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pinkly speaking
up island
bleep blop
sound tracks
father knows best
confessions of
pictures of me
movie night
rant this
street cred

I am sitting in front of the fire with a cup of tea, my dog is sleeping at my feet and I am thinking about geography. You see, I live Up Island now, away from my home town of Victoria. I may be comfy here on my green velvet chair, but sometimes I wish the chair was back home. My sister tells me to ‘thank god I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be’, but I don’t really believe in god. The last time I prayed for anything, I was asking for Jon Bon Jovi’s phone number. But this isn’t about god, it’s about geography. And friendship. And coincidence.

I was at my friend Miranda’s place, discussing literature (BC lit) (i.e. Patrick Lane), book clubs, poetry (and arrogant, wormy writers who are nonetheless talented) with her father. I was internally marvelling at how bizarre it was that I could have been having this conversation in Victoria with my other best friend (Erin) and her dad (or mom, more likely).

Geographically speaking, it must make no difference where a person is on the planet. Individuals must be predestined to live out specific combinations of events that are mapped out for him or her long before the birth canal. Regardless of where I’ve been, I’ve noticed I have people in my life who share similar characteristics (bosom friends and jerks alike). No matter where I go, I just can’t get away from crazy-old-man-guru-alcoholics, mentally-messed-up-friends-who-I-totally-love and then there’s always one girl I totally relate to, have sick fun with and kind of wish would take care of me. This girl is always beautiful, creative, artistically and musically talented, totally humble and awesome. I have found variations of these people throughout my many (but short distanced) travels. It seems to me that each time I walk into a new scene, the same characters are on the stage; same writer, different director, different set and costume designer. I’ve known this for awhile, but it didn’t really freak me out until I moved Up Island. I think the powers that be messed up the character change, because the craziest thing happened.

Miranda was at my house looking through old photos and she saw a picture of Erin. “Oh my god”, she exclaimed. “Is that John O’Malley’s daughter”? I couldn’t believe my ears. ”Yes”, I said, my heart swelling with love and pride. “That’s my best friend Erin, do you know her”? Miranda explained that although she hadn’t seen Erin in years, they used to play together as children because they grew up ON THE SAME ORCHARD. They lived together. Don’t get me wrong, Miranda and Erin and a select couple of other best girlfriends are nothing alike in many ways (you’d never pick them out of a line up and put them in a box together), but....

I met Erin at the college newspaper office, where we spent our free time together bullying unsuspecting heads of councils or unions for telephone interviews. We used to run around the downtown streets and alleys, laughing at the top of our lungs, searching for excitement (writing material), when we’d written more than we could digest at our little cafe in the heart of the city.

When I moved to Nanaimo to go back to college, I thought Nanaimo was a weird little hick-y Hell’s Angels’ town with no culture (can a person do a poetry reading at a meat draw?). After three weeks of suicidal rain where I was trapped in the Nanaimo house, banging my head against the wall and too broke to smoke or drink, my one good friend up here introduced me to Miranda and her boyfriend Martin. Miranda had curly black hair, stretched ears and leg warmers and Martin wore some sort of graphic-y octopus T-shirt, cords and Chuck Taylors. Yay! Normal people. I thought they were the only two people Up Island other than me who listened to good music, read books and wrote for fun. Miranda is my best girlfriend up here. She cooks and knits and sings ‘Brand New Key’.

The two closest girlfriends I have made in 10 years grew up on the same piece of property in the Okanagan. I have now met Miranda’s dad and mom (divorced, like Erin’s) and they are both artistic and quirky and awesome (like Erin’s). Of course I discovered that the dads used to be friends long ago and moved onto the same property together with their families, so it all kind of makes sense, but what are the odds that the two most fantastic and inspiring women I have met, I ran into randomly (both of them had JUST moved to the place I lived) would be from the same piece of land? At the same time? Something’s up. Whether it’s god, destiny or an unwritten human need for specific learning, you’ve got to admit it’s kind of creepy.

Anyway, this is my life Up Island,

Love Leela.