This was the house on Landsdowne. #59. You can just see the edge of the Cat Lady’s house on the right. Her kitchen window, that we used to spy into, is covered by siding now.
Across the street a couple boys lived, one older than me, one younger. The older one claimed to be boyfriend to my cousin. I don’t know if that was really true. I think his name was Kent Clark, like Superman in reverse. We just called him Kenny. Didn’t matter because we still got to play together. One day, in the fall, we were playing football on the boulevard. I ran for a pass and when I turned my head to see the ball, I smashed right into a huge tree. I didn’t die. I wasn’t even knocked out, but I did fall into a big leaf pile and was almost buried. Everybody laughed, except me. It wasn’t really that funny.
When I rolled out of the leaves I came face to face with an army of large ants with transparent wings longer than their body. I had never seen ants with wings. They looked like this:
There was probably a trillion of them. It was the end of our football game.
One day when I came home from Luxton school, there was a truck loading some of our furniture. It included the daybed that I slept on in the basement. It was the orange and black striped one with the big cigarette burn hole in the middle. We bought it when we lived on College avenue and I was in grade four, took it to Calgary where I went to grade five and now, when I was in grade six, back in Winnipeg, it was being repossessed. After that I slept on the couch in the living room, until we moved.
We moved because one evening after drinking lots of beer, my father collapsed to the kitchen floor and couldn’t be roused. My invalid Uncle, whose bedroom was the back porch, sat in the kitchen, in his wheelchair, repeatedly calling my father’s name, trying to get him to wake. My Uncle, Ingi, we called him, short for Englebert, was born with palsy and not a very quick wit. He was a bit high strung and we used to creep up behind him and shout boo. He would nearly launch clear out of his wheelchair. We thought it was pretty funny, at the time, but of course it wasn’t funny at all. He was a good natured Uncle and my father kept him fed with cigarettes and beer so he could be just like everyone else.
Anyway, Ingi called and called but my father didn’t wake up. The ambulance came and we later learned that, besides drinking too much beer, our father had tuberculosis and had to go to the sanitorium. I guessed that was something like a penitentiary for sick people.
So we had to move again.
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