Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Friday, July 22, 2011

No news today - Guest Post - Alexandra Leggat

On the television a clean shaven man with a yellow tie rattles on about devastation. Behind him a film of black water and floating homes. He changes his tone. An airplane drops a bomb on a dirt street. People in headdresses run. His smile lights up. The prince is to marry his princess. The man on the television's up and down. Sombre,. gleeful. A yellow tie. I make tea and eat an Arrowroot biscuit, think my hair could use a trim and outside the street is quiet. The sun moves west, taking the heat with it. The phone rings, my mother says, not much to report, just wanted to say hello. Dad thinks he sees a snake on the living room floor. She heard on the television a cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo. She lives by the Niagara Falls/Buffalo border. The snake only escaped yesterday, Mom. It wouldn’t have made it that far yet. The man on the television says there is radiation in the water. With the phone in one hand, I head to the kitchen and turn on the tap. I don’t know what I'm hoping for but there’s nothing visibly new in the water. My husband says it’s coming from Japan. It won’t have made it this far yet. I nod and fill my glass. My mother asks if I know anything about cobras. She wants to know what to do if it reaches the house. Do you think dad had a premonition? I ask. She says she hopes it’s a premonition then they can prepare themselves. When I was young I remember overhearing a man on the television say that Charles Manson had escaped from prison. I had no clue who ran the new country we'd moved to, what the provinces were or the words to the national anthem but I was aware of the serial killer Charles Manson. I couldn't sleep because I was convinced he was hiding in my town, that he was coming to my house. Mom said, don’t worry dear. California is a long way from here. He won’t have made it this far yet. My Mother says if she doesn’t tell Dad that the snake he thinks he sees on the living room floor is the one that escaped from the Bronx Zoo then he won’t go to bed. He won't sleep. Then just tell him it is. Well, she says, he wants the reward. There's a reward? The man on the television says a snow squall warning is in effect. That's all, my mother says, not much to report. I put down the phone. Head to the closet and take out my boots and my hat and my down coat and mitts that I had put away for the season – it’s spring. My husband says, don’t worry, it's coming from the East, it won’t make here. It’s already gone down from a storm warning to flurries, by the time it hits the lake it will have dissipated. I turn off the television and say to him, God, we’re so lucky nothing ever happens here.

Alexandra Leggat is the author of the short story collections Animal (nominated for the 2010 Trillium Book Award), Meet Me in the Parking Lot and Pull Gently, Tear Here. She teaches writing classes at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

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