Bread and Roses

My friend Y was wound up about a pre-election meet and greet with NDP candidate Linda McQuaig organized by the Canadian Housing Federation. We sat in her teeny tiny bachelor apartment in a downtown co-op. She served me jasmine tea with Portuguese pastries. She was recovering from something, not TB she assured me. Vague, she said. When it came to co-op housing, the candidate didn’t know Federal from provincial from municipal.

In the old days. . .

Y has stories. She has marched.

She grew up in east Germany. She has lived through potato hunger, rude soldiers, bombs, and yes, please can you give us some chewing gum?

Back in the day she taught English to factory workers and once formed a spontaneous body guard for Henry Morgentaler.

For Y, even more disturbing than LM’s lack of platform was the lack of people under 60 at the meeting. 

Where are they? 

I tried to tell her about Paxman vs Brand.

She doesn’t have a computer at home–she crosses the street to the local library to pick up email.

Later I called her to say that I have a computer sitting under my work table–I use it as a footrest.

Hearts starve as well as bodies.

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