I sat at the end of a road I don’t know very well, north of Bath, or at least I imagine I was near the end (a long train was chugging past and obscuring all things west). An old man, handsome and keen, nodded, pushed a deposit cheque across his dining table like a promise, and before I left we talked for a long pleasant while of times when everything to the north of here was still forested and the real estate potential was thicker in the air than fog. This is going back some years, he said. We talked of the water fifty feet below us, how it flashes blue over the limestone bed and then brakes, detours around a neighbour’s well. Of good fortune and bad. We talked.

Leaving, I found a friend’s long message on my telephone, and while I listened to its pleasant and good-humoured detours and backtrackings, talk of paintings and exhibitions looming, I lowered the windows and nudged the stereo a bit higher into the day’s mix, and headed east again, Iggy riding shotgun, past deer in the fields and buzzards drafting hopefully up above as if I might, if they were lucky, slip into the ditch and expire. Nothing wrong with this scene, I thought.

Or with now, as I write this, a day removed, a night too, with the soccer on and appointments soon -  up on Montreal St and then in Oshawa - the day generally packed with event and non-event, presence and absence. But hell, I’m slipping towards vague here - and perhaps I have to - being afraid to face up to the shifting shapes before my desk, all the futures offered in those ramshackle paperstacks, except in as much as I know they contain a few hundred deals, must do, and just as many drives, I hope, down roads well-known, and sometimes less so.



*That's Lucian's photo up top. Used with his permission.

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