by Nic Olson

This write-up recently appeared in QC newspaper’s Read My Book column, complete with glamour shot by Noel Wendt. 

If I was conducting an interview with myself, I would start with this: “Why do you sleep on the floor?” As eloquently as a garborator I would respond with a series of self-deprecating jokes, grunts and shrugs. Either that or I’d be unable to answer at all. If I were to reply on paper, I would write this: Aside from the obvious spinal-health benefits that a hardwood floor offers a curved back, aside from the fact that I’ve never had quite enough money to purchase my own bed, aside from the fact that not owning furniture makes it much easier to constantly move from basement to basement and city to city; aside from all of these, I honestly cannot say why I sleep on the floor. I guess it just feels right. The room I rent in my friend’s basement in the Cathedral Village is furnished with a functional, arguably clean mattress left behind from the previous renter, yet my sleeping space, like a well-domesticated hound, is on the floor at the foot of the bed.

To continue my self-conducted interview, I may ask this question: “Why did you decide to write a book?” I would ask myself this question because it is one that I’ve been asked often. And because I don’t really know. I could say that I didn’t choose to write a book, but the book chose me. Or I could say that writing a book was always one of my dreams. These would be lies. Again, like the floor question, I have no good reason. Written in an Eastview basement, on a train in India, in a park in Montreal, To Call Them To Wander was more of a hobby, a time-pass as they say in India, or a challenge. I wrote this book so that when I inevitably get old and sleep in a bed with a wife and a well-domesticated hound or child on the floor at the foot of the bed, that I will have a guideline, a series of essays, of how to live life simply, subversively and with youthful wisdom. I wrote it because it felt right.

To Call Them To Wander is available at Norwood (2401-11th Avenue) as well as online at http://www.ballsofrice.wordpress.com/tocallthemtowander.