The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Work Feeds Me

by Andrew Tibbetts

I’m completely out of money but for the dregs of my laundry change bucket. It’s temporary but I am hungry. When I put my gym membership card back in my wallet I saw my Starbucks card and remembered I’d put fifty dollars on it some time ago! I headed over there for a sandwich and a juice. In a line-up that was full of men I had a hope of impressing, instead of the usual Church Street crop of impossibly gorgeous guys half my age, I saw the kindly young woman at the cash crunch her face, tilt her head and tell me I had a two dollar balance. Oh, I said. You could get a cookie, she said. Okay, I said, something with nuts for the protein. She gave me a breakfast cookie and I put back my juice and sandwich. Everyone in line had gracefully turned away, intrigued by the wallpaper or the ceiling or the floor or their fingernails.

I walked a few doors down nibbling my cookie, feeling very sorry for myself. I stopped at “This Ain’t the Rosedale Library,” my favourite bookstore. The Guardian calls it “the best independent bookstore in Canada.” I looked in the window. There displayed on the bottom rack but clearly visible without bending, were the two periodicals I have pieces in this season, sitting almost beside each other, smiling at me. I finished my cookie in a fog of pleasure and pride, staring in at this new peak in my literary career.

On the way home, I gave my fist full of nickels to a homeless woman. I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t unhappy. And I had a home to go to- one with a computer all set to work on the next piece, which turned out to be this one.


Blogger tamara said...

Yay, Andrew! I'm sad I didn't get a chance to go to that bookstore while I was there. Remind when I come back, 'kay?

Wed Nov 07, 01:35:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

A Starbuck's card? There's such a thing!

Wed Nov 07, 06:32:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

If I lived close I would feed you, Andrew. I got my copy of The New Quarterly two days ago and read your piece last night -- wonderful! Love the bath house photo. Now, if I get hold of a Descant I can read the other piece that's feeding you. Congrats.

Wed Nov 07, 12:39:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Hey, the food's never ours to keep anyway. I had a similar experience out west a long, long time ago. All I could afford to buy and eat was a big bag of carrots. I swear my skin turned orange. Everyone was asking about my Florida tan! Just a faded memory now.

Wed Nov 07, 03:47:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I remember in college I didn't eat until the weekends when I took the bus home, except for Kraft Dinner during the week.

To this day I can't stand Kraft Dinner. The rest of the family ooh and ahh with pleasure when a pot is cooked up. They're welcome to it.

I'm proud of your accomplishments, Andrew.

Wed Nov 07, 10:19:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

You folks are sweet! My money kicked in and I went to McDonalds- horrifying but true. And had two breakfasts. My stomach is still rebelling several days later.

Thu Nov 08, 07:46:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

McDonalds?? Gak! Next time, go to a nice little diner that serves all day breakfast for $3.99.

Fri Nov 09, 08:42:00 pm GMT-5  

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