Losing It by GD Anderson

Les, the owner of the army surplus shop
invites us to his farm in early August for a
hodge podge: a meal of bar-B-Q chicken &

new season vegies. We arrive after 7, a few dozen
locals sitting on fold up canvas chairs and coolers,
looking up briefly as we enter- the host shakes my

hand vigorously & we enter his kitchen & down a shot
of rum to settle the stomach. He introduces me to a
few of his friends & we hang around outside watching

the grilling of the chicken. The meat is pressed in
quarters on a large wire frame & every ten minutes
or so it is turned and sprayed with a mixture of water,

oil and herbs. I talk to a bloke from Paradise, N.S.
who has pitched a tent prepared for a big night. He
speaks in a frantic highly energetic voice about

his organic crop pointing/ stabbing into the distance-
laughing a fountain of words numbing as the beers sink.

A queue forms: wax beans peas potatoes carrot a
couple pints of cream water pene-wort. Les says:

time sortof slipping-

Having beforehand- sucking on some womble laughing,
just laughing, cracking up behind the barn, laughing
until it hurts. Returning to the main group of people,

I can’t really recall what I was laughing about-
I just had this crazy feeling that nothing mattered
& as everything splintered all I wanted to do was laugh &

laugh- so there I was drinking Keiths Ale sitting on an eskie
next to some crazy Nova Scotians and explaining my life story:
‘Yeah’ I says, ‘I’m an Anderson, my grandfather used to play ice

hockey for Acadia he had to be totally tanked before
hopping onto the ice/ loved to fight/ reckoned the war
stuffed him/ he was in the navy a lookout two hours on and
two hours off/ said it destroyed his ambition/ his mine sweeper
was sunk in the North Atlantic in 1944…’

I glance up and no one is listening-

Two young women in their late 20s or early 30s
gather around a middle aged man near me
He says matter-of-factly, ‘What do you want Fuckwit & Sheila?’

I notice he has a glazed moronic look on his face. They turn to go.
‘Come here Fuckwit!’ The younger woman obeys kneeling beside his chair.
‘Grab me another beer will you?’
‘OK, daddy’.

I can’t recall what happened after that.

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