Friday, August 12, 2005

Four Brothers

Tonight the cat is curled in shadow on the kitchen floor, and the crickets are chirping over the catcalls of the noisy drunks across the street. I'm a little drunk myself, but more quiet about it, having polished off a bottle of my neighbour's hommade Portuegese wine while he and I chatted over the back fence. Without his shirt, I could see the long scar, with a cross at the top, bisecting my neighbour's chest, from the open heart surgery that saved his life when he was twelve. I played guitar a little for him, and he told me stories of crooked Catholic priests.

Then my housemate and I went for a walk through the placid north end of Steeltown, and I was appreciating anew the giant trees that have survived, here and there, in the neighbourhood. A few days ago, I heard an Irish botanist on the radio talk about the medicinal aerosol emissions of various indiginous trees, and made a mental note to plant Black Walnut someday, in my future yard, to ease asthma. Then my housemate pointed out that her autistic two-and-a-half year old son was a true North Ender, having been born here. She said that even if we moved out tomorrow, the neighbourhood would be imprinted on his young brain as the best thing in the world--his metaphorical template for heaven--from all of the walks I have taken him on through these tree studded streets.

This thought made me happy. Even though when I arrived here, in the middle of winter a few years ago, the area looked like a hostile alien planet to me, the simple charm of the place has grown on me since. Look for my neighbourhood in the recently released blockbuster movie Four Brothers. The house and street on which they shot much of this film is just blocks away. I never got to see Markie Mark, but I met a cute security guard who gave me all the info about the habits of the stars.

5 comments:

Bloggard said...

I'll try catching the movie. Nice blog, I think I'm going to become a regular visitor.

Bangalore, the city I live in, has a far better climate than most other places in India. We've had a particularly pleasant summer this year, with temperatures in the low 20s (degree Celsius), when you consider that temperatures can soar up to 38 degree celsius. Check out the following link...the page has pictures of Bangalore: http://www.virtualbangalore.com/PhA/index.php#

flatlander said...

Please read Fakiegrind voraciously and often. It always amazes me that people can communicate across such vast distances via the web. Welcome!

I'm glad that the weather is tolerable in Bangalore. Here, it's been hovering at 30 celsius and over for weeks, coupled with unpleasant humidity. Southern Ontarions are not used to this kind of punishment, though it wasn't unearned given the amount of pollutants we contribute to the atmosphere.

I'll have to check out the Bangalore-cam. I can't vouch for the quality of the Four Brothers movie, but much of it was shot here in Steeltown, and in nearby Toronto.

Gyrobo said...

Funny you should mention crickets. I just posted something about how evil they are.

em said...

I have a black walnut tree growing in my back yard. Last year we had to have a "tree guy" come and chop off half of it because the trunk -shapped like a "Y" was splitting. When I shock hands with Brian the arborist I knew in a moment that he could pulverise bone. Really gentle guy, could use a chainsaw one handed over his head. I think he was 60 years old.

We saved the wood for a woodworker who never showed up. Now it's just fire wood for my dad and a few chairs for our yard.

zeno3 said...

Crickets? Walnut trees? Bangalore? What do they all have in common? The answer begins with "F", and includes no profanities.

Incidentally, in a radio interview author Diana Beresford-Kroeger described various medicinal advantages to having black walnut trees around your house but I forget what they are.

Friends of Fakiegrind can check out the book Arboretum America for further information.