is that you, in the picture?

Let’s pick up right where we left off. In my own words.

I’m trying to get further from the person that I used to be. And I could go into that in full description, and I’m sure I will at one point or another, whether it be on print or out loud. But today, I’m still to close to her. I cannot speak her name, for I fear she’s still close enough to hear.


So let’s gain some more distance together. Let’s move mentalities.


I find something that widens the gap, is expression. Minimizing the amount of words you speak in a day, and making every syllable that leaves your lips incredibly powerful. Something I’d always done the opposite of.

So many times I’ve sat on c-train platforms, coffee shop wicker chairs, barstools… idly thinking about questions I’ve wanted to ask.


I wonder if those are the actual points of her lips, or if she drew them out more with the lipstick.

Is that tattoo a nod to the book I’m thinking of? Did he only watch the movie?

Does she know just how ineffably wonderful she looks?


I think these thoughts, and I drift away from reality. A girl, swimming in her own head, surrounded by an ocean of other minds and completely oblivious. In these moments, my mind forms connections with strangers unlike any I’ve ever seen– mostly because my eyes were closed.

I’ve thought up new companions, combinations of Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett, perfectly mystical, in constant sway, but could still put a cigarette butt out on your outreached fuckboy forearm without missing a beat.

I’ve found myself wondering if the gentleman sitting across from me could be like a Johnny Castle of sorts, taking care of everyone he can, setting things straight, falling in love… all while still making time to dance the merengue at the Sheldrake after hours.

I swear, I’ve fantasized about nearly everyone in the city of Calgary and the state of Texas. And that’s swell.

But you’ve gotta expand somehow. You can’t lay stagnant in your own mind. You’ve gotta gain some distance.

These are thoughts I had the other day while I was zoning at a salon getting a particularly goofy-looking haircut that I turned out loving, and I realized I had done it again.


I was staring at a picture of a girl taped on a hairdressers mirror, and I was asking myself over and over if this was a picture of the woman cutting my hair in younger days.

Here I was comparing the noses, and the eyes, and trying to imagine her face with a little more youthfulness, and I realized I wouldn’t come up with the answer.

I wouldn’t come up with better friends in my mind, than the ones I have in real life. Its an impossibility.

I wouldn’t get anywhere internalizing all of my curiosities, I would remain the same as I ever was.

And this girl would remain the same, too. Who knows, maybe I would strike up this conversation, and it would take off, and I would leave the place with a coffee date to talk about some oddball shared mutual interest. Maybe she liked Stevie Nicks, maybe she’d just watched Dirty Dancing.

And then it happened.

“Is that you, in the picture?”

She kind of looked like no one had ever asked her anything in the entirety of her life. Silence broken.

“Oh.. yeah, actually. Yeah it is!”

Awkward laughs. The overly chipper answer caught us both off guard.

“Sorry, no one usually makes the connection. I’m quite a bit older now.”

I smiled. “You look the exact same.”

And then some sort of wall was shattered and I realized, I didn’t have to imagine her more youthful, I had made the look I was trying to create come to life, in that moment. She was the same girl that looked onward in the photo.


And then she finished cutting my hair, I paid the bill, and I left. And that was the end of that interaction. But isn’t it pretty to think that opening my mouth and saying words could actually be of benefit to someone?

Isn’t it wonderful, that I made someone feel something nice, even if only for a sliver of a moment. Maybe I could do this. Maybe I could speak. Maybe I could comment, compliment, notice.

I think I’ll start doing this more often.

So if anyone here happens to run into me in the near future, if somehow our paths cross and I shout out some jarring compliment, bear with me. I’m trying to move mentalities.


see you then.



2 thoughts on “is that you, in the picture?

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