It is a beautiful morning,


in the big city,

sunny, warm,


I’m on my second,

cup of coffee,

Thursday is,

a late morning for me,

I start late,

mom handles,

the morning at the bookstore.


I get to sleep in,

take my time,

write my blog,

let the thoughts,



spin around,



this morning,

they sure are spinning:-)

Last night,

was my much anticipated,

evening of Ivan.

I had been,

so looking forward to it,

since Dee mentioned it.

I had my apprehensions,

what if Ivan didn’t live up,

to the towering figure,

of butchness,

that I had constructed in my mind?

I know it’s silly, but, Ivan, to me, is some kind of standard, I don’t mean idol, I’m too old, for idols, but, you know, a standard- of butch and all that it means to me, dapper and gentlemanly, charming and not smarmy, funny in a smart self-deprecating way, ah shucks and a tie. I needn’t have worried, she was all that and more.

Last week when I heard about this show,

I knew I had to go,

I could have gone alone,


it’s more fun to share.

My love isn’t in town,

the ex was driving to the States,

to spend Thanksgiving with her girl,

my friend the librarian lives in Toronto,

my friend the prof is way too busy,


I could have gone with others,


I wanted to share this,

with someone I care deeply about,


of a similar generation,

so we would have a similar experience.

You know,

same landmarks and sign posts,

a common cultural and generational,



I asked my friend,


the anarchist,

he’s heard me gush,

about Ivan,

he’s my friend,

my bud,

my go to guy,


he’s like the girlfriend,

every butch needs,

( obviously not in the romantic sense, right?)

He knows more about imposed,


than I do,

we love and respect each other.

He was the perfect choice,

we always have a good time,


When I asked,

he responded,


I knew we had ‘lift off’,

to a good evening.

Francoys met me,

at the bookstore,

he stops by every night,

on his way home.

We headed out to Laurier metro,

which is in the Mile End,

the hippest and ‘gayest’ ,

part of the city,

right now,

quick aside, both my parents were born and partly raised in the Mile-End, which used to be a working class and immigrant neighbourhood, now it’s hip and expensive, but, man, it still has great ‘bones’

I figured we’d grab,

a quick bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup.

(love that stuff, not too filling, just right, for whatever you need, whatever ails or fails you)


we couldn’t find a place for that,

we walked around a little,


we didn’t have much time,


we didn’t want to fill up.


I remembered,

that beneath,

the venue,

Sala Rossa on St-Laurent.

is a Spanish restaurant,

a social club restaurant,

with hearty food.

We had an amazing pumpkin-chorizo soup,


just enough with some crusty bread,


not too much,

to grog us out.

After our homey peasant soup,

we went up the stairs,

in plenty of time,

to get a table,


order a libation,

Francoys had his usual,

G&T and,

I had a local brewery brew,


a delicious dark,

not too dark,


the stage was set,

all the elements were there,

for a perfect time.

As we sat down,

Ivan walked by,

on her way to the bathroom,

I smiled,


she smiled back,

asked me how I was doing,

I said great,


she thanked me for coming,

I told her I wouldn’t have missed it,

for the world,

she looked back,

and smiled,

more and bigger


She was everything I had learnt,

from her writing,


You Tube clips,

good looking,



in a discreet Canadian way,

in a butch way,

( I don’t know how clear that is, or if it makes sense, but, that’s how I saw it)

Not as tall as I imagined,

I don’t know if it’s just me,


I always imagine,

people as taller,

she’s not short,


she’s not tall,

you know,

average height:-)

After about twenty minutes,

this is Montreal, you have to wait a little, there will be late comers!

The show started,

I wasn’t familiar with Rae Spoon,

I mean I knew the name,

knew they were a singer,

originally from Alberta,

now living in Montreal.

What a treat,

gifted storyteller,

in their own right,

must buy Rae’s book,


a clear voice,

of such depth,


years of layers,




Ivan is a writer and a storyteller,

in her forties,

Rae a singer and writer,

in their thirties,

both share and explore,

each other’s,


means of expression,


different generational,


It works so well,

they illustrate so well,


gender fails,

all of us.

The show is funny,



makes you a laugh,

a little,


cringe at past memories,

a little.

Not an ouce of failure,

great show:-)

At intermission,

twenty minutes,

because as,

Ivan said,

“it’s Montreal and you smoke”

Francoys and I went out,

to grab some air,



some smoke and carbon monoxide


I asked him what,

he thought of it,

he said,


he had trusted me,


didn’t quite know,

what to expect,

he loved it,

it spoke to him.

We both bought a book,

when we went back in,

the young man,

at the table,

was more familiar,

with Rae’s work,

and asked me,

which of Ivan’s books,

I had read,

I told him,

‘all of them,she’s the best’,

he looked at me,

and smiled,

I made him promise,

he would read one.

I told him I was glad to ‘discover’ Rae,


I would be buying theirs as well

Just in case you think, my pronouns are messed up, they aren’t Rae uses the ‘they’ pronoun, being neither he or she and both, I like that.

Francoys and I,

might have been amongst,

the oldest people,



you know,

it didn’t matter,

we were amongst,

‘our’ people,


of age,



a bunch of happy,


thought provoked,


gender failures.

Later girls,




6 Replies to “Ivan and Rae, :-)”

  1. Wholly and completely enjoyed reading your post about this event: what a great night! I’ve not seen her in person either, but I’ll keep your experience in mind if I ever have the opportunity to do so.

  2. I’ve been offline with this damned NaNo thing, and missed this post. BUT, I am so glad you went and had a good time! I love Ivan! I saw her this year with S. Bear Bergman here in Portland. Fantastic! If the ‘Gender Failure’ show comes south of the border I will definitely be there.
    Thanks for the enthusiastic review!

  3. I’m glad you are back online. I’m so glad I went, if they come up your way, don’t miss them. I am intrigued by S. Bear Bergman, I have never read any, new project for the new year.

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