Dispatches From

The bathroom is unisex at The Palace in Toronto, a rooming house. There’s nothing sexy about the place. It reminds me of certain shit-holes in India. Guests must be out by eleven. Traffic on King Street scores the night. A disposable razor stuck through two metal loops on the door keeps it locked from the inside while I sleep. But first I leave my bag and visit a nearby brothel.

The default place I find myself after coffee in the morning is the library. It’s brimming with the borderline insane. They come in for the toilet, the warmth, the buzz. The other major cohorts among the stacks are comprised of children and recent immigrants to the city. I read books. Works. Some aren’t bound traditionally. They’re electronic. It’s the twenty-first century (as if I’ve been counting from the beginning). Where do you find real stories anymore? It seems like everything’s been covered, from the gods to the gutter.