Special place — the Hill

16 12 2010

One of the many assignments I had to do for my creative writing non-fiction class.  For this one, we had to write about a special place, and mine is based on a poem called “The Hill”, which is based on an actual hill.

Special place

There is a hill at the corner of Knight Street and 33rd Avenue.  On a clear night, you can see the lights from the North Shore mountains, shimmering teary eyes.  A Petro Canada’s red sign glares across the street, accompanying the low murmur of traffic.  Unpredictable grass – sometimes damp, sometimes dry – stretches out beyond a baseball field and a playground nearby.  Its expanse is more than enough for a quiet picnics or slow dancing to Chet Baker.  In the winter, you may be able to see children and couples on sleds, accelerating down the hill, their laughs only audible to those within the chain-linked fences at the bottom.  And at sunset, when the sky turns neon orange or blush pink, the hill is a theatre with firm earthy seats to those who have discovered it.

The 10 Defining Moments of My Life (so far) — #1: “Gay”

10 04 2010

Back during my film school year, I had to come up with a list of ten defining moments of my life, like taking a snapshot of a scene and describing what was going on (it was an exercise in creating stories, not just randomly coming up with stuff).  Keep in mind these are things I came up with two years ago and some stuff I might bump off now for others.  And with that, in no particular order, here’s the first one! (not necessarily my #1 moment)


I was running around the playground in the third grade, like all third graders.  I can’t remember where exactly I heard it from, but someone had mentioned the word “gay”.  At that point in my life, I had long known, but I couldn’t find the word to describe it… or something.  Feeling utterly joyful that I knew who I was, I dashed around the schoolyard, shouting “I’m gay!  I’m gay!”  I was so elated that I dared to even whisper into the ear of one of the supervisors (who was wearing a shiny reflective vest), sitting on one of the pale blue benches.   I heard her calling out behind me and attempted to avoid confrontation with her by talking with my friend Jessica, who was standing next to a gnarly tree.  But the supervisor didn’t let up; she approached me and asked where I had heard such a word.  I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember her lecturing me on the usage of the word, that it only meant happy, and nothing else.  I stood there, humiliated and crying, not fully comprehending why this stranger was telling me what I was feeling was something else when I knew it was who I was.