April's Real Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mike and Proof

Well, Mike has gotten 2 the part where he got home after his book-signing:
April,

Formerly little sis. Have you ever been to another dimension, where things are similar to your life, but just a little different? Well, I have. I had gotten home from my book-signing at Lilliput’s, which I have been talking about all week, and somehow I stepped into another dimension. It may sound crazy, but hear me out. I went into my house, and right off the bat, I noticed things were different.

For example, you may remember back during the time change from Daylight Savings Time, I may have mentioned my daughter had to the left of her bed, a set of shelves with a flower clock on it. Or perhaps you may remember when I told of my long reminiscence about Gramma Marian with my daughter using photo albums, how that story ended up with my taking my daughter to her room where there was nothing to the left of her bed but a nightstand with a lamp and curtains covering her window. Perhaps you remember how since my son turned 3 years old last November 1 he had gone from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a bed, as most kids his age do. Perhaps you remember that my son and daughter hadn’t slept in the same room since before you, mom and dad moved out , back when my daughter was in a bed and my son was in a crib in the same room. I know I remembered these things, and it was the differences from that which clued me in.

I got home from my book-signing at Lilliput’s, having to be dropped off by mom, because I discovered midway through the signing, my wife and kids had run off with the car. It was not a problem, because mom lives so close and I could walk the rest of the way from her house (after raiding the refrigerator of course). When I got to my house I found my wife, the lovely Deanna, putting a blanket over my daughter in her bed and she said, “Great signing tonight, Mike. Sorry I had to take the kids home. They were getting tired.” I was on the verge of asking her why she was just then putting a blanket over my daughter when she left Lilliput’s over an hour ago, but then I remembered just how much trouble my wife has handling the kids by herself. She probably spent the whole of the last hour just getting them to sleep, because she was still wearing that unusual shawl-collared sweater where the lowest point of the collar lines up with her right breast.

Then she walked over to the crib in the room to put a blanket over my son. I was about to say, “What is this crib doing here? Doesn’t my son sleep in another room now?” But my lovely Deanna spoke up and said, “It’s going well, isn’t it.” without a question mark in her voice, so I knew she was stating a fact she wanted me to confirm. Well, after the sudden reappearance of the crib I wasn’t sure what was going on; so I said with as much certainty as I could, “I think so. The publicity has helped. We just have to wait now…and see what happens.” Before I saw the crib, I would have said something about being a best-seller and how I had some more book-signings already scheduled; but I had that awful feeling like I had stepped into a whole other universe, and as everyone knows, when you get that feeling, you don’t want to reveal yourself as coming from another dimension.

Then my lovely Deanna came over to me, wrapped her arm around my neck, and started nibbling on my cheek. That confirmed it for me, wifely affection = another dimension where wives are affectionate. This other dimensional Deanna said, “Hey. You’re a good writer. You made the right choice. You don’t have to prove it to me.” I put my arms around her and thought to myself, “First, I hope she can’t read my thought balloons and second, what is she talking about? What choice? Surely she can’t be thinking of my choice to be a writer. I made that decision over a decade ago. Maybe she is talking about my choice to quit working at Portrait Magazine, but that would make no sense, because that’s what she wanted me to do. But then I realized this other-dimensional Deanna might not have approved my leaving Portrait Magazine. After all, when you think about it, my Deanna wanted me to quit my stable employment job and live off my unstable freelance writing money; when most people would think the exact opposite would be want she would want. Then I remembered she said I don’t have to prove it to her. It was confusing. I don’t have to prove what to her? That I’m a good writer? My book was a Critic’s Choice from the Toronto Star and the Hamilton Spectator. Of course I am a good writer. It was in those newspapers and newspapers don’t lie. They have to do fact-checking and things like that. Then I thought, maybe in this other dimension, Michael Patterson was not known to be a good writer and when he decided to write a novel, this other-dimensional Deanna required a proof. But then I thought, if I don’t have to prove it her, then who would need a proof?” As you know formerly little sis, when another dimensional women has her arms around you and your face close to her mouth, you don’t want to stir up any controversy by asking questions out loud. She might grow fangs and chew my face off, or something else horrible like that. You can never tell with other-dimension women. Believe me. So I said, “I know.” That seemed like a safe answer to me and it was.

Then she left the room and I stared at my two dimensional doppelgangers of my children and I realized to whom I would have to prove it, “…I just have to prove it to them.” After all, who else is there who would need a proof? Maybe in this other dimension, Deanna doesn’t make enough money as a pharmacy manager to have her husband be a kept man, like in my dimension.

Well, formerly little sis, I don’t need to tell you what happened next. I didn’t want to create any suspicion, so I went to bed with my other dimensional wife and submitted to all the passionate things she wanted. Then the next morning, I found I had switched back to my normal dimension in my sleep, and everything was back the way I remembered it. My lovely Deanna from my dimension was back, and wearing her flannel nightgown, and everything that goes with that clothing choice. I don’t know why I temporarily moved into another dimension, but I do know that somewhere out there is a Michael Patterson who has to prove to people he is a good writer, and I feel pity for him.

Love,
Michael Patterson
Other dimensions can B v. confusing. There is a whole other dimension that can B found if U climb in2 the central-vac system in yr house, BTW. But U wd know if U'd gone there, cuz U totally hafta climb in.

Woot! Go Leafs! I had so much fun celebr8ing w/U, Jeremy!

Apes

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15 Comments:

  • At 7:02 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    A word of warning if you take up travelling in other dimensions as a hobby: avoid the crazy old dude in the bib overalls who calls himself Thorax. Trust me; you don't wanna get involved with him and the crazy women whose family he married into.

     
  • At 11:12 AM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    Mike,

    Am I married in this other dimension, if so, can we move there permanently, this working stuff is very tiring and I can't wait to get to stop trying to look beautiful and start wearing flannel nighties and huge bulky sweaters when I finally capture a husband, those sweaters you and Dee had on made you look way fat and it will be so cool that my husband will have to stay with me even if I'm not trying.

    Liz

     
  • At 12:33 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Elizabeth,

    Slightly older little sis. I did not think to inquire about your situation in the other dimension, since I did not want to arouse suspicion of my own dimensional origin. However, if things are different there from the way they are here, you would either be married with children, or living and teaching in Timbuktu with no plans to ever marry.

    As for my sweaters making me look fat, those are just relaxed abdominals. I just need to do a few specific exercises to flatten it out.

    As for your ability to capture a husband, all you need to do is concentrate on Anthony Caine. He’s been interested in you ever since you were in secondary school, so we know good looks are not what attract him to you. I would suggest breath mints, and a lot of them.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    dreadecandiru2,

    I don't consciously plan to take up travel in other dimensions, but your warning is well-heeded. If I find I am in another dimension, then I will avoid people wearing bib overalls, just as I do in my own dimension. The exception, of course, is my cousin Laura, but I don't think I would mistake her for a crazy old dude. She makes bib overalls look good.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. Rest assured, April, the chances of my climbing into the central-vac system in my house is remote. Hum! I wonder if that’s where my lovely Deanna hid my extra copies of my book. It might explain why she hasn’t vacuumed in such a long time. I might take a look, but I am not climbing in. Maybe you can have Jeremy Jones take a look when he comes over to help you baby-sit tonight. That is assuming, of course, he has finished refinishing the kitchen cabinets.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 12:50 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i am not goin’ n2 another dimension. not again. ‘course considerin’ how bad ur bro’s book is & well it’s sellin’, sumtymez i think he iz alreddy in anothah dimension, where xxperience & quality 4 sellin’ books duzn’t count. i mite like the othah dimension bettah.

    ‘course i wud like ne dimension u were in. also, i like the way u celebr8 hockey victories. i nevah thot of celebr8in’ a hockey win by playing that othah kinda hockey. symbolic celebrations, u sed. ur so smart.

     
  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    My wife, Beatrice Alfarero is upset. She said to me, “Howard. I think they don’t appreciate me any more at Lilliput’s.” I asked her why and she said, “When Moira is in the shop, she gets plenty of attention. She has coffee with the customers and they never condescend to her. But me, I am just like a silhouette to people. They tell me what to do, but no one looks at me, or even remembers what I look like. You know I don’t get a chance to be seen in the store all that often; but when I do, it’s nice to know someone has taken the time to remember my features.” I said, “What about the other people who work there? Do they have the same problem?” Then Beatrice pulled out some pictures of your brother’s book-signing as proof.

    She said, “Look at this picture of the man behind the counter putting something into a paper bag. Does he look like a silhouette to you?” I said, “No. Just distant and indistinct.” She said, “And you notice where Moira is?” I said, “In the front having coffee with Elly Patterson, but that is probably more of a punishment than anything else.” Beatrice grumbled I might be right about that.

    She said, “Now look at this girl working the counter from the opposite side as Michael Patterson. Is there anything silhouettish about her?” I said, “Aside from not having any eyes, no.”

    She said, “Now look at this picture of me.” I said, “You mean the one at the end or the one 3 pictures before that where we can see your bun, silhouetted?” She said, “Either one.” I said, “Well, you are silhouetted in both those pictures, but that’s just 2 pictures. In the picture captions, you are mentioned by name, and those other people weren’t.” Beatrice said, “Yes. They can remember my name, when they want me to do something. It’s not fair, Howard.” I could tell it was one of those moments when I am supposed to sympathize; so held her close to me and stroked her hair and said, “Poor baby.”

    So, the next time you are in Lilliput’s, it would be really nice of you to take a good look at Beatrice and mention some feature about her, which you wouldn’t be able to tell, if she were just in silhouette.

    Thanks,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, i just got 2 lilliput's and as soon as i saw beatrice, i told her, "i really like the way u did yr eye makeup." she threw her arms around me, all, "thank u, thank u!" i was surprised that this comment made her so happy.

    liz, i seem 2 remember that in the central-vac dimension, u married howard and had a baby w/him.

    jeremy, when i get off of my shift @ lilliput's wd u mind meeting me @ the craft store down the st? i wanna pick up sum supplies so we can do a craft w/merrie an' robin while we babysit. it seemz mike kinda traumatized them when he insisted on reading from his book 2 prove 2 'em that he's a good writer. poor kids.

    apes

     
  • At 3:29 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, craft store wud b gr8. i'm tired of goin' 2 the hardware store 4 kitchen cabinet refinishin' stuff b4 babysittin'. altho, i think ur bro's kids mite have a future in sandin’ wood, az long az ur nephew remembahs not 2 try & eat the sandpaper. they did a pretty good job last tyme i wuz there baby-sittin’.

    u can tell they wunt attention frum grown-ups, altho prolly not frum ur bro’s book. that book gives me nitemares sumtymez wen i think ‘bout it. u have the alcoholic dad who’s nevah home & wen he is, he iz mean. uc, with my dad, there’s proof success duz not equal good dad. dad made a lotta money doin’ country musick & he duzn’t hafta prove 2 me he’s good @country musick, cuz he iz. i’ve heard him plenty of tymes. but he stinks az a dad. if ur bro thinks b-ing good @writin’ iz gonna mean nethin’ 2 hiz kids then he is way off.

     
  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    Thanks for being kind to Beatrice. She doesn’t really wear much eye makeup, but I am sure she appreciates simply having someone realize she has eyes. It’s tough when people think of you only in silhouette.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, no prob. beatrice mite not wear much eye makeup, but she still applies it v. nicely. oh, and i think her gag-gift idea (2 sell mike's spoiled "bad inscription" books) is starting 2 take off. she seemz 2 have tapped in2 the "office-party secret santa" market.

    jeremy is helping me do a craft w/merrie an' robin. we r making papier maché figures an' we r gonna paint them when they r dry. merrie is working on her papier-maché "attic guy."

    apes

     
  • At 8:02 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i just thot i wud let u know how thingz r goin’ w/the kidz while ur gettin’ food @mr. singh’s 4 the kids 2 have 4 dinner. i dunno y ur sil thot just carrot coins made a decent dinner, particularly wen she left that note sayin’, “april. no dog food 4 the kidz.”. i mean, how many tymez do u hafta baby-sit b4 they 4get that?

    the funny part wuz wen u sed 2 me, “i guess u can go 2 mr. singh’s & get the food while i take care of the kidz” & then i sed, “u know wut the kids will eat better’n me. y don’t u go get the food & i’ll handle the kids?” i say it wuz funny, cuz u sed sumthin’ ‘bout i sed sumthin’ u nevah heard come frum a mboro guy’s mouth b4 & then u got rilly xxcited & u know, kissed me & stuff. & then ur niece sed, “wut ru doin’?” which wuz kinda embarrassin’.

    but the best part wuz wen u told her & she sed, “thass not kissin’. u hafta pick her up.” so i hadda pick u up, which wuz kinda nice, but kinda weird 2 do in fronta ur niece. but u sed we shud set a good xxample & i decided i liked settin’ xxamples w/u, evn wen merrie wuz runnin’ ‘round sayin’ “no. no. no. u gotta pick her up frum her butt & then lean back.” sorry, i fell down. ur not heavy, i just kinda lost my balance on the leanin’ back part. i’m not usedta doin’ that. it’s just a good thing we were standin’ near that chesterfield & not nethin’ sharp. merrie sed her daddy wuz a better kisser than i am, but i don’t wanna think ‘bout that 2 much. i guess it means wen he lifts ur sil, he duzn’t fall down.

    neway, aftah u left, the kids were rilly good @makin’ the figures frum the craft kit @the store. they’ve made a bunch of papier maché figures & we r w8in’ 4 them 2 dry, @least the 1s ur nephew didn’t try 2 eat. while we’re w8tin’, they wanted 2 play “manopoly” they saw in lilliput’s @ur bro’s book-signin’. the box sez, “just like monopoly, but less jamaican”. i don’t get that @all. it’s got 1 of those in it, but it looks like he iz no longah anatomically correct cuz his little plastic thing haz been broken off.

    ur niece, merrie sed ur sil deanna broke it off, cuz thass wut girlz do 2 guyz in mboro. ur nephew looked a little nervous ‘till i told him that his sister wuzn’t gonna do that 2 him, cuz it wuz sumthin’ ur wife wud do, not ur sis. then he seemed happier. he sed, “oh. cerys do it. i like cerys.” i sed, “who’s cerys?” & ur nephew sed sumthin’ like, “swee - harr.” then ur niece sed, “our old sitter, ardith’s daughter. she’z the same age az robin & she’z robin’s childhood sweetheart.” they start young in ur fam.

    then they wunted 2 know if u had broken off my little plastic thing & i sed u hadn’t, cuz u didn’t b-lieve in doin’ that. then ur niece & nephew laffed & laffed & laffed. then i kinda got an unnerstandin’
    y ur nephew hazta take off all his clothez when he goez 2 the washroom. so, ur niece & nephew hadda go change their clothez & i hadda a little moppin’ 2 do. i’m glad they didn’t laff ovah the carpet.

    oh, while ur out, can u get sum laundry detergent? i asked the kids ‘bout it & they sed ur mom had all the laundry stuff cuz ur sil & ur bro hadda hard tyme doin’ the laundry cuz of the plugs & the fax machine, which i didn’t unnerstand @all.

    neway, now ur nephew sez he wunts me 2 help him find his clean sock. ur niece sez he thot it wuz a candy cane. come back soon. i’m kinda afraid of where that sock went.

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, blogger h8s me. it's a ned tanner doll in the manopoly board set.

     
  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    i m back, w/food, laundry detergent, and sum xxtra soxx.

    the papier-maché figures r almost dry, so we shd b able 2 paint them after dinner. we r having baked ziti.

    apes

     
  • At 12:47 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I told you yesterday how when I went to bed after my book-signing at Lilliput’s, I felt as though I were in a different dimension. Then when I woke I was back in my normal dimension. I forgot to mention one of the key ingredients, which helped me to realize that everything was back to normal with my normal dimensional Deanna, was her snoring. Well, her drooling helped too, but it didn’t wake me up.

    However I do remember my last few waking moments with my otherly dimensional Deanna. As I lay in bed, I was feeling concerned about where I was. I had just seen the metal piping on the headboard of our bed and not only did it not look like I remembered it , but it looked like Dr. Seuss had made the headboard with the pipes multiplying and the headboard going in odd angles. Yes, April. In other dimensions, the headboards look different. That’s something to remember, if you ever find yourself in another dimension.

    The other dimensional Deanna seemed to realize I was distressed. She rubbed my back and said, “Listen. I want you to forget about books and deadlines and writing, OK?” It was an insidious plot to make me forget my purpose in life, but it was working. She put her arm around me and whispered in my ear, “Relax…rest….let it go.” I tried to resist, but her power was too great. The next thing I knew I could see in my mind, the other dimensional Deanna turning away from me with a look of triumph on her face as I had settled into a sleep where the only thing I could express was “Hmmmffzztt”. I have to admit that even though I was in a deep sleep, I still had excellent articulation. Do you know how difficult it is to make “f” and “t” sounds while you are sleeping?

    Then the next day, I awoke to the sound of my own Deanna. She was snoring, drooling, and was in that odd sleeping position where her shoulder looks like it has been dislocated. I looked at her balefully thinking, “I am back with my old Deanna, the one who wanted me to quit my job at Portrait Magazine so I could spend my time worrying about books and deadlines and writing. I am with my old Deanna who always had the special way about her of making my beard grow overnight when I appeared clean shaven just before bed. How could I disappoint such a special woman, even if she was a little disgusting to look at when she was sleeping?

    So, formerly little sis, after a week of book promotion vacation, I went back to my life now: Books and deadlines and writing. I sat at my computer, typing at a speed so amazing it looked like I had 12 fingers and 5 hands. Mathematically I know that doesn’t work, but I am just trying to give you the physical impression of my speed. OK. If that’s not good enough, this is how it sounded, “Tickata-tap-tap-ticka tick tak tap tapp tappata tick tap tap tick tickata tap”. After all that onomatopoeia, I am sure you will admit that’s fast.

    With my coffee cup at my side, I blazed away on my second book Breaking the Windjammer. After all, when the good people of Canada have read Stone Season for the 20th or 30th time, they may say to themselves, “I wonder if Michael Patterson has something else to offer us.” Well, I am going to be ready for them. I have something to prove to my kids; I have a duty to the public who will be clamoring for more of the greatest Canadian fiction ever written; and above all, I can’t let the other dimensional Deanna win.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     

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