It is slightly too hot. She jumps off the bus and makes her way to the art school. It is pretty dusty under the bridge, construction workers talking, sideways barraged. She can see downtown from here, beautiful day, lots of tourists. Very june leaning into julyish. Her red nail polish is coming off, looks too grungy. She likes it though, her nails are still ruby red, maybe this is even nicer than meticulously manicured nails. It is sticky here, early afternoon. She ponders what the real time of the day is what with daylight saving time. She slowly slumps towards the library of the art school. She might take up painting, there is a market for that. So she heard. Worked for Picasso, for Leonardo, Michelangelo. All guys. Of course, all guys. What with the breadwinner advantage. She is slightly pissed off, always pissed off. The perpetual state of being pissed-off. She can feel all of her fifty-four years, in her bones, in her aching joints. She exercises too hard these days, trying to revive her lost youth. Not that she is alone, seems to be what is en vogue these days. No one ages gracefully anymore, the boomers are dead bent on going as teenagers into the sunset, demising with purple hair. She finally sits in front of one of these computers and starts typing. She should paint, swirl a paintbrush around. Writing is not what she started out to do, she wanted to be a painter. Then an animator, then a sound artist, then a moma artist. Your middle-of-theroad moma artist. Now she wants to be a scholar, checking out harvard press, yale press sites. They all have extremely concise submission guides, it is totally paint-by-number. Some research, some footnotes, how hard can it be? She ponders how much they pay. Should depend on the endowment. Oxford, Cambridge, the ivies. She thinks she should stick to English for writing, she thinks, she thinks. Too much these days. She is slightly
bored. There is a woman sitting next to her, typing. She ponders if she should describe her. She should make up some story, a narrative, something with sex and violence. Maybe more sex than violence. Maybe romance. Someone asked her how to spell the word â€œinukshukâ€?. She guesses, spells it somehow, tells him to look it up. Google it, google it. Her story is nonexistent, no protagonist here, no antagonist. Nothing that happens. Only time that stands still. Only one generic day after the next. She can describe it, observe it, pin the moments down on paper. Try to sell that. Who needs words, who needs literature? Her kind of literature. Home-spun literature. Literature on the side of bigger issues. Writings about lesser issues. If it is spelled right, it should still suffice. Make the grade somehow. She stares up into the sky, blackbirds flying up, flying down. Black against the pale blue sky. A red car passes by. There are all these stacks of books to her right, there is the sunny day outside, there is Granville Island slowly happening. The librarian sorts DVDs, clicks them into place. She types, spell checks, yawns, is ever so slightly bored. Nothing happens and nothing ever will. Ah, fun. Fun and fun and fun. And then there is the wordcount to consider. At this point she has 540 words. She ponders if that makes for a shortshort story, or a regular short story. An dis it a story or a nonstory? Is it just an amalgamation of words, a verbal sketch? A long poem in prose form. A film? She should go to the market. She should have a strawberry yoghurt ice cream under the bridge. Cherry yoghurt delight. She has a coupon somewhere in her purse. She should end this story. She should stop staring vacuously into space. She should. She should.