canadiana

Saskatchewan Gothic
  • You’re driving three and a half hours out of town for work, and you stop in a small town for gas. The pumps are white and gleaming chrome, they show the running total on white analogue dials. Gas costs eleven cents a gallon, Pepsi costs five cents a bottle. Magazines in the gas station feature Paul Anka and Tommy Douglas. The locals whistle appreciatively at your futuristic car, but they shake their heads and shrug when it won’t start back up. 
  • You make a new friend at work, and start to spend time together after hours. She always comes alone. Her boyfriend works the rigs in Alberta. Her family is out in Edmonton. Her only son’s studying medicine at U of A. One day, you’re in the bathroom at work. You recognize her shoes from under the stall door, and someone else’s. She’s telling them that you got a job offer in Calgary. The stranger leaves, and you hear the door lock. 
  • You’re coming home late, and a deer runs in front of your car. You hit the brakes, but not quickly enough, and the deer stands its ground, frozen in your headlights. As its eyes meet yours, they flash red. Its antlers are enormous - a twelve pointer? This is your last thought as you close your eyes and brace for impact. When you open them, you see the sky, the smoking wreck of your car, and your body, twenty feet away. 
  • The game was awesome. The Riders are stronger than they’ve been in years, and the shutout game they played against Montreal will be talked about for years to come. What an amazing night for your first Riders game at Mosaic Stadium. You feel awesome and you want to party at the Green Mile. You get a little carried away. You wake up in La Ronge. You have lost a month of time. 
  • Someone finally bought the derelict church up the street from your house. The real estate sign goes down, the church sign says the first service will happen two weeks from Sunday. It’s a Christian denomination you’ve never heard of. The church is a runaway success, filling its parking lot every Sunday. You start to notice church meetings at weird times - 8:00 am on a Thursday, 12:00 midnight on Friday night. You walk your dog at 3:00 am, unable to sleep. The church’s lights are all on. Its lot is full, and you hear loud music, chanting, coming from within. You approach it. Your dog refuses to walk on to the lot. You look into the window, and see your mother, father, and brother dancing naked, covered in blood. Your mother’s eyes meet yours. 
  • You never liked Pilsner until you tried it. Now you can’t get enough. As you down a bottle at breakfast, you wonder if you might be developing a drinking problem… except it never gets you drunk. When you drink it, you can talk to God. 
  • There’s a blizzard warning for the coming weekend, so you batten down the hatches. You hit the grocery store after work on Friday and buy your weekly haul, plus a bottle of Gibson’s from the board store. The winds pick up on your drive home. It’s 6:00 pm and black as midnight. The snow sticks to your windshield. You share an amiable complaint with the neighbour man as you hurry indoors, as both of you grouse about why, exactly, you chose to live here. You heat up a frozen pizza, pour your whiskey, and fall asleep in front of Netflix warm and happy and drunk. The next morning, you venture out. The snow has blanketed the road and the sidewalk, with no footprints or tire tracks. Your neighbour’s door is wide open, with snow piling up in the corner of the door frame. You see no vehicles, animals, or signs of life, just snow. 
There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an “all Canadian” boy or girl? A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.
—  Pierre Trudeau