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foreign am listen to and drawing up their plans do they know what we’re thinking somehow i don’t think so they’re up way too high i’m is now you always said that i was selfish always thinking about myself always wanted more than most men i never thought of someone else said i never said i’m sorry even though i was wrong

you said i never really noticed you but now i see that you’re gone and it just goes to show just how wrong you can be when you said i had no feelings and then nothing could hurt me but you went and did it this time you can’t tell me that i’m selfish when all i’m thinking about is you i never called when i was out late just to say that i’m okay so i forgot about those little things what’s a man like me to see remember what i told you when we had our last big fight and it just goes to show just how wrong you can be when you i had no fears you can’t tell me that i’m selfish when all i’m thinking about is you and it just goes to show just how wrong you can be when you said i had no penis you can choose when all i’m thinking about is you you can’t tell me um

i got it you already hit got it i just want to do whatever you do tell me all the places i just want you i work all day got it i just wanna do whatever me you took your hand and you placed it look at me with this dance yeah me oh wrap them around the moments get away

oh wow today yes good evening everybody welcome wonderful to have you all here i’m isaac thomas managing director native earth performing arts sorry do you want me to go yes that’s okay was i interrupted i hi everyone welcome to live live online stuff i’m at home and isaac’s in the office quick way everyone uh my name is keith barker i’m the artistic director at native earth performing arts i’m mix metis french english and scottish my pronouns are he him my ancestors come from matawa in golden lake reserve area but which is anishinabe and algonquin territory but i was raised in treaty 3 territory which is anishinaabe territory um i would just like to acknowledge any elders who might be watching this this evening hello welcome to weesageechak begins to dance 33 the online version i’d like to acknowledge that we live work and play on the traditional territories of many nations including the Wendat the Anishinaabe the Haundenosaunee confederacy and the Mississaugas of the credit takaronto is now home to many diverse first nations innovate and metis people lend acknowledgements um lots of people continue to ask us why we’re doing them and for me it’s just a reminder of who is here before us and who is going to come after us it’s situat situates us in this moment right now um and allows us to say thank you because the people the seven generations

who came before us are the ones who made sure there was water clean water for us to drink and food to eat and land to live on and resources for us to live by and we have a responsibility as canadians uh as you know world citizens to make sure that the generations who come after us have that same uh benefit uh part of that is also acknowledging right now that the covet is here and making a land acknowledgement is also understanding that those people also went through hardships to get to this point of where we are at now and the idea that we are in one right now to acknowledge that to acknowledge that we are um we just have to do our best to make sure that the future is bright for all of us and we all have to do our part to make sure that that happens um and the idea is also to remind us to continue to walk forward with generosity and empathy even though people decide not to wear masks we have to really just uh everyone gets to make their own choice and we just have to do our best to embrace what everyone does even if we don’t agree politically in such a time of great divide and all that stuff i think coming together to be thankful to be on this land to be you know to have shelter and food and to be able to feed our families and stuff like that is really important so for us it’s a really important thing when we just are able to acknowledge um the original caretakers of this land and also the idea of our responsibility to the future thank you this festival would not be possible without our team so i’d like to make a big shout out to our festival producing team of sue balant victoria wang and theresa cutknife also to uh festival designer and head tech brian clifford batty a marketing coordinator abby ho patron services coordinator alex franks administrative assistant Kristen Francis and our Animikiig creators unit director Lindsay Lachance a big shout out to our patron services representatives who many of you know and we all miss very much clayton jessica sophie chanakya alexis joelle elizabeth and caitlin we would not be able to do this festival without extensive government support we would like to take a moment to thank the candidate counsel for the arts the ontario and toronto arts councils the australian arts council the department of canadian heritage and the oac indigenous projects also there are several foundations metcalfe foundation hal jackman and the kingfisher foundations the toronto toronto arts and ontario arts foundations all these funders have recognized the massive impact covid has had and will have on our industry moving forward i would also like i’d also particularly like to thank our many donors both past and present some new in 2021 and some who have been us been with us since inception we would like to acknowledge that at present we do not have closed captioning for the live stream however it will be available within 48 hours after broadcast we also would really appreciate you liking and subscribing to native earth this year’s festival will have live presentations from wednesday to sunday the 30th however if you miss a night you can still see the work right up until december the 6th please check out our schedule on our website at nativeearth.ca this evening we have quite the lineup in store for you from across turtle island tonight’s three works are all solo pieces and all audio offerings so if you’re not seeing any video don’t panic first up we have you the guy by Christopher Mejaki next you will see dissection of a mixed heritage woman by Nyla Carpentier and the final piece this evening will be restoring identity by Jennifer Murrin we hope you enjoy this evening stay safe be well enjoy the festival we look forward to seeing you in the theater when that’s possible until then Introduction song playing pre-show 50 cent in the club song slowly transitions into soft pow-wow music voices of the ancestors young one speaks jeez is this the guy ancient one speaks he does not see chief blackbird speaks his vision is very clouded it’s ever true he’s lost send a warning will he even see it feel it

we’ll see shift in sound powwow music drum beat fades out CJ enters ever feel like you’re being watched over someone something looking out for you the universe has a plan for you you’re meant to walk a path a guardian angel faith me i don’t know what to call it there has to be something doesn’t there cj talks to himself in a mirror okay cj you’ve got this there’s a lot of people depending on you it’ll pay off in the end right god damn right they need you cj they need me CJ sniffs a big line of coke yo yeah i’ve got it relax relax i’m leaving soon all right peace i just weighed up 1.75 grams of shine tony powder yayo white nose candy or more commonly known as amazonian marching powder cocaine 1.75 grams is half an 8 ball which is 3.5 grams a good little chunk of coke so i pack it up really tight into a baggie and i bury it deep in the fifth pocket of my jeans yo what yo smiles is that you who’s coming what i can’t hear you it’s breaking up hello it’s mine my buddy smiles it does run for me to my customers cj enters living room hey ma uncle jack what are you guys doing cj’s mother eats a cinnamon bun just watching the leafs game they’re down two to one in the third ah of course they are come on boys you can do this sit down join us visit for a little nephew my mom’s brother jack he left the reserve and is staying with us for a little while before that i hadn’t seen him in years he’s trying to find work or go back to school in the fall he talks about wanting to go for a sweat too medicine spirits i’m not sure i believe in all of that but it’s cool that he does or used to sorry uncle jack i’ll be back later and we can hang where are you off to you’re always in and out of the house i think my mom suspects just gonna visit a buddy be back later hey ma lay off the cinnamon buns it’s gonna go straight to your ass oh i’ll eat em’ all if i want to jeez cj enters kitchen oh hey kev what are you doing getting snacks gonna watch a movie little porn action as if that’s my little brother kevin we don’t have the same father but i don’t see him as my half brother he’s just my brother alright i’m gonna head out lock the door after i leave why the rest of us are still home just lock it okay but why though kevin sometimes there’s people out there who think they can just walk in on someone because they spend a lot of time or money there that’s just not the case time or money what do you mean there’s just a lot of bad people out there and i don’t want you guys to get hurt it’s just safer this way okay safety first okay relax dude i’ll lock it after you leave i step out the back door the moon is out i scan the back area of my townhouse complex a brick path that runs along the edge of the other unit’s backyards a grassy hill straight ahead that leads down to a car wash and the parking lot for our building’s tenants it’s dark out tonight but i don’t see any sketchy people i start walking through my backyard to head over to my buddies when don’t move or i’ll shoot your ass don’t move i see silhouettes i’m surrounded they have guns i don’t want to fucking die get your hands in the air hands in the air it hits me the thought not a bullet the cops it’s a raid all right my hands are up they throw me up against the brick wall in the back of my mom’s place my arms held tight behind my back don’t

fucking move don’t move i hear a thunderous strike so loud i can feel my body rumble bang our back door cracks open and they pour into my mom’s place police we’ve got guns they bring me in they’re yelling at my mom put your hands up lady and drop what you’re holding ah but it’s only a cinnamon bun virginia but jack i only took one bite out of this one lady drop the bun hey quit calling me lady ain’t no dog virginia don’t make them shoot us because of a damn cinnamon bun ma’am drop the bun hands up i’m not going to ask again oh what a waste cuff em two cops heather and jim start to question me where is it cj we know it’s here come on cj you gotta tell us something we know it’s here we’ve been arresting people all day after they left your place and they all had a little something that looks a lot like your product i’m known for not cutting my coke it was good obviously too good this is gonna be so much easier on you if you just tell us where it is you’re a cop you can figure it out am i supposed to do your job for you then i see my family handcuffed laying belly down on the floor they look terrified it’s in the basement in the funny-looking dresser top drawer what they won’t know about is the drugs and money i’ve been secretly stashing in my brother’s closet go check it out a few of them rush downstairs i hear them cheering and laughing not looking very good for you cj they ask if i have any weapons drugs or needles on me i tell them no they pat me down search me and with a cop on each side of me begin to take me away i stare at my family as i pass they stare back i feel like such a piece of [ __ ] the officers walk me outside there’s red and blue lights flashing everywhere all the neighbors are out front watching i pass by like i’m some kind of monster i feel ashamed angry resentful they throw me in the cruiser i check my pants pocket it’s bumpy it’s lumpy it’s chunky it’s coke baby they missed this in the pat down talk about incompetent holy crap i gotta get rid of this can’t let them find it i’m a criminal criminal how the hell did i get here i like peanut butter i like it so much i’ll get it any way i can even if i have to steal it from anywhere at home my friends even the neighbors at home i wait until my mom is not around then i make a one for the kitchen get the peanut butter a spoon and i run away and hide no one can find me no one knows even my babysitter tanya sija she cannot find me i cannot be caught like cj where are you she didn’t see anything she can’t prove anything there you are i know you’re in my closet i can like totally see your feet it’s ridiculous come on out of there right now cj half the neighbors are missing their peanut butter and i think you’re the peanut butter bandit you’ve got nothing on me i didn’t do it you need evidence i’m innocent i swear innocent

ever since those peanut butter bandit days i’ve been doing what i need to do to get what i want need and i end up hands cuffed legs bent out of shape to fit in that tiny space between the front and back seats of a cop car i have to find a way to get rid of this coke we arrive at the police station park just sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting man it sure would be nice to have a cigarette right about now not happening hey come on i’m stressed out give me a break would you officers have you ever made a big mistake in your life not playing this game knock it off tough crowd hey what are we waiting for do they gotta roll the red carpet out for me or what please no autographs i’m just a normal person like you how about the leafs huh just shut up don’t you want information isn’t that what you’re supposed to want from me i can’t keep this in i can’t i get i’m scared i’ve never been to jail before what’s gonna happen to me i don’t know if i can make it on the inside i’ve never even been arrested before please come on guys if you let me go i swear i’ll never go near drugs again i won’t even take tylenol i’ve learned my lesson i have i swear save the theatrics for the judge that’s cold bro well can i at least have a cigarette even just the first puff man that first smoke after a long break i could just feel the tobacco rushing into my lungs calming every nerve within my body that little head buzz you get too sometimes huh oh so good you know what i’m talking about oh is that a smile i see from a fellow smoker officer officer his name’s jim heather why’d you tell him that officer jim officer heather that’s a nice name so now that we’re all getting to know each other how about a smoke jim’s trying to quit one day at a time nicorette gum one piece at a time yeah it’s never easy quitting i’d applaud you but i’m a little tied up honestly i think we both could use a cigarette right about now can’t smoke in the car so let’s step outside and have one i won’t run i swear why would i do that i’ll just get another charge all right one cigarette and then i don’t want to hear any more about it okay heather opens my door and lets me step outside huh jim unlocks the cuffs behind my back and then locks them in front jim hands me a cigarette sparks me up then he lights one up too the three of us just stand there in the breeze having a cigarette and it feels orgasmic i’ve talked my way into a cigarette maybe i can talk my way out of these charges what right now roger that okay cj it’s time what she’s still a virgin i’m just getting it nowhere come on just one more puff one more puff all right all right let’s do this we pull into a big empty garage it’s getting very real now two other cops show up in the doorway and start talking to jim and heather can’t make out what they’re saying they’re pointing at me heather’s laughing this is good jim’s not laughing but when does jim ever laugh

guy’s a brick wall mounted onto another much older brick wall okay i’ve got to get rid of this coke right now dump it in the back of this cruiser somewhere try to force it under the seat or something oh got it now i’ll just pull it out and oh shit they’re coming i gotta bail shit shit shit the door opens what are you doing cj uh my butt’s itchy wanna give me a hand all right funny guy let’s go jim and heather hand me over to the other cops one is tall pale older and kind of looks like he might be a vampire i call him old blood the second one is short young stocky and looks like he has a very low center of gravity i call him young bull old blood undoes my cuffs young bull takes me into a small room and shuts the door take off all your clothes uh at least take me to dinner first hey nothing another brick wall this guy doesn’t get me why won’t you get me i just want you to get me please just get me young bull stares me down as i begin to take my clothes off the coke can’t take it out now as i’m undoing my pants i give the coke a really good squeeze hoping it’ll blend into the material i hand my pants over now i’m just in my underwear underwear off come on i have frank and beans just like you what else is there to know strip or cavity search i have no cavities just fillings young bull snaps cj pulls underwear down turns around bend over cough do it cj humiliated ben’s over and coughs after being fingered for the first time he leaves men now i’m coming down from the coke i’m cold i feel like a hairless cat they’ll probably find the coke in my pants the stash of drugs and money in my brother’s closet i’m so fucked right now i want out i need out get me out of here the door opens young bull throws my clothes at me and watches me get dressed and i don’t know if they found the coke or not i step out and old blood takes my prince and mug shot and 20 minutes later they toss me into a holding cell finally i can check what it’s here oh heather jim you are very nice cops but not very good at your job i was able to get this far with the coke but i can’t risk it i’ll flush it wait what if what if i just put it up my nose how could i not i could be caught by the camera or a watchful guard it’s getting cold in here i’m really coming down now i need a bump cj begins to shiver fuck i’m freezing am i gonna freeze to death and hear in here or what the door’s opening it’s old blood doing his rounds and he’s carrying blankets blankets a white man offering us blankets what could go wrong your hands like really looked at them every crease tracing the lines the shape of the nails

the little cuts and old scars the length of the fingers i mean i have really big hands with extremely long fingers my mom calls them my piano hands and they bend back back further than you would expect normal fingers to bend like really back i like to think of them as the perfect creature fingers grr argh i’ve always wondered where did they come from my mom my dad a my great-grandmother like who do i thank for giving me really bendy fingers it’s not just the hands that i wonder about though before i begin i like to acknowledge that this recording is taking place on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh acknowledging the complicated relationship of living on a territory that traditionally isn’t my own and that was stolen you know negotiating all the feelings that come up with that honestly i’d rather pay rent to the musqueam over the years i was taught that before you start a ceremony an event or a show or in this case an audio recording you usually start with a song and it can be a song of welcoming or honoring or simply to enter the space now i was taught this song by bob baker sapluck of the squamish nation and it’s one of my favorite songs to sing and especially on days that i need a little extra boost i like to sing this one and it’s called snowbird (Singing) trace back the lines point of origin ottawa ontario january 13 1983 canada one traceback maternal line timmins ontario 1940s french and scottish a trace back the paternal line nine mile point from telegraph creek british columbia 1940s Tahltan, Kaska, French Two wait trace further go further along the maternal line where it splits the grand maternal line reaches to Hoey a french community in saskatchewan 1920s canada the grand paternal line to tisdale saskatchewan uh 1920s canada wait trace further go further along the paternal line where it splits a grand maternal line remaining within the surrounding territory near the dew where rivers meet northern bc late 1920s canada a grand paternal line reaches over the atlantic waters to Noyelles – Godault, Pas-de-Calais. early 1910s france four though to follow the grand maternal line from saskatchewan to the province of quebec leads over the atlantic waters to france a french catholic a date unknown following the grand paternal line of the maternal line from tisdale to ontario that leads over the atlantic waters to scotland protestant a date unknown known french catholic woman meets scottish protestant man grandma davidson meets grandpa davidson at a barnyard dance in saskatchewan she’s engaged to

someone else though to follow the grand maternal line of the paternal line from nine mile point leads further further north dease lake telegraph creek Iskut always along the rivers reaching back back when Tahla landed on a mountaintop dates unknown following the grand paternal line over the atlantic waters to Noyelle-Godault, a village in the Hauts-de-France, where the lineage continues french catholic dates unknown known Tahltan/Kaska woman meets french catholic man grandma mona meets grandpa claude at the schoolhouse he is her teacher a priest and much older reaching out to grab various threads lines that make up my body one point of origin stemming from half told recorded facts holding on to the blood of the story weaving it together forming my narrative though is it which part belongs to whom reaching to northern ontario reaching to northern bc along the coast to the south reaching across the atlantic sea to find some old routes beyond fur traders and priests what does my blood remember travel along water water so much water and come to rest on mountain tops grabbing reaching reaching grabbing weaving lines along my spine trying to make sense one me two parents four grandparents eight great-grandparents a 16 great-great-grandparents 32 great-great-great-great-grandparents a 64 great-great-great-great-great-grandparents out of 128 great-great-great-great-great-grandparents trying to connect each piece each part no wonder i’m overextended it’s a beautiful sunny brisk winter day in the capital of canada the light hits the snow creating a sparkle that causes the eye to wince it’s approximately 3 30ish in the afternoon a very pregnant woman is being escorted out of her comfy home by her best friend her water is broken so it’s off to the grace hospital which was considered the best for natal care a doctor approaches the woman with a needle to ease the pains of labor the woman takes one look at him and says you come near me with that needle i’ll break your arm the doctor moves back at 5 38 p.m a baby is born healthy at nine pounds four ounces the child does not cry merely gurgles as if to say oh so this is my world closes her eyes and goes to sleep or so i’m told so a new weave of stories are laid out on this baby’s skin some are already in the sinew in the bones in the tendons that stretch along the legs to the wiggling toes in the muscles that carry the weight of the past to be strong and to move forward stories are the sinew that hold the bones together when you’re born of two worlds how do you build a bridge to each side how do you decide which part belongs to who when each part tells so much like which section i mean i can claim that my high defined cheekbones are from my native side my nose has been called cute as a button so maybe french my ears are quick to hear the sound of change falling to the ground so scottish there is one thing i am sure of though my eyebrows i’m positive that these bushy hard to maintain eyebrows come from my father these are the kind of eyebrows that stick up vulcan style in the morning straight up if they’re not maintained they tend to grow into these wild mini bushes with long curly hairs just sticking out all willy-nilly my sister once asked my dad if she could at least like trim his eyebrows he said no dad has the same eyebrows as grandpa claude bushy bushy frenchman eyebrows May non! May oui! So Bushy!

sometimes we inherit these weird genetic traits and now i bear the burden of bushy eyebrows i will forever have to pluck trim thread and gel them into submission and i can’t do this alone nope every few months i visit a salon where a very talented woman takes a thread to my brows and brings them back from the untamed wilderness gurjeet is pure awesome so my eyebrows are from the french side and i’m tall i’m 5 10 which is taller than the average female now i’ve done the typical tall gal things played basketball which i was okay at attempted volleyball which i was like meh tackled boys referred to myself as a tall amazonian warrior oh i assume my height comes from my mother’s side of the family since she stands at 5 11 and all of her brothers were above six feet and her sisters were tall as well so was it the scottish jeans that made them tall or was the french i mean when i think of french people i think the french chef from the little mermaid who was short and round of course i know that’s a caricature of french people and not all of them are short or chefs while i like to think that my long fingers might come from my french side so le cote de monte let’s say my height must come from my scottish side the davidson clan to be tall fess warriors and tell bostrostores though actually the davidson clan aren’t really known for their fighting skills see a long time ago they went to war and only two members survived so after that they took their time gathered their strength built up the clan and then they went to war again and this time only one survived by jumping into the river after that they were a piece-loving folk who enjoyed singing and dancing and won many a swimming medals wisely if sincerely is the davidson clan model so my height is from the scottish side my height my back my thighs and my crack okay though this butt it’s not bannock flat so it’s not from the native side and since most dance songs say shake what your mama gave you i’ll trust that it’s from my mom’s side of the family once in a gay club in ottawa called icon i was leaning against the bar waiting to order a drink and a drag queen came up to me looked at my butt looked at me looked at my butt you’re cute wanna do a shot of sambuca three things i learned that night one ottawa drag queens love their sambuca two don’t try to drink a drag queen under the table it won’t end well three i have a nice butt but is it french or is it scottish i can’t decide oh hey nico the sound guy what do you think uh who has the better ass the french or the scottish scottish it is i’m a scottish ass just being cheeky 2 4 8 16 32 steps to take to move forward in a good way as they say one foot in front of the other then there are these big feet ugh do you know how hard it is to shop for women’s size 10 10 and a half shoes it’s damn near impossible to find a pair of shoes that actually fit again i think that my feet are probably from my mom’s side of the family cause mom has size 11 feet and also the toes are really long huh their size might be scottish but the toes because they’re so long could be french but what of their grace you know the way they move step by step beat by beat following the rhythm from the moment i could stand i love to move

to dance to bounce i started powwow dancing when i was two years old and i’ve been dancing ever since i think of my dad’s mom grandma mona i like to think my love of dance comes from her once her and her sisters were going to a concert out here in vancouver an allen jackson concert her sisters were wearing the usual comfy granny sweaters and granny sneakers but not my granny oh no she was in her finest dress shawl red cowboy hat and heels ready to take on the town oh she loves to dance she’d go out on weekends and dance to the wee hours to step even in her 80s she’d stay out till like two or three in the morning she’s slowed down a bit now now that she’s about uh 90 only stays out until about one in the morning she gives the best dating advice things like make sure you have an activity partner you know someone you can do things with someone younger than you it’s good to have a activity partner but mostly she just wants more great grandkids from me and my cousins jeez they need to hurry up and have some more kids they don’t even need to stay with the men recently she said you need to get on it while i’m still alive (laughs) okay grandma a few years back she had to have eye surgery here in vancouver so like a good granddaughter i went to visit her and brought some kfc and while we were talking in her hotel room we were talking about relationships and grandma says i didn’t even know i was getting married what yeah i didn’t even know my aunt just told me to wear a nice dress and go down to the government office downtown and there he was with the indian agent boy i was mad grandma mona had to marry out of obligation though that didn’t stop her from trying to find the right dancing partner restoring identity by jennifer alicia murrin read by jennifer alicia murrin jennifer is sitting on the side of her bed which is floating in the middle of the atlantic ocean scene one it’s one of those days where the ocean could be mistaken for a freshly cleaned skating rink the sky is cotton candy purples and pinks and baby blues the sun is glistening on the mountains and dancing on the water a warm breeze brushes my face and i can taste the salt on my lips suddenly the seagulls take flight dark clouds roll in i feel a damp coldness rise from the tip of my toes through my legs spreading through my whole body i can’t feel my feet then i hear my pops voice remember that’s it just one word remember remember what what am i supposed to be remembering pop what am i supposed (phone rings) hello mom what’s wrong it seems like the only time i go back home nowadays is in my dreams or for funerals jennifer has returned to her home community in newfoundland she has just come back from her pop’s funeral the bed is now orange dory in the middle of the atlantic ocean the water is calm and blue the same color as a clear sky the sun is shining gold reflecting on the mountains and water scene two

pop i’m so sorry i didn’t come home any sooner i really wish i didn’t stay away for so long i thought getting out of this place would mean a better life for me i had big plans in toronto have my name written in the stars i wanted to live my dream maybe even become a famous actor i wanted to eat different foods and learn about other cultures i wanted to experience more than that this island had to offer i couldn’t end up being one of those people who never leave the island was i supposed to work at the fish plant or the mink farm that life just wasn’t for me when i left i left everything and everyone including you and i am sorry i was ashamed of this place i can’t believe i allowed what other people thought of us to get in the way of actually learning about this place having some pride in where i come from i thought moving to toronto would fill me up but i’ve just been filling myself with empty promises i’m just a tiny speck floating amongst millions i want to know more about who you were what was your pop like did he teach you how to make fishing nets i remember watching you make yours in her little house you would hook one end of the net on a nail stuck in the window frame then you would stretch and tie and weave and mend until the whole house was a sea of green i would sit there by the wood stove and just watch I didn’t even say anything to you i could have asked you so many questions like how did you learn to make this dory you built this with your own two hands i want to know about your people my people did you understand the language did you fight when you were forcibly relocated from your land what were your dreams did you ever feel lonely pop i’m so sorry i haven’t been a good granddaughter you’re never really alone out here jenny poo pop pop it’s really you pop where did you how did you we’ve had some good times out here haven’t we jenny pooh you were fishing even before you could walk eh you practically grew up out here in this old dory do you remember where you used to take your naps yeah we used to be out here for hours i would crawl up to the top of the dory and lay down wherever i could find a spot sometimes i would even lay on my back and pretend that i was glue scab stuck to the ground watching all the girls flock and squawk while you hauled your nets being out here always made me feel so calm yes you had a scattered nap out here hey jenny pooh can you see where that rock is coming up from the water way over there that’s where i saw Eela for the first time hey have you met her yet Eela why was she out there in the middle of the ocean on that rock Eela is a sabawaelnu! A mermaid just like the one you used to watch in that movie all the time jenny pooh i was out in this very spot check of my fishing nets it was like any other day there was just a little peak of light there with a sky and ocean meat it was just me and this year old dory i hauled up my first net and i was floored they kept rolling into the boat one after the other one fish two fish fifty fish two hundred fish i felt like i was in one of those money machines trying to grab them all a they were jumping and squirming when i was all done there were so many codfish that they were even jumping out of the boat back into the water but i didn’t even care i had cod piled as high as those mountains back there i didn’t even know what i was gonna do with all those fish but i was some happy eh i sat here lit up a smoke and i watched them all dance around the boat the sun

was starting to rise and i could hear something floating around in the water off in the distance i thought it might have been a whale or even a seal it jumped off that same rock over there and started swimming right for me closer and closer my heart felt like it was one of those codfish bouncing around the boat it was coming so fast jenny poo that i didn’t even have time to think it came right up beside the dory and then it just stopped complete silence i peeked out over one side nothing i peeked out over the other side and i could see some colors just under the surface then all of a sudden the most beautiful being i have ever seen emerge from the water well besides you jenny poo she was just as big as the dory her skin was blue and glowing almost like she was part of the sky eh and she had markings all over her body that almost looked like the petroglyphs do you remember the petroglyphs jenny poo i think so i do remember you took me to a place once and told me that it was a special place it was like a huge cave on the side of the mountain we drifted there in our boat there were all kinds of pictures on the rocks you told me that the old people carved these stories and teachings to remind us of who we are oh pop i wish i could remember what they said my little jenny poo you’ll get back to that special place one day well she had those same markings all over her skin her hair was long and dark swirling around in the water and her tail was bright green just like those big eyes of yours jenny poo her eyes were as dark as the night sky when i peered into those eyes i could see the whole ocean jellyfish and codfish and lobster even some fish i’ve never seen before eh then she lifted one of her blue hands and reached it in and over the boat well i didn’t know what to do i’ve heard stories about what happens when the water people get angry and i didn’t want to find out today well i searched and searched and searched around my boat and the only thing that i could find was codfish she grabbed it right out of my hand and threw it back in the water and then snapped back and grabbed my wrist i felt a jolt of electricity run through my body i saw flashes of images horrible horrible things the fish were sick the animals were sick and even the people were sick then i heard something in my boat and when i looked all of the codfish started exploding one after the other one fish two fish 50 fish 500 fish fish got some maggots everywhere i’ve never seen anything like it jenny pooh my best haul of fish gone i turned back towards the water and poof she was gone just like that jennifer wakes up and is still laying on the bottom of the boat scene three pop pop pop are you here where did you go pop wait what am i supposed to remember wait i don’t know what i’m supposed to be remembering what was that a seal i should probably get back before they start worrying about me jennifer starts the boat mortar and heads back to the shore she sees a crowd circling a beached whale nearby i wonder what’s happening over there no it’s true my Nukumij told me she told me about the time the community forgot their ways and then all the fish got sick

those are just old tales and nothing more i heard earl cut open a cod last week and it was full of maggots yeah and what about rhonda remember what happened to her when she moved away to halifax her mother told me that she got really sick so sick that she had to go to the doctor and he diagnosed her with that c o d cut illness nah she just forgot her ways that’s all cod illness whoa i wonder what’s going to happen to this poor guy you gross is that a maggot in his blowhole jennifer portals through the whale’s blowhole scene four how did i get here my pop spent so much time out here in this little shed he would never let any of us in here but sometimes when i knew he would be gone fishing or trapping for a while i would sneak in i’m not so sure if it’s because i wasn’t allowed in that i was so interested or if i was just really interested i see still locks it with just a little piece of green wrote wrapped around a nail and it still smells like algae and fur hides in here wow still so much stuff just look at it all pop’s most prized possessions all of these random objects he collected from his travels shells beach glass bones i see he still has his gemstone collection he loved those gemstones he would never tell anyone where his spots were but he always came home with the most beautiful rocks quartz jasper amethyst oranges and greens and purples and blues i remember one time he came home with a hunk of labrador right the size of my whole torso i’ve never seen anything so shiny and so blue a very bright blue nothing like i’ve ever seen before i wonder if he still keeps him in his barrel over here he does he does still have them in here i can see them all glowing under the water wow it looks like the northern lights and there’s that blue beauty huh okay i can do this the algae makes it slightly gross but it can’t be that bad jennifer reaches her hand into the barrel of water oh it’s cold okay got it what the heck what is that is that a jennifer gasps as ela emerges from the barrel jennifer is terrified Eela uh oh um uh um i’m crawford’s granddaughter jennifer uh i’ve been away for a while in toronto so you might not know me but but but my pop told me about you um this is a fishing needle my pop used to make his fishing nets with it’s been passed down for generations starting with his great-grandfather i was told that he carved it from a piece of jasper with his own two hands it was very important to our family and maybe it could be of some use to you would you like it jennifer reaches out her hand to ela and eli grabs her wrist a jolt of electricity pulses through jennifer’s body and she is pulled into the barrel jennifer is screaming and choking on the water silence scene five five-year-old jennifer is in bed listening to a party at her house there are loud voices laughing bears clinking and music playing oh tom petty that’s my favorite i really want to go out and join the fun

i don’t want to sleep maybe if i wait here someone will come and get me yeah they always do a little peek of light shines on jennifer little jenny poo are you awake oh uh yeah i can’t really sleep did you want to come out here and show everyone your dance maybe you can even have a pepsi if you’re good really okay can i do free falling yes you can have whatever song you want baby girl jennifer hops out of bed and follows her dad into the living room where the party is happening there’s a spotlight on jennifer on the stage hi mom hi hi pop hi auntie betty oh hi mr park huh okay ready tom petty’s free falling begins to play jennifer starts dancing and singing along with a song she’s a good girl loves her mama loves jesus and america too she’s a good girl crazy about elvis loves horses and a boyfriend too the people at the party are happy clapping and watching jennifer perform and it’s a long day living in rosita there’s a free way running through the yard people start having their own conversations jennifer’s singing becomes more amplified to try to keep everyone’s attention and i’m a bad boy cause i don’t even miss her and i’m a bad boy for breaking the background noise increases and fighting begins i told you budweiser what am i gonna do with this [ __ ] and i’m free can you even taste the difference after having a few dozen beers in your gut yeah i’m free free falling you can never do anything right kenya now look what you’re going to make me do lights go out silence jennifer is now standing on the beach how did i get here Eela did you have something to do with this what did i do i can’t remember cod illness is defined as a dual diagnosis condition of suffering from a mental illness and a comorbid substance abuse problem those with co-occurring disorders face complex challenges for example panic disorder and alcoholism pop pop

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