Single Malt Express by Brooke Trealout

Photo by Eran Bendheim

Brooke Trealout is studying theatre at The University of Toronto at Mississauga. She has a love-hate relationship with knitting, and enjoys grocery shopping more than anyone should.

Single Malt Express

Grandeur’s address is the pub nearest to your flat.

It seems preposterous, but I know you know the feeling.
The damp, mossy feeling you get when fate reveals that
your fantasies will always be sweeter
and how your life is building to a climax;
a classic, golden age structure that you’ve no chance of escaping.

At the top of the mountain there is only reversal –
Like Oedipus and The Messenger you recognize your hamartia,
the fatal flaw that no matter how noble, or brave, or I Love Lucy good you were
will inevitably lead you to the edge of that cliff, on the top of that mountain
with the knowledge that there is nothing left to do but jump, and nowhere else to go but down.

They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.
What nobody tells you is that while you’re on this earth
you will die a hundred billion deaths
that nobody will want to grieve with you –

Like the first time you pressed so hard on a crayon that it broke
and your teacher, instead of showing you how to hold it carefully
while you painted the sky red,
took the other colours away from you while she cursed
about being underpaid and how she was getting tired of
buying fucking art supplies
for snot monsters who can’t tie their own shoes.

Or the Easter Mass when you decided
bread was evil
and crossed your arms, avoiding Communion even though
your soul was in pieces, and aching to honour your Savior –
The only one who never mentioned how much weight you’d gained.

And the month you spent cliff diving in Peru.
When you recalled a high school biology reading–
That said
although we are complex beings, blessed with
thought and feeling and ambition, although we feel
boundless and sexy, we’re just
a bloody clump of cells and when we’ve reached maturity,
we begin a very long, and very slow and very hard process of dying.

No wonder mid lifers go into crises, and it’s no surprise
to anyone that you’re using your Masters in Lit
to wait tables. All it means is that
you’re walking downhill now.

At least you’re not still waiting
for that fabulous, life changing enigma that everyone
in their twenties believes in. Now you get to sit at a back table
with forty-somethings
and toast the naiveté of your peers.

Aristotle would be proud.

when you get hammered enough to think that calling your now
gay ex-lover is a good idea, your spirit will again
feel as young as your body is.

I told you, Grandeur lives just down the street.

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