and myself.

To read CBC Saskatchewan’s coverage on it, you can click here.