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Winnipeg is Paradise

My Winnipeg: How Can I Go Home?

From: Me@WinnipegManitoba

To: MySister@CoastalNovaScotia

Sent: August 27, 2009 9:02:08 PM

Subj: My Winnipeg: How Can I Go Home?

After lunchtime at the Residence they roll Ma over to the dining room TV, along with several other oldsters. Ma and the others stay parked there until five P.M. and kosher dinner. Each one has a special wheelchair that tilts back. Ma and the other old gals are completely immobile. The Filipino staff point them at the TV and let Oprah do the rest.

I say gals deliberately. The Eternal One favours us males to the end. There are no guys on Ma’s second convalescent floor. A few heart attacks, a cancerous prostate cell or two, a colo-rectal seizure and it is mercifully over. The trail of toil and Dr. Phil, Oprah’s yo-yo diet, that is for our widows, not for us.

Ma can still speak but does not wish to. Her Oprah-mates can not. However, the Eternal One commands even the speechless. Ma has a fellow wheelchair companion, a lady just as mute as she is. At four P.M., just as Oprah started, the lady suddenly cried out in anguish, “How can I go home?”. Suddenly able to move she turned to me and cried, “Do you feel the same way?” and then repeatedly , “Nobody comes”. The last half hour or so before dinner time she cried out again and again and again, “Come, you will help me”. Even the Filipino staff looked appalled. Ma said nothing. Ma has earned the right to be silent, more than earned it.

Coed night does not necessarily bring out the best in Club Adonis. The ladies bring their boyfriends, nervous and fearful, guarding their rear ends in this gay establishment. The Adonis plays bisexual porno films so as to honour coed evening. However, they have taken to showing the now-popular Brazilian ones, desperately poor Third World people, fucking to survive. These do not arouse me. The boyfriends give frightened sidelong looks at Mr. Dingdong, the presumed King of the Demasculators. I interacted with some truly gay guys in the darkroom and left at midnight.

The Toad In the Hole has reopened, recovered from yesterday’s hydro blackout. The drunken kids should recover from being young or they will not make it. Taking lessons from my hostile youngsters at The Lookout, I barricaded myself behind the barside table, the better to sip my post-homosexual encounter Diet Coke. This was not good enough. A staggering young fat girl, significant bare midriff flab slopping over top of her jeans, managed to find my foot and step on it. I still have some autonomous reflexes, even at my age. My foot lashed out in pain and kicked her square on her chubby calf muscle, sending her down like a house of cards. The Toad has hardwood floors, but Ms. Drunk Young Obesity landed square on her exceptionally well-padded rear end, even with a substantial bounce. My Princess of Adipose wanted very much to fight. However my creepiness serves me well. Her eighteen year old male companions gave me fearful looks. They escorted her out. There are so many young folks at The Lookout that I would dearly like to kick, really almost all of them, from the disgusting Jacob on down. I need to control myself. This could so quickly become an addiction.

This morning I went for a wonderful drive. There has been no recession in Winnipeg, the glowing centre of Manitoba’s exceptional economic diversity. The modest residential streets of my ancient childhood persist and are maintained, north of the railway yards, each one still a row of small stucco bungalows. The lawns are mowed. The flowers are there. The mortgage is paid, so are the payments on the pick-up truck in the front drive.

The words of our father, may he rest in peace, wrang in my mind, “Winnipeg, Never Up, Never Down, You Can Always Make A Living Here”. As always, he was right. I stopped at a discount wholesale, the same place he used to take us in 1965. I bought a half-priced pair of shoes and discarded my old ones at the counter, Da looking down from heaven and smiling. I miss him.

Giant rented Chrysler and I and went north on Keewatin Avenue, in search of North End Jewish Winnipeg, the one we never should have left. The Filipinos have pushed us farther north and farther west, them followed by the Manitoba Assembly of First Nations. Our North End must migrate perpetually, more north, more west, the limitless Prairie there for us to rove and wander, us Western Canada Jews replacing the buffalo.

Nowadays our North End lies hard adjacent Winnipeg’s big truck quarter. Canada’s transcontinental trucking industry is one of Da’s Winnipeg economic pillars, a very solid, very reliable one. Trucks move breakfast cereal and bags of locally-produced beat sugar. They move this fall’s back to school discount clothes. They haul bags of cement to the still active construction sites, strip malls and the new medical-dental buildings, of our Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Our Peterbilts are going strong. Want to get a lease on a Western Star, fix your Volvo long hauler at 3:30 A.M. on a January morning? There is no problem. We are hiring electricians, welders and big truck diesel mechanics. Truck Winnipeg is there to serve, table service at the truck stop 24/7, diesel at a discount. Winnipeg is the truck driver’s synagogue. May our Winnipeg always be loaded and rolling.

I do not know how I will go home but I think I will want to. There are drunken youngsters to kick, heterosexual men to terrify. After a degraded and shameful social evening at Club 200 there is the sprint of terror across the back alley of doom and eternity, dive into my pick-up truck and lock the doors. On the way home to our perpetually shifting North End, stop at our favourite all night truck stop, excellent coffee and fries. I do not know how to go home but I will look for a way. Come, you will help me.

It is cool this afternoon, back to school around the corner. I hope Nova Scotia is ready to be educated. Have a safe trip home.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Let Us Not Speak of Burdensome Things

From: Me@WinnipegManitoba

To: MySister@CoastalNovaScotia

Sent: August 25, 2009 8:50:01 PM

Subj: My Winnipeg: Let Us Not Speak of Burdensome Things

Mother understands. Silence is seldom given to one as a gift. Silence is something one must work very, very hard to earn. Mother has worked very, very hard to earn her silence, much too hard. Now she enjoys her precious days of being silent, at the South Winnipeg Jewish Seniors Residence. The Residence understands, the Rabbi, the social worker, the Jewish community volunteers, the caring Filipino staff.

I have not earned my silence. The Ottawa people do not like it when I do not speak. I have moved team players to rage. I have been threatened with assault. I have been called a fag without speaking to come out. I do not have my Eastern Ontario silent credentials. How can you tell somebody to shut up when they have never spoken? Who is he, why does he see himself as exempt from Ottawa Valley franco-Irish chatter? I can not make them understand, I have the gift of the gablessness. I am the silent, aging ethnic.

Several Ottawa lesbian very early Saturdays ago, I had a Lookout lane encounter. It was 2:15 A.M. in the short alley that leads down from The Lookout’s door to York Street, the straight and very drunk young early Saturday morning Ottawa just beyond. It was my time for chillout, irony, futility, the exhaustion of age and a dollop of despair, Parliament Hill just down the block, Canada’s Prime Minister, the beast of Calgary, the homophobic Devil in a Cowboy Hat, coiled like a serpent and ready to strike.

Why is it that my gay youngsters will not let me enjoy these few lovely, precious, silent self-indulgent moments in the Ottawa dark, just a few, brief, healing seconds of paranoia, narcicism and delicious self pity. Oh no, musn’t, he who has not spoken all night must speak now.

A very young, aspiring butch had finished her evening and come downstairs, accompanied by her friends. Despite her baseball cap and aggressive air, I had made her quite nervous. The youngster came up to me and stepped on my foot. Who is he, she said. My answer was demanded, time to speak, come forward and define myself. I, I said, am a creepy old guy. Are there any other parts of my anatomy that you would like to step on?

Little butch did not like it. We did not bridge the gender-age gap. She became hysterical. Why must I speak when my answers will provoke rage?

It is different in Winnipeg. I left here thirty-five years ago. When I make these semi-annual visits I claim the right to be a ghost, a wisp, a shadow, a spectre barely darkening the most obscure corners of my home town for just an instant, an obscure ethno-Prairie footnote, a wrinkled, yellowed, brittle corner of a long ago page in The Winnipeg Free Press, crumbling, determinedly gone, irrelevant and forgotten.

Booty shake Monday at The Palomino Club is my crumble apex. The legal drinking age in our Manitoba is eighteen. Boy those kids are young! The shaking booty at The Palomino Club is not long out of the diaper. The Palomino is a cop bar for very, very young cops, young enough to be my law enforcement grandsons. I make the young barmaids extremely nervous, me the creepy old guy, but otherwise I am the creepy old wraith I want to be, tiny booty and the Winnipeg Police Service, junior league, all around me. I love it. I love my evenings at The Palomino Club. May old guys shut up there forever.

Rent a massive Chrysler and I went for a ride this morning, in the warm, dry sunshine, our customary one, Saint Mary’s Road to the Saint Vital Mall, then Pembina Highway to the Grant Park Mall, then Stewart’s Delicatessen, which is now half Korean. We stopped to take pictures of Grant Park High School, my mental Auschwitz of the Prairie. Grant Park Hell School is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with an alumni reunion. Do survivors of Bergen Belsen feel nostalgia?

They never let me be silent at Grant Park. It was pedagogy for me, designed by Nazis.

I ate my diet lunch at the Grant Park Safeway supermarket, just across the street from hell. Grant Park High, fiftieth Nazi storm-trooper reunion and all, had given me a breathing attack, but the Safeway deli has good sandwiches. The turkey slices of the present restored me, plus the Safeway shoppers, Safeway’s various wandering MILFs. The MILFs want me to shut up too. They are very good MILFs.

However, the Grant Park Mall has a real estate kiosk, Royal Le Page Realty residential listings for south Winnipeg, the best little open houses on The Prairie, the Multiple Listing Service for The Twilight Zone.

My retirement approaches. Is it time to depart York Street and the monster of Southern Alberta, the Redneck gay-hater of the Oil Patch, and turn another page, in the real estate section of today’s Winnipeg Free Press?

The agents of Royal Le Page Realty do not accept silence. Winnipeg is reality, a place of truckstops, feed mills, chicken processing factories and camshaft grinding depots. It is real life. One must speak and get an offer down.

Ma and I are watching Dr. Phil, in the Residence dining room. We are eating kosher carrot cake from the Residence cafe and enjoying our silence together. Dr. Phil is reproaching an overcontrolling Mom who talks far too much. Today let Dr. Phil do all the talking. I love being quiet with my Mummy.

I know I must speak but I have been a customer at Royal Le Page before. They will be patient, understand and wait.

Have a warm and sunny evening. The weather is delightful here.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Prepare for Eternity, for You May Be There Forever

From: Me@Winnipeg, Manitoba

To MySister@CoastalNovaScotia

Sent: August 24, 2009 9:03:25 PM

Subj: My Winnipeg: Prepare for Eternity, for You May Be There Forever

That’s what the roadside sign said, on Highway 75, in 1958, on the way to Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I think the sign was on our side of the border. Once you got to America the signs were all about Burma Shave. My childish mind used to wonder, is eternity only something for Canadians? Why would an American want to be shaved by a Burmese? Can you get to eternity only if you shave yourself? Is eternity in January or in August with lots of mosquitoes? If you get tired of eternity can you take a holiday, and drive to Grand Forks, North Dakota where a Burmese will shave you?

The border is a little different now. The Americans have other concerns about us aliens then a shave, a moustache trim and a hot towel massage. I watch political advertisements on CNN so I know. Canadians are hopelessly socialistic and live in terror of the government-run euthanasia council. If you are a Canadian Granny you are toast. No eternity for you!

My favourite Canadian terror commercial is the Obliterated Washington, D.C. one, the Maple Leaf flag smothers Congress, the American way, Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Wernher Von Braun, Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, all obliterated, overcome by a barrage of maple syrup, same-sex big hugs, bacon and Alanis at her bitter best. Watch out North Dakota, watch out Kathie Lee, here we come, Alanis got ditched again. Boy is she in a bad mood and she is going to share!

I am doing my best to prepare for eternity, at the South Winnipeg Jewish Seniors’ Residence. Ma is here. She knows who I am but she does not speak. Does she remember North Dakota, the wonderful surf and turf at the Grand Forks Bronze Boot? Ma taught me how to shop American, the joy of a motel room tag-cutting party. Get ready for Canada Customs, or you may be there forever. Oh no officer, we bought these cotton towels in Canada, we don’t like the motel towels in Grand Forks, we bring our own. The tags? Oh gee, I guess they came off in the wash. Our 1955 Maytag is a bit rough on tags. The towels look rather new? Good quality, good quality, these are our special American motel towels, got ’em in Winnipeg for sure. Good by, Mr. Customs, have a nice day.

Does Ma remember our towel-smuggling, tax cutting days, so very long ago? Does she understand my gratitude? It is too late to ask. Eternity has reached us. South Winnipeg is eternity. Ma will not answer.

Yesterday evening I went to stuff myself with the dinner buffet at the India Palace Restaurant on Ellice Avenue. Ellice Avenue is dangerous and violent, even with all the socialistic medicare, but the butter chicken and saffron rice are excellent. Parking is easy so there is only a brief dash and cower, prepare to dive or else you were get a drive-by shooting shortcut to eternity, until you are inside virtual culinary New Delhi. The curry vegetables make it all worth it. In any case the Manitoba Health Sciences Centre is just down the road. Gunshot wounds are treated free of charge.

My gut has been to many an all-eater buffet. It is eternal now. It is not just there to panic beautiful young women. It can suck up a bullet, even crack dealer Ellice Avenue high calibre. My vital organs are not worried. They are curry-addicted and consumately well-padded. They and Mr. Gut are prepared for eternity. As long as The India Palace is there, we will all be happy, forever.

The South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence has concerts every Monday. The concerts prepare you for eternity. Some old guys play hits from 1958. Vic Damone will live forever. Ma was speechless but she always is.

The old chap sitting next to me got up to dance, escorted by a young social worker. His Missus turned to me and said, he is an Alteh Kahcker, you be one too, if you do not become an Alteh Kahcker, you will die early.

I know when an emissary from The Eternal One has spoken to me. What better place than at The South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence? The lesson is clear. Tonight is Booty Shake Monday at The Palomino Club. It is time to be an Alteh Kahcker, time for The Palomino Club, time for shaken Booty.

Ma and I are watching Judge Judy. Judge Judy is not silent. Socialistic medicare aliens will receive short shrift. May we watch Judge Judy forever, together, in eternity.

I am glad Hurricane Bill got scared of Nova Scotia. Have a socialistic evening beside a quite sea.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: I Survived the Back Alley of Death

August 23, 2009 at 8:32pm

From: me@WinnipegManitoba

To: mysister@CoastalNovaScotia

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 21:17:58 +0000

Subject: My Winnipeg: I Survived the Back Alley of Death

Yesterday evening’s flights were tedious. I had a too tight connection at Toronto, just fifty minutes or so at Terminal One. However Air Canada Jazz left Ottawa fifteen minutes late, needing time for casuality and sedateness. Jazz took the same casual attitude towards landing at Toronto, drift west at a still high altitude past Pearson International Airport, a few minutes air touring a fertile farmscape in the Golden Horseshoe dusk, a leisurely, gliding turn north of Hamilton, then a gradual, deliberate descent along the the 401 expressway, over concrete plants, office parks, shopping malls and warehouses, and only then a landing and a gradual roll to Terminal One and the gate.

Pearson always arouses me to panic, the doorway to a nasty world and inappropriate situations. However the Winnipeg gate was next to the arriving Ottawa one. There were a few minutes to compose myself and then decompose, my aging DNA going back where it came from. I flew home alongside a young chap who gave me nervous looks every few minutes.

National Car Rental, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, granted me a huge Chrysler, at no extra charge. I have my Winnipeg Twilight Zone fantasy, Air Canada blunders through the requisite timewarp, reverting back to Trans-Canada Airlines, its Airbus A300 regressing to a four propeller Loughheed Superconstellation. The Constellation lands at the old terminal. I disembark, in fedora, hornrim glasses, neatly-laced brogues and pleated, cuffed flannel office trowsers. I rent a 57 Dodge with tailfins, and begin my apology round, visiting various family members, Hebrew teachers, community leaders and above all Rebbe Kravetz, to apologize for my gender orientation, lack of keeping kosher, failure of regular synagogue attendance and absolutely anything else I can think of.

National has a good corporate orientation. The super Chrysler they rented me was almost as big as a classic De Soto.

The classic rock group AC/DC was performing at Polo Park stadium yesterday evening. The National airport young rental lady warned me. The band had rattled windows all over west Winnipeg. My home town was in the midst of a weekend population boom, half of North Dakota and Saskatchewan crowding in. I dodged pickup trucks, vans and family sedans exiting the concert, all the way downtown, down modest residential side streets, through lonely places that even Rod Serling would have avoided.

I made it to The Marlborough Hotel, crowding in among the AC/DCniks and a Filipino-Canadian wedding. The credit card reservation is a wonderful thing. I still had a room.

Saturday night is Saturday night. An aging semi-queer must have his entertainment. Without it there would be nothing to apologize for. I dropped my bag into my room. Chrysler battleship and I departed for the short cruise to Winnipeg’s two gay bars, Club 200 at 199 Garry Street, Gio’s community club for Winnipeg homosexuals, just across the back lane, on Smith Street.

Club 200 is just across Garry Street from the Windsor Arms Hotel, a jolly place for major drug deals, good jazz music, fatal shootings and general wrongful death. Club 200 gets much of its energy in the form of leftovers from The Windsor Arms. I had parked just up Garry Street, dodging two staggering drunks as I exited my Chrysler tank, plus several Windsor patrons who were very eager for hostile eye contact.

I love downtown Winnipeg’s palpable feeling of dread. Horrid, awful people were exiting and entering Club 200, tatooes, piercings, serious substance abuse and incipient violence, sins that even Manitoba Tent and Awning could not cover.

I wanted very much to drop by. However Saturday night is lesbian night at Gio’s. I must keep my principles. Time to cross that back alley.

This time I almost did not make it. An informal, heterosexual, bottle party was in progress in the back alley. The organizer saw me, an obvious Club 200-Gio’s migrant, took extreme objection to my even temporary presence in his back alley and started moving for an intercept, mayhem, bash the fag in mind.

Somehow my aged legs forgot their burden of years and began to run as if they were at their prime, back in maybe 1963. They are queer legs. They have never forgot their basic lesson. Accept that some may be troubled by your lifestyle. That is, be prepared to run like hell as if your life depended on it. It does.

I did it. I escaped intact. I made it to my lesbians. My tiredness from my lengthy day of Air Canada and AC/DC had vanished. I felt alive again, part of the action, part of My Winnipeg, Saturday night downtown and so happy to be home.

Have a good evening. I hope Hurricane Bill is not making a nuisance of itself and troubling the Nova Scotians. They are not queer. They must not flee.

Love,

Martin

To: MySister@WinnipegManitoba

My Winnipeg: Park on Aberdeen Avenue and Go the Gay Baths

My Winnipeg: Park on Aberdeen Avenue and Go the Gay Baths

From: Me@TorontoInternationalAirport

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Sent: February 27, 2009 8:08:10 PM

Winnipeg has overnight winter parking rules. On major throughfairs you can’t. The blank, signless door of Club Adonis is on North Main Street. There is an all-night gas station, barricaded right across the street. This presence makes gunshot wounds a bit less likely. Usually you can park on Main Street right at Adonis’ very discrete door. Alternatively you can park a few spaces to the north, next to the used car lot with its barbwired-topped chainlink fence and vicious dog. However if you are parked there at 2:01 AM you will certainly be towed. I am always afraid that love will blossom at 1:55 AM. I would not want to destroy the mood by having to retrieve my parka, sweater and boots from my locker and then running out in the incredible cold to shift monster van to a side street. Instead I park on a sidestreet to begin with, despite the somewhat enhanced risk of stray bullets.

At my last evening at Adonis I parked on Aberdeen Avenue, two short blocks north, kicking the snow off my boots in my urgent need to reach Adonis’ warm, cozy and relatively safe inside. My mother, father and sister lived on Aberdeen Street just after the war. We all lived on Matheson Avenue, just a few blocks away, when I emerged into the world as a new ethno-Manitoban. I like to think about this while I am committing my homosexual acts. I have disproved the theory that you can’t go home again. I do it every time I return to Winnipeg, to have sex with other men.

Wednesday is coed night at Club Adonis. This past Wednesday was rather quiet, just one lady having loud, shrieking multiple orgasms in the cubicle next to the dark room. In the jacuzzi I met a young chap, straight until that moment. He asked me where the women were. I explained that women are very distinctly a sometimes thing at Club Adonis. However, the young chap was looking at sexual alternatives, that evening me. He had rented a cubicle so we went off there to explore this. Within a short time I did a most effective recruiting job. The young chap left, happy with his new lifestyle. I returned to the porno TV Room sex couch, to watch straight sex from Eastern Europe and savour the remorse.

There really is no need for Club 200 when you have had an adequate male on male experience just a few minutes before. Given also that Club 200 is the vicious dog of Canadian gay bars it is not worth the risk. I survived the five minute dash back to van colossus without incurring trauma wounds. Huge van and I were quite concerned that we had again run out our supply of sex frustration. However we knew the solution to that. We departed our ancestral Aberdeen Avenue for The Toad in the Hole, in relatively safe Osborne Village, long before the first of the tow trucks emerged to patrol Main Street. Even on a minus thirty Celsius evening, the young student gals of The Toad will return you to your proper perspective. There are lots of side streets near The Toad, no need to worry about the macho tow truck as the gals put you in your place.

The Toad was very busy. I had to sit at the bar, no poignance table available, with a rotating roster of beautiful young women approaching me on either side, ordering drinks for their friends at the tables. I tried to look as creepy as possible but I am older than I used to be, on the too fast track to being lovable, bisexual gramps. A BYW actually spoke to me. It was my turn to quiver in fear. If you go to The Toad when you are sexually satiated your BYW coping strategies will be at risk. You need to get some sex frustration back first. The BY’s can tell when you are not enthusiastic. They do not like it. Do not deprive them of their pleasure.

I am on a plane, returning to Ottawa via Toronto. The tables have very thoroughly turned. The economic giants of Toronto Bay Street are massive, butch and dominant no more. They cower in the luxurious offices they can no longer afford. They can only hope the Man from Chicago will save them from the abyss.

Us Prairie folks now look down at the Bay street financial district with pity, not vice versa. The gay Manitobans of Club Adonis soldier on, no matter what the financial anarchy Back East. North Main Street may be grotesquely violent, absolutely frozen and prone to the militant tow truck. It is, however, financially quite stable. Our Manitoba Beautiful Young Women have a future, together with The Toad. They will always have us old guys to terrorize. I can not wait to go home again.

Lesbian night approaches, back in Ottawa. I will brag to my femininly-challenged young ladies about the best gay baths in all of Canada and gratuitous gun crime.

Have a good evening.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Prepare for Eternity, for You May Be There Forever

From: Me@Winnipeg, Manitoba

To MySister@CoastalNovaScotia

Sent: August 24, 2009 9:03:25 PM

Subj: My Winnipeg: Prepare for Eternity, for You May Be There Forever

That’s what the roadside sign said, on Highway 75, in 1958, on the way to Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I think the sign was on our side of the border. Once you got to America the signs were all about Burma Shave. My childish mind used to wonder, is eternity only something for Canadians? Why would an American want to be shaved by a Burmese? Can you get to eternity only if you shave yourself? Is eternity in January or in August with lots of mosquitoes? If you get tired of eternity can you take a holiday, and drive to Grand Forks, North Dakota where a Burmese will shave you?

The border is a little different now. The Americans have other concerns about us aliens then a shave, a moustache trim and a hot towel massage. I watch political advertisements on CNN so I know. Canadians are hopelessly socialistic and live in terror of the government-run euthanasia council. If you are a Canadian Granny you are toast. No eternity for you!

My favourite Canadian terror commercial is the Obliterated Washington, D.C. one, the Maple Leaf flag smothers Congress, the American way, Ben Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Wernher Von Braun, Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, all obliterated, overcome by a barrage of maple syrup, same-sex big hugs, bacon and Alanis at her bitter best. Watch out North Dakota, watch out Kathie Lee, here we come, Alanis got ditched again. Boy is she in a bad mood and she is going to share!

I am doing my best to prepare for eternity, at the South Winnipeg Jewish Seniors’ Residence. Ma is here. She knows who I am but she does not speak. Does she remember North Dakota, the wonderful surf and turf at the Grand Forks Bronze Boot? Ma taught me how to shop American, the joy of a motel room tag-cutting party. Get ready for Canada Customs, or you may be there forever. Oh no officer, we bought these cotton towels in Canada, we don’t like the motel towels in Grand Forks, we bring our own. The tags? Oh gee, I guess they came off in the wash. Our 1955 Maytag is a bit rough on tags. The towels look rather new? Good quality, good quality, these are our special American motel towels, got ’em in Winnipeg for sure. Good by, Mr. Customs, have a nice day.

Does Ma remember our towel-smuggling, tax cutting days, so very long ago? Does she understand my gratitude? It is too late to ask. Eternity has reached us. South Winnipeg is eternity. Ma will not answer.

Yesterday evening I went to stuff myself with the dinner buffet at the India Palace Restaurant on Ellice Avenue. Ellice Avenue is dangerous and violent, even with all the socialistic medicare, but the butter chicken and saffron rice are excellent. Parking is easy so there is only a brief dash and cower, prepare to dive or else you were get a drive-by shooting shortcut to eternity, until you are inside virtual culinary New Delhi. The curry vegetables make it all worth it. In any case the Manitoba Health Sciences Centre is just down the road. Gunshot wounds are treated free of charge.

My gut has been to many an all-eater buffet. It is eternal now. It is not just there to panic beautiful young women. It can suck up a bullet, even crack dealer Ellice Avenue high calibre. My vital organs are not worried. They are curry-addicted and consumately well-padded. They and Mr. Gut are prepared for eternity. As long as The India Palace is there, we will all be happy, forever.

The South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence has concerts every Monday. The concerts prepare you for eternity. Some old guys play hits from 1958. Vic Damone will live forever. Ma was speechless but she always is.

The old chap sitting next to me got up to dance, escorted by a young social worker. His Missus turned to me and said, he is an Alteh Kahcker, you be one too, if you do not become an Alteh Kahcker, you will die early.

I know when an emissary from The Eternal One has spoken to me. What better place than at The South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence? The lesson is clear. Tonight is Booty Shake Monday at The Palomino Club. It is time to be an Alteh Kahcker, time for The Palomino Club, time for shaken Booty.

Ma and I are watching Judge Judy. Judge Judy is not silent. Socialistic medicare aliens will receive short shrift. May we watch Judge Judy forever, together, in eternity.

I am glad Hurricane Bill got scared of Nova Scotia. Have a socialistic evening beside a quite sea.

Love,

Martin

From: Me@OttawaOntario

My Winnipeg: I Survived the Back Alley of Death

From: me@WinnipegManitoba

To: mysister@CoastalNovaScotia

Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 21:17:58 +0000

Subject: My Winnipeg: I Survived the Back Alley of Death

Yesterday evening’s flights were tedious. I had a too tight connection at Toronto, just fifty minutes or so at Terminal One. However Air Canada Jazz left Ottawa fifteen minutes late, needing time for casuality and sedateness. Jazz took the same casual attitude towards landing at Toronto, drift west at a still high altitude past Pearson International Airport, a few minutes air touring a fertile farmscape in the Golden Horseshoe dusk, a leisurely, gliding turn north of Hamilton, then a gradual, deliberate descent along the the 401 expressway, over concrete plants, office parks, shopping malls and warehouses, and only then a landing and a gradual roll to Terminal One and the gate.

Pearson always arouses me to panic, the doorway to a nasty world and inappropriate situations. However the Winnipeg gate was next to the arriving Ottawa one. There were a few minutes to compose myself and then decompose, my aging DNA going back where it came from. I flew home alongside a young chap who gave me nervous looks every few minutes.

National Car Rental, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, granted me a huge Chrysler, at no extra charge. I have my Winnipeg Twilight Zone fantasy, Air Canada blunders through the requisite timewarp, reverting back to Trans-Canada Airlines, its Airbus A300 regressing to a four propeller Loughheed Superconstellation. The Constellation lands at the old terminal. I disembark, in fedora, hornrim glasses, neatly-laced brogues and pleated, cuffed flannel office trowsers. I rent a 57 Dodge with tailfins, and begin my apology round, visiting various family members, Hebrew teachers, community leaders and above all Rebbe Kravetz, to apologize for my gender orientation, lack of keeping kosher, failure of regular synagogue attendance and absolutely anything else I can think of.

National has a good corporate orientation. The super Chrysler they rented me was almost as big as a classic De Soto.

The classic rock group AC/DC was performing at Polo Park stadium yesterday evening. The National airport young rental lady warned me. The band had rattled windows all over west Winnipeg. My home town was in the midst of a weekend population boom, half of North Dakota and Saskatchewan crowding in. I dodged pickup trucks, vans and family sedans exiting the concert, all the way downtown, down modest residential side streets, through lonely places that even Rod Serling would have avoided.

I made it to The Marlborough Hotel, crowding in among the AC/DCniks and a Filipino-Canadian wedding. The credit card reservation is a wonderful thing. I still had a room.

Saturday night is Saturday night. An aging semi-queer must have his entertainment. Without it there would be nothing to apologize for. I dropped my bag into my room. Chrysler battleship and I departed for the short cruise to Winnipeg’s two gay bars, Club 200 at 199 Garry Street, Gio’s community club for Winnipeg homosexuals, just across the back lane, on Smith Street.

Club 200 is just across Garry Street from the Windsor Arms Hotel, a jolly place for major drug deals, good jazz music, fatal shootings and general wrongful death. Club 200 gets much of its energy in the form of leftovers from The Windsor Arms. I had parked just up Garry Street, dodging two staggering drunks as I exited my Chrysler tank, plus several Windsor patrons who were very eager for hostile eye contact.

I love downtown Winnipeg’s palpable feeling of dread. Horrid, awful people were exiting and entering Club 200, tatooes, piercings, serious substance abuse and incipient violence, sins that even Manitoba Tent and Awning could not cover.

I wanted very much to drop by. However Saturday night is lesbian night at Gio’s. I must keep my principles. Time to cross that back alley.

This time I almost did not make it. An informal, heterosexual, bottle party was in progress in the back alley. The organizer saw me, an obvious Club 200-Gio’s migrant, took extreme objection to my even temporary presence in his back alley and started moving for an intercept, mayhem, bash the fag in mind.

Somehow my aged legs forgot their burden of years and began to run as if they were at their prime, back in maybe 1963. They are queer legs. They have never forgot their basic lesson. Accept that some may be troubled by your lifestyle. That is, be prepared to run like hell as if your life depended on it. It does.

I did it. I escaped intact. I made it to my lesbians. My tiredness from my lengthy day of Air Canada and AC/DC had vanished. I felt alive again, part of the action, part of My Winnipeg, Saturday night downtown and so happy to be home.

Have a good evening. I hope Hurricane Bill is not making a nuisance of itself and troubling the Nova Scotians. They are not queer. They must not flee.

Love,

Martin

October 18, 1999

Subj: Rainy Morning in Winnipeg

I have been watching the Main Street webcam to relieve my feelings of stress. It more or less points at where Baba and Zaydah had their restaurant. I often think how nice it would be if I could crawl through the picture on the screen and materialize at that spot, disappear, never return. Classic Twilight Zone. (In the series of course you end up going back in time and materializing in your youth, desperately trying to save your future self from what you know is coming. They actually did one episode back in the 1950′ s in which a middle-aged man named Martin, lonely with a ruined marriage and full of despair about life in the corporate society, flees back to the 1920’s to the small town where he grew up and tries to warn himself as a child. The child is too frightened to listen but eventually he gets to talk to his mother, who reassures him that she and his father are always looking over him with love and care, that he should be courageous and live a decent life and eventually (I.E. When Ha Shem says. Rod Serling the writer and director wrote extensively about the misery of middle-aged Jewish men in the corporate society.) they would all be reunited in The World To Come. Of course they couldn’t refer directly to the gender preference issue in those days but maybe Martin survived into the hippy era and put the 1950’s behind him.

Marie-Josee is having a tough time of it. She was at Le Pub until close on Friday, very rare for her. She hadn’t slept properly for two nights because she had been partying and looked and felt exhausted. Worse, she was encumbered with Suzanne, a pretty but rather butch hairdresser who often comes to Le Pub. Suzanne was lonely so Marie-Josee had invited her to spend the night. However, Marie-Josee wasn’t sure whether she wanted to fuck Suzanne and in any case was too tired even to do it properly even as matter of courtesy. Also, Marie-Josee has three cats and Suzanne is allergic. Marie-Josee really feels she would like to find a man and settle down but can’t quench her burning need for women. We talked about cats and the difficulties of being bisexual. Marie-Josee and Suzanne left together. I wonder if they ever showed the Twilight Zone in French.

Sunday evening I went to Le Pub. I spent an hour and a half chatting with a Quebecois guy who now lives in Calgary. We got on well and I asked him if I could drive him back to his hotel (That’s what fags do.) but he didn’t want to fuck. Maybe he has a boyfriend in Alberta. I next went to wash the car at the downtown Esso station, which is a block or so from Franky’s. At Franky’s I chatted with a pleasant butch girl named Linda who seemed somewhat bisexual and works there. She was friendly but no luck there either.

I can’t see why Marie-Josee doesn’t understand we are made for each other.

Angele’s mother had a nasty argument with her stepfather on the weekend, took the car and ran away to North Bay, where she doesn’t know anybody. She had no money and disappeared for a day or so because she was sleeping in the car. Angele’s older brother Chuck had to drive all the way to North Bay to get her.

Angele consequently had a difficult weekend. She wants to repaint the apartment while I am away.

Cool here. Dance lesson tonight. Then unless I find the way into the Twilight Zone I will go to Market Station and The Lookout.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Sex Frustration Until The Very End

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

Feberuary 25, 2009

My Winnipeg: Sex Frustration Until The Very End

I had an alarming experience yesterday evening at Club Adonis. I went there after an afternoon snowstorm. The snow clung to windshields, us Manitoba drivers jumping out at stop signs and red light intersections, happily blocking traffic as we scrape the ice cake off. Even the Winnipeg Police Service was fishtailing up and down North Main Street, hardly an aboriginal Manitoban outside to be threatened.

I felt confident that, given the quite typical weather conditions, Mr. Dingdong and I would be alone at Adonis. We would lie stretched out together on the comfortable sex couch in the porno TV room, watching videos of buff young guys having anal intercourse in Southern California, or alternatively dozing off and dreaming of the hot young body part ladies of The Palomino Club.

My plan did not work out. Us Manitobans are tough and us dedicated Man-homos even tougher. I met another gent who was quite familiar with The Palomino. We chatted about the Palomino’s policy of don’t leave your drink attended or you will certainly be date raped. We noted that The Palomino was indeed the official bar of The Winnipeg Police Service, of course only when they are off duty and not fishtailing our Aboriginal Manitobans. We agreed that the law enforcement status of The Palomino made it a most inappropriate place to cruise straight men, unless you could not bear the winter anymore and were looking for an interesting alternative to simply committing suicide.

My new friend, being quite familiar with the bouncing booty straight gals of The Palomino, made a point to me that I could not deny. My booty was vastly, vastly superior to that of any Palomino girl, none of them even close to me in desirability. How could I deny this statement of fact, no matter how obvious? My fervent admirer had rented a room in the Adonis side corridor. We spent rather a long time there, celebrating my beauty. It was not until about 10:30 that we exchanged e-mails and parted.

It is good to have one’s seductive beauty recognized. However, I start to understand the predicament of the more luscious of The Palomino’s booty babes. Say you have done your Monday evening bounce and jiggle. You have selected your suitably masculine and virile Winnipeg Police Officer, who would without doubt immediately execute any homo male who acted out his perversion. The officer has reamed out your feminine needs. Then, what do you do? Do your really want to be a cop wife/girlfriend? Do you really want to co-sign a mortgage with someone who could be killed any fishtailing winter night in the line of duty? No, you go home in the very dead of a subzero Tuesday morning. You are sexually fulfilled. Your blond ambition is exhausted. What will you do the rest of the week, torment some insignificant computer nerd at the office who may in fact be a frequent contributor at Club Adonis? Compete with the other booty gals for who can most distract the boss from his family duties, then backstab about it in the ladies’ powder room? Even for the most beautiful Prairie rose there is no substitute for the agony of sexual deprivation. The gals and I understand very well, only the despair of the libido can keep you going.

Troubled, my sister’s gigantic van and I did a prolonged icy skid from North Main Street and Club Adonis back downtown to Club 200, Southern Manitoba’s friendly gay bar from hell. I thought the raw terror would distract me from my unpleasant sexual satiation. It sort of did. Too much sexual searching at Club 200 will cause you to be found floating face down and frozen, next April or May, in the Red River, just as the City of Winnipeg works crews dynamite the last of the ice jams. Yesterday evening’s 200 bartender was a slender, pretty jolly lesbian with a charming smile. Anything like my Friday evening suggestions to The Lookout’s homo babes would have been a disaster. Do not provoke your Winnipeg nemesis lesbian. She will put several slugs in your abdomen at point blank range. I left 200 an hour later, quivering in fright, looking behind and beside me in dread on a snowy and very ominous downtown Winnipeg February night, alive again.

I knew that a final stop at The Toad in The Hole would end my evening with my sexual agony completely restored. The hot straight young college girls of The Toad are kind and responsible. If one needs reassurance that, as a creepy old guy, you do not socially exist or are appalling and disgusting, the gals of The Toad are always there to remind you. I collected some wonderful looks of young female contempt. Monster van and I went back to my sister’s place sliding and happy.

This morning I did my senior’s walk at the Grant Park Mall. Grant Park High School is having its fifty-year class reunion. I am not sure whether Adolf Hitler is the guest speaker but I know he would be most welcome. The blond, blue-eyed Aryan cheerleaders of my feminine boyhood would offer themselves to him, even at the risk of their ultimate sexual fulfillment. I would be as welcome as the plague.

The daytime temperature has risen to -20 Celsius. Consequently Zellers Department Store at the Grant Park Mall has put the last of its winter mens accessories on a clearance sale. I bought a pair of mens gloves for nine dollars only. Should the last few weeks of winter pale, the Grant Park outlet of the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission is selling fortified wine at a very reasonable price.

Enjoy your evening and do not worry. Sex frustration is always there to comfort, inspire and guide us, at The Palomino Club, Club Adonis and Club 200. If worst comes to worst, The Toad is Winnipeg’s inexhaustable well of unrequited longing.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Fil-Manitoban Seniors Mall Walk in the Twenty-First Century

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

February 24, 2009

My Winnipeg: Fil-Manitoban Seniors Mall Walk in the Twenty-First Century

Booty shake Monday at the Palomino Club was very, very good. I got there early enough to avoid the lengthy metal detector, body pat down, empty your pockets, park your gang colours queue. This left me a chill out hour or two before the first of the booties arrived, many, many, many booties. Because of our rich ethno-cultural diversity Winnipeg has every type of booty imaginable. Winnipeg is Canada’s best city if you like variety in your young female body parts.

Booty Shake Monday features a live band and an ample dance floor. A few brave young straight guys venture out onto the dance floor but it is the domain of the booties. I was not the only creepy old guy at Booty Shake Monday. Us creepy old guys congregate at the dance floor bar rail, worshipping booty, bowing before diverse young female body parts.

The actual Booty Shake contest is at half an hour after midnight, ample time for the diverse booties to get their drunken courage. At 12:30 the intoxicated booties clammer up on stage, cuddling up with the live band and a very happy master of ceremonies. There are several booty shake-offs until we winnow our way down to the last four, best drunk booties. According to the MC it was the best Booty Shake Monday in months. This was for a very good reason. The booties came equipped with boobs. To make this endowment clear, three of the four finalist booties removed their bras and shook their boobies too. Us creepy old guys stood erect at the bar rail, cheering and very, very, very happy. Winnipeg is the homeland of the compassionate and generous booby bootie.

I left a bit before closing time. The young guys had been made desperate by shaking booby bootie. Testosterone was flowing freely. Even my miniscule, old bi creepy guy’s testosterone level had recovered a little bit. My sex frustration and utter desperation, that which gives me the strength and vitality to overcome the many, many challenges of my life, had returned. I gathered up this precious energy and took it with me, back to The Palomino parking lot and my sister’s gigantic van. Van, sex frustration and I returned down Portage Avenue to South Winnipeg and my sister’s place. Sexual fulfillment is the enemy of a happy and fulfilling life. Without the agony of sexual starvation what reason is there to engage in life or do anything? There is no reason to strive.

This morning I visted the Polo Park Mall, in search of souvenir t-shirts for you and the boys. February is not the gun fight season at Polo Park. There was really no hope of the lively sort of gun battle that took place, the last time I bought you t-shirts there. The car thieves and gang bangers of our Winnipeg have retreated inside until our Prairie spring. A happy Winnipeg gunman spends late winter in his easy chair, beside the fire place in his best pair of slippers, his favourite crack pipe in hand, watching sports on his stolen HDTV. The first armed duel with the Winnipeg Police Service can wait until April, taking careful aim and opening fire, bullet casings flying above the newly sprung crocuses. All Manitobans require patience.

My bulletless t-shirt search served very well as my Tuesday morning mall walk. I was a child at The Polo Park Mall, so very long ago, in the age of Xavier Cugat and the tailfin. My mummy used to take me to the coffee shop there, when the mall was not yet enclosed, open to the forty below zero Prairie breeze. We ate cheesecake together, so long ago in black and white Manitoba. Now I am a senior amongst diverse seniors. The Polo Park Mall is a favourite for the Filipino seniors of our even more diversified Winnipeg. I mall-walked with them this morning.

I found a t-shirt kiosk outside the front door of Sears. I chatted with the lady there, slender, small and just as old as me. I searched for suitable t-shirts for a while. The small lady chatted on the phone, about her latest ultrasound and her newly-found tumour. After her medical chat the tiny lady helped me find three suitable t-shirts. At the cash till we chatted about the Polo Park of so very long ago. She rembered the coffee shop and its wonderful cheese cake. I went on to the food court, to eat stir-fried Teriyaki beef amongst the Filipino seniors.

I am at the South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Home this afternoon. In the TV room Ma and I have been watching soap operas about the life and times of affluent blonde people in Southern California. Ma and I are in the lunch room now, drinking kosher coffee. A very old guy named Martin has been wandering about, declaring his joy in viewing the bodies of young exciting women. The staff are Filipino women and reproach him, trying to hide their amusement.

Martin got there, didn’t he?

Have a good evening. I will go someplace and increase my supply of sex frustration.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Us Ethnics Like to Fantacize

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Feb.23, 2009

My Winnipeg: Us Ethnics Like to Fantacize

My mother is ninety years old. She doesn’t talk much at all. At her age she has earned the right not to. The south Winnipeg Jewish Seniors Residence is very large, recently expanded because so many of us Judeo-Winnipegers are really old. It is full of very elderly Jewish widows. Us Judeo Winnipeg men don’t live as long.

My mother has the W Channel on cable. The W Channel has shows for women. It is not very militant. The women are all blond, American, live very well in California and have husbands and boyfriends with no gut. No Judeo-Winnipeg lady ever had a male partner with no gut. No gut, no girlfriend, no wife. This is our way. We are not close to being blond. We are not close to California. We are Jewish guys with guts and the Jewish women who love and always outlive them.

My sister got back from California late yesterday night, on a connecting flight from Calgary, at twenty minutes before midnight. Monster van and I would go to Winnipeg International Airport and get her. This left me with time to kill on a profoundly dark and frigid Winnipeg Sunday evening. My sister had left Southern California on Academy Awards Night. However I had’t seen any of the movies. At eight PM I went out into the abject darkness. There was no Academy Awards party at Gio’s community club for Winnipeg homosexuals. My sister’s collosal van and I moved on, to Polo Park and Earl’s Red Lite bar for young, straight normal Manitobans wanting an immediate hookup while watching sports on TV, never The Academy Awards. All watch ladies curling, cool dudes and hot babes both. In Manitoba everybody does. Gay men watch it between performing homosexual acts at Club Adonis. Ladies’ curling is a Manitoba sex turn-on. It helps me a little bit with my sex frustration depletion problem. However I can only sip Diet Coke, watch fit young women shriek while throwing granite rocks and fantacize in a disrespectful, unpleasant and futile way about the many age-inappropriate things I would like to do to the young waitresses and female curlers for so long. By 9:30 or so my Diet Coke was making my bladder twitch rather badly. I visted the mens room and then Mr. Bladder, Mr. Van and I moved on, west on Portage Avenue, looking for a banking machine in the frozen night and then north towards Winnipeg International Airport, through its protective ring of machine shops, gas stations, big box stores and motor hotels, brilliant lights reflected in the ice fog.

Winnipeg has a chain of fast food restaurants called Salisbury House. Sals, as us ethno-Winnipegers call it, has been around for a very, very long time. When my sister was a teeny bopper she and her well-gutted boyfriend and future first husband, used to take me to the North Main Drive-In in my father’s enormous Chrysler station wagon. If I was very well-behaved they would allow me a treat. We would stop at the North Main Sals. I would be given something very fatty to eat and if I was very, very lucky there would be a vicious fight (Not my sister and her boyfriend. That was always later in the evening.), our Winnipeg, working class, evening ethno moment of truth. To this day I am grateful. Later on, at the North Main Drive-In, my sister and her boyfriend would climb into the back of the Chrysler for another type of struggle. I would watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s on my own. I enjoyed it thoroughly. In retrospect this should have been a clear sign that I was in serious gender difficulty, even at the age of eight. However, my sister and her boyfriend, preoccupied as they were, did not notice.

The Airport Sals of the year February 2009 is not as violent. Late yesterday night the customers were mostly First Nations and Inuit families awaiting flights to the low and high Arctic. A mother was soothing her tiny baby, rocking the child back and forth on a traditional, engraved cradle board. With great difficulty I stopped myself from ordering Sals’s patented chili with buttered toast , followed by a slab of pecan pie. Rather I settled for enough coffee to keep myself awake and a large glass of ice water. I already have a gut, although it is rather wrinkled and wizened from generations of yoyo dieting.

My sister had done rather a lot of shopping in California. I asked her if there was anything left there other than Arnold Schwarzenneger. My sister’s answer was a proud and emphatic no! On my sister’s next trip The Terminator had better hide out. If not he will find himself checked luggage. There will be nothing left south of Sacramento except an abandoned Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and very many defaulted mortgages. Fortunately enormous van has cargo capacity to equal a semi truck. We lugged my sister’s incredible luggage home. I think she had the San Andreas fault in there. Given the times I’m sure she got it at a distressed price.

In between California blonde ladies’ adventures on the W Channel, Ma and I went downstairs to the home’s afternoon old folks concert. The entertainer lead us in songs about how wonderful our Russia is. I have been there. I agree. There was a Yiddish tune or two. Then we celebrated our favourite works of Dean Martin, Tony Bennet and Frank Sinatra. That’s the Amore we know and love. We are just ethnics in a very cold place but we can dream.

Have a good evening. Someone here on Ma’s floor of the home is playing Patsy Cline, very loudly. The staff are all Filipino. They enjoy commemorating Patsy.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: MacDonald’s Loves Patsy Cline and Jesus at the Grant Park Mall

My Winnipeg: MacDonald’s Loves Patsy Cline and Jesus at the Grant Park Mall

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Sent: February 22, 2009 10:46:58 PM

Yesterday evening I had dinner at The India Palace Buffet, on fearful and threatening Ellice Avenue, in the frigid, abject darkness northwest of downtown Winnipeg. However the food is very good there, excellent tandoori chicken. My waiter was from New Delhi, the part I had lived in. He was a younger man. I told him a little bit about the disco India of my younger days.

The India Palace is conveniently on the way to Club Adonis, only a fifteen-minute drive north to sexual fulfillment on a subarctic February night. My sister’s enormous van has a Global Positioning System, an electronic map on the dashboard, the van represented as Cupid’s arrow, off to seek passion at North Winnipeg’s home of gay mens desire. Club Adonis is very reliable. I got desired from the moment I got in the door. The gay men of Winnipeg do not believe in deferred gratification. Neither do I. The dark room is there for us non-deferred, desirable homo men. I went there with my admirers in tow, and got towed pretty good. I haven’t had so much sex in years or at least since my last trip to Winnipeg. One day they will discover sex in Eastern Ontario, one day, one day. In the meantime a trip to Southern Manitoba will suffice.

My sister’s tank-size high-tech van and I had reached the front door of Club Adonis at about 8:30. At about 11:00 I had a strange sensation that I did not recognize, not just my customary dread of drive-by shootings as I finish having sex and cautiously nose out Adonis’s front door. It took me a while to understand myself. I had exhausted my supply of sex frustration. I am not sure this has ever happened to me before. There was no further purpose to my Saturday night. Without sex frustration is there any further purpose in my life?

I could not chance returning directly to my sister’s place, a thought like this reverberating in my head. Instead future van and I departed North Main Street, our little Cupid’s arrow pointed south towards Club 200 and Gio’s, Winnipeg’s mini-gay complex, between Garry and Smith streets, the terrifying, ice-covered, crime-ridden back valley in between.

I went to Club 200 first. However there a gentleman wanted me to have sex with him in his car, before I got in the front door. Sometimes one can be too admired. Instead I forded the crime-ridden, drug-driven, icy back alley, back to Gio’s. Two young women had got married there that evening. The place had an excellent DJ, lots of Fil-Manitoban drag queens and plenty of very attractive young people who were very happy to ignore me. What a relief!

This morning I did a photo tour of North Main Street, walking a bit in the bitter cold and frozen sunshine. I made my way right up to Adonis’ door but felt no lust to go in. It’s that bad.

On my way south to the Simkin Jewish Seniors Residence I stopped at the Grant Park Mall, eager for a diet sandwich before visiting my mother. However it is Sunday in Manitoba. In Winnipeg two young women can solemnize a Saturday night wedding in a gay bar but you can not buy apples at a supermarket before noon on Sunday. It was 11:40 AM and much too cold to simply stand there and glower at Grant Park Collegiate, where facism, sadism and anti-semitism were the core principles that were applied to my education. Instead I took refuge in the Grant Park Macdonald’s. They have a fireplace, Big Macs and music from the 1950’s. Macdonald’s played Patsy Cline’s I Fall to Pieces and then a song about accepting Jesus as your personal saviour.

I need to get my sex frustration back, quickly. I have already taken to buying kosher goods. Soon religion will be my only consolation. Ma and I are watching a film with Jennifer Aniston. I trust Jennifer. I pray she will make me burn with desire. The Academy Awards are tonight. Watch the beautiful people. It is better than going to church.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: The Recession of The Heart

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

February 21, 2009

My Winnipeg: The Recession of The Heart

Ottawa International Airport is full of recession. The place is unnaturally quiet, not so many flights to Cancun. The Quebecois, on their way to holiday in joyous, fellow-Latin, sunny places, look embarassed about being loud and cheery. The rest of us get to be extra sombre.

Flights from Ottawa International Airport to Winnipeg normally depart from Gate 13B, Air Canada’s commentary on us East Prairie ethnics. However, today we got upgraded, Gate 25 instead. Manitoba has the best economy in Canada. There is no recession among us folk-dancing garlic eaters. We were right all along.

Mini Chantal did not appear for yesterday evening’s Lookout lesbian night. In a sense I was relieved. I think Mini would like to be my nemesis lesbian. However I have already made a commitment to broad-hipped young Tanya, who has spent many a drunken Friday night, happily scowling at me with resentment and fear. You can not have two nemesis lesbians at one time. This is like keeping a reverse harem. I do not want to confess my relationship with Tanya to Mini . She will feel slighted. She will think that because she is diminuitive, I think her resentment too tiny to be worth my attention.

I started yesterday evening barricaded behind The Lookout’s one barside table, beside the door to the frigid smoker’s balcony. From that table you can look out a window to The Market building, inside, Le Moulin de Provence. Only the day before Barack Obama’s armoured limo had been in clear sight of my table. The President visited Le Moulin and got some Canadian cookies to take home to the wife and kids. Le Moulin has nice pastries and good coffee and tables where you can sit outside when spring finally comes. It will never feel the same again.

Aside from venerating the new Administration, my table gave me a front line of defence against my drunken Lookout youngsters. More and more they crash in to me, when I stand at the dance floor bar rail, interacting with resentful, buxom young Tanya and infinitesimal Mini Chantal. I am often the only ancient Baby Boomer at the rail. I think they blame me personally for making their economic futures evaporate. I would defend myself by citing my Manitobannness, but it would not work with my economically fearful Central Canadian youngsters. They are not East Prairie garlic eaters like me.

Francine and Annie attended The Lookout yesterday evening. I have explained my desire for them but they are not my nemeses. They are older and take me with good humour. In fact they did me an honour. Late night taxis have become scarce in The Market, around the corner from Obama-land. They let me drive them home. On the way we had a good talk about my sexuality and the puzzling world of the ancient bi male They enjoyed it and Francine, kind soul that she is, made sure to remind me we were not on our way to a threesome. Annie explained that she loved Marie-Francinetoo much for that. When I dropped them off, Francine wished me a good trip and regards to mother.

I am riding Air Canada Jazz. Soon I will be back home in Winnipeg, my refuge of garlic, folk-dancing and rock solid economic stability. Soon The President we will resolve all financial problems, even those of my crashing, drunken youngsters. Us ethno- Manitobans will be there to provide support, give our wisdom and assist.

Have a good evening.

Love.

Martin

My Winnipeg: Middle-Aged Men Suffer at the Toad in The Hole

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 19:17:59 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Middle-Aged Men Suffer at the Toad in The Hole

Straight men have enormous difficulty getting laid.
Gay men don’t. They can go to the gay baths.
Winnipeg’s lesbians are covered too. The gay baths on
Notre Dame Avenue offer Tuesday lesbian casual
feminist sex with no commitment, no tofu, no joint
custody of your pet housecats, nights. Poor Straights.

The Adonis gay baths on North Main Street are a
perfectly relaxing place to spend a homosexual
Southern Manitoba Tuesday evening. You can have sex in
the dark room or the porno TV room, if you can find
another man to do it with. Or, there is a steam room
and a sauna, so you can have sex there. Of course you
can have sex in the dark room. You aren’t really meant
to have sex in the Jacuzzi, because it makes it messy,
but you can sort of get started there.

I was more or less finished having sex by around
10:30. I could have done with maybe a little bit more
homosexual relations but there weren’t enough manly
homosexuals at Adonis yesterday night and too many
other of us feminine men. So, I went to the locker
room, looked about for any last minute social
opportunities then put my clothes back on.

I stopped outside Club 200 on my way back through
downtown towards privileged South Winnipeg. However,
there were a number of very angry, very frustrated
First Nations people smoking, swearing and socializing
at Club 200’s front door and more doing the same
inside. It is not generally a good sign for your
evening when gay bar patrons shriek obscenities at you
before you get inside the front door. I had already
had my gay sex for the evening. There was no reason to
run the obscene gauntlet so as to look for yet another
homosexual man inside, unless there was some guy there
who was really powerful, aggressive, manly and
dominant. I had a peek in and didn’t see one.

Rather, I took advantage of my bisexuality. The Toad
in The Hole straight bar is five minutes drive from
Club 200, but past the Manitoba legislature and the
headquarters of the Great West Life insurance company,
in trendy Osborne Village and a different world. I can
not even hope to find a lady at the Toad, but it is a
pleasant place to go if you have already had sex that
evening so are not completely desperate and
frustrated.

Most of the straight guys there visibly were. When I
was young, Manitobans refrained from sex on Monday,
Tuesday and Wednesday evening, unless it was necessary
to maintain our province’s population. However, there
is no self-discipline any more. The straight guys who
were clustered together at the bar and sideroom pool
table made only the barest pretense of strictly
heterosexual, no homoeroticism at all, male bonding.
Three young women were getting drunk at the table
nearest the front door and The Toad’s utterly frigid,
ice-coated, butt-strewn outside smoking area. They
were the focus of almost all attention.

Young straight guys have biceps. Older ones have to
make a plan. The middle-aged gents at the bar had the
most predictable one. They sent the three young girls
a round of shooters, not one per woman but a dozen,
four for each. Clever old guys! Desperation leads to
generosity.

This worked. The middle-aged gents waited a chivalrous
minute or two, then made the utterly predictable move.
They asked the young ladies for permission to sit at
their table. There was an understanding there.
Permission was tentatively granted. The old guys
pulled up chairs, pulled up their beers and made very
sure that another dozen shooters appeared forthwith
for the ladies. The ladies then granted the old gents
permission to make their presentations.

While the three shooter-guzzling young females were
definitely the centre of the action, no other woman at
The Toad was made to feel left out or undesirable.
During my hour or so in the bar, every lady there
received at least one request for intercourse, even
the waitress, a pretty young bottle blond, who
received many.

Among them was a young, wispy looking, dark-haired,
sort of intellectual-type student girl, with an
intriguing face and an absolutely splendid body. Wispy
received just a couple of urgent requests to provide
immediate sex, before sitting down alone at the table
in front of me. Wispy puled a small notepad out of the
side pocket of her very tight jeans and began to write
things down, looking about herself periodically.
Occasionally she would look up directly at me and we
would momentarily lock eyes. I was wondering whether I
should get into the spirit of things and plead with
Wispy to depart with me immediately for a night of
love. However, people who observe things in bars and
then write about them, instead of spending a good
solid evening of searching for or refusing sex, make
me feel creepy. Also, Wispy looked quite relaxed. I
was wondering whether she had just been to the
feminist Tuesday night of Notre Dame. I was no more
desperate then she, and left alone.

This afternoon I went to the periodic review by health
care workers’ at the South Winnipeg Jewish
Senior’s residence, where one discusses one’s parents’
aging performance. Much of this discussion had to do
with my father’s attitude towards my mother, and his
patriarchal feelings toward the more general world of
women.

My father’s childhood family was very poor. When we
can, us Jews of Winnipeg avoid bars, pubs, cabarets,
any drinking establishment. However, my father’s
earliest neighbourhood was one of Winnipeg’s poorest,
and covered with saloons, women always the focus of
all attention. My father was a normal man, as the
existence of myself and my sister can attest. I do not
at all endorse his attitude, but who knows how he got
there.

Tonight is coed and bisexual night at Club Adonis. Us
fence-sitters, in-betweens, residual denial and
stalled transition people have a place to go. No
liquor is served at Adonis. I will go and just do only
a modest amount of pleading, to women who are already
half or more naked.

Have a good evening. There is no Notre Dame in Ottawa.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Middle-Aged Lesbians Seek Straight Young Booty at the Palomino Club

Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 19:04:40 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Middle-Aged Lesbians Seek Straight Young Booty at
the Palomino Club

My sister’s return to Winnipeg was delayed yesterday
evening. She had missed her connecting flight from
Calgary, returning home from California. She had to
rebook, and leave social conservative, high-priced
housing hell two hours later. As a result, she did not
arrive back in civilization, Winnipeg James Richardson
International Airport, until 9:40 P.M.

This delayed my attendance at Booty Shake Mondays at
the Palomino Lounge. However, parking is cheap at
James Richardson’s somber grey concrete, icy garage,
and I was after all pleased that my only sibling had
escaped from honky heaven.

At about 8:30 P.M. I returned to Polo Park Mall, where
my Ford Rent a Focus had very nearly become involved
in the afternoon’s shooting and car chase incident.
Earl’s Restaurant and Red Lite young straight persons’
hookup Bar has an outlet at Polo Park. Polo Park is
only ten minutes drive from James Richardson in
northwest Winnipeg’s freezing, icy and profoundly dark
and lonely late February night. So, I had time for a
relaxed Diet Coke at Earl’s Red Lite, contemplating
young Manitobans who nowadays have a sex life, while
my Diet Coke’s caffeine molecules tickled my aged
prostate gland and the spasdemonic muscle on the back
wall of Mr. worn out, stretched and nervous Bladder. I
chatted with the young bartender about Polo Park’s
afternoon gun fight, and tried not to stare directly
at the big-breasted young female customers and
barmaids. I left relaxed for James Richardson at 9:10
P.M., albeit with a persistent urge to pee.

My sister had done rather a lot of shopping in California.
My sister is well-organized and had warned me in advance
that she was returning home with luggage loaded.
Arriving twenty minutes before Air Canada’s arrival, I
had plenty of time to do some peeing, seize two
luggage carts and wait at Gate A for my sister.

My sister’s California shopping probably weighed more than
the all the passengers on the airplane. However, we
managed to pull her bulging luggage off the conveyor
belt and load up our two carts, without wrenching
every bone in our aging bodies.

I suggested we roll my sister’s substantial chunk of the
state of California out to the frigid curbside, and
load up my rent a Focus there, fearing for the
structural integrity of the parking garage. I
retrieved Focus in the middle of our frozen night and
descended from the grey concrete garage down to the
air terminal curb, where we loaded up Focus to the
gunnels. Luggage and we made our way back to my sister’s
home, my sister and I chatting in a happy way about the
futility, meaningless and horror of life, irksome
shooting and car chase incidents when you are trying
to do your mall shopping, and so on.

My sister knows I love Booty Shake Night, a true highlight
of my semi-annual returns to my home that I so very
much miss, Winnipeg. She was very understanding when I
told her that I would lug her exceedingly ponderous
luggage in her front door and then leave immediately,
right back up Portage Avenue to the Palomino. Ten
minutes later I was circling the residential blocks
around the Palomino, looking for a parking space not
in a tow-away zone and well clear of the local line of
drive by gunfire. Shortly, I was parked a few minutes
walk from the Palomino’s neon lit front door, on an
aging residential street packed up with high and solid
snowbanks, excellent cover to dive under in the event
of stray bullets.

In contemporary Winnipeg one may feel naked, appearing
at the Polo Park Mall without one’s pistol. However,
while the Palomino is a jolly place, gunplay is not
permitted on the premises. The Palomino has a security
check in that would put Kabul Airport to shame and
stop even Osama Bin Laden in his tracks. They metal
detect you and make you empty your pockets. You have
to take off your headgear in the event you have
concealed your Derringer and dagger underneath it. The
young ladies’ purses are examined. Anything more
lethal then a very blunt nailfile will be confiscated.
Your gang insignia must be left at the coat check,
which you reach only half an hour or so after entering
the Palomino’s security zone. One wonders why the
Palomino doesn’t simply insist that all its patrons
attend completely naked, which in any case is
everybody’s ultimate objective for their evening
there.

On my first visit to the Palomino, a year or two ago,
I was rather apprehensive. It is rather comforting to
know the customers have checked their handguns at the
door. However I had anticipated that I would be
soundly bashed at the Palomino’s front door, for being
an aged semi-homosexual. At the time I did not fully
understand that the Palomino’s young men are too drunk
and booty-focussed to care and the young women, having
just retouched their nail polish in the ladies toilet,
were not about to waste their new enamel surface by
clawing and scratching some old fag.

Nasty old lesbians know this too. I found a stool just
next to the Palomino’s dance floor and spent a
splendid evening watching some of Winnipeg’s most
delightful young women very joyously shake their
jiggly parts. So were a table full of jean-clad old
butches next to me. Winnipeg being the sort of place
it is, my butches were not bothering to hide their
urging for the cute young bouncing straight girls. I
caught the lead butch checking out one sweet young
thing’s lovely derriere. A lesbigay veteran, the old
gal saw my obvious effeminacy and we both had a good
laugh. Were I really a jiggly, bouncy, drunk young
straight girl, I would have been happy to go home with
her.

I did not leave the Palomino until close time, 2 A.M.,
nearly getting run over by drunk, aggressive,
staggering and swearing young beautiful women fighting
for position at the coat check. It had been a good
evening and I did not get beaten up or gunshot even
once. I hope my butches had some luck.

When I emerged from the Palomino’s front door, a
gentle, dry and fluffy late winter snow was sifting
down under Portage Avenue’s streetlights. The Palomino
is right. You can have a good Monday evening in my
Winnipeg even without an exchange of gunfire. I am
grateful.

Have a good evening.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Crime Scene Investigation at the Polo Park Mall

Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 18:57:59 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Crime Scene Investigation at the Polo Park Mall

When I was young Winnipeg and our entire Province of
Manitoba were incredibly dull, perhaps the most boring
place in human history. In retrospect I am very
grateful for this childhood environment, which
nurtured me very well for a lifetime of self-betrayal
and abnegation in the Canadian public
service. However, things are different now.

Yesterday afternoon I left the South End
Winnipeg Jewish Seniors Residence at 4:45 P.M.,
dismissed just before dinner time by my father, who
was satisfied with my afternoon of respectful
behaviour.

I stopped briefly around the corner at the TD Bank
drive-thru so as to withdraw cash and freeze my hand
in the Prairie wind. Then, Ford rent a Focus and I
made our way north on Kenaston Avenue, through the
Tuxedo Industrial Park, past Flatland Flooring, across
various railway tracks and toward the Polo Park Mall.
Of course Polo Park is very near Winnipeg James
Richardson International Airport. My sister was on her
return air trek from her husband’s place in desert southern
California, via Redneck and Oilman, Rape the Ecology
of Western Canada International Airport in Calgary.
(Soon certainly to be born again as Stephen Harper
Airfield.). I would collect her after Polo Park.

As Focus and I reached the CP Rail trans-Canada
east-west mainline, The Eternal One weighed in with
his assessment of my familial afternoon. A freight
train rolled by, stacked with Zim Israel Shipping Line
steel cargo containers, each container labeled in our
sacred Hebrew letters. When the Eternal One causes
Hebrew to roll across the Prairie in front of you, you
know you have done well. Not very subtlely, the South
Winnipeg Chassidic education centre is around the
corner from the CP main line, on Grant Avenue. Those
who honour their mother and father obey the Ten
Commandments. There is still a chance for redemption
and a new life.

At Polo Park, I looked for Winnipeg souvenir t-shirts
for you and the boys. With some difficulty I found
them. It is still freeze in parka and thermal
underwear weather here in Southern Manitoba, so the
t-shirt season is a few, or really many, many weeks
off, baring a beneficent spurt of climatic warming.
Hudson Bay and Zellers had none. Neither did Sears but
the kindly lady there told me of the Oh Canada
souvenir shop at the Portage Avenue end of the Mall,
just around the corner. Oh Canada had a good
selection. I was the only customer, so I had a
pleasant conversation with the young saleslady about
Manitoba nostalgia as we sorted through t-shirts
honouring the vintage Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba
Moose and, amazingly, the Brandon Wheat Kings. The
saleslady got me sorted out and I left Oh Canada with
three good shirts.

I had parked outside the west side entrance to the
Hudson’s Bay store, facing towards Saint James Street.
For some reason I had been motivated to park quite far
from the Hudson door, I am not sure why. Perhaps I
craved a few extra seconds walk in the Prairie
sunshine, a contemplation of the wonderful cheese cake
my mother and I used to eat at the Polo Park coffee
shop, decades and decades ago, not so long after
Dwight D. Eisenhower, very long before cholesterol.

My cheese cake memories served me well. When I emerged
from the Bay’s west door I was taken aback to see
police tape all around and lots of TV trucks, their
blazing studio lights lighting up the Manitoba
twilight. As I understood it from the later news
reports, a shooting had gone down and then a car
chase, the perpetrator shooting at the Winnipeg Police
Service or vice versa, from the approximate location
of my rent a compact Ford. Winnipeg Crime Scene
Investigations was still examining the bullet casings
lying here and there on Polo Park’s icy pavement.
However, rent a Focus was just outside the police
tape.

My sister had phoned me on my cell phone just before my
departure from the Bay’s west door and my surprise
confrontation with our authentic Winnipeg crime scene.
My sister’s flight from California to trailer park, extra
Y chromosome land had been delayed, causing her to
miss her connection and wait two hours for the next
Winnipeg departure out of Redneck heaven. Winnipeg
International Airport would come later in the evening.

I had been to Stewart’s kosher Argentine delicatessen
that morning, my religious goodies in Focus’ trunk. I
got in Focus and we left the crime scene, eager to go
back to sister’s place, eat our Buenos Aires orthodox
delights and travel to the airport later, with the
hope of more drive by shootings on the way.

Today, Southern Manitoba has had a bright and sunny
late February day, perfect weather to aim your pistol.
I hope the Valley has had a good afternoon.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: The Noon Hour of the Nubilities

Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:32:02 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: The Noon Hour of the Nubilities

We are free of Loeb and Loblaws in our Manitoba, and
instead are nourished by Safeway, Sobey’s and IGA.
Safeway is American and so a better supermarket than
anything in Ontario. The fruit and produce is
immaculate and beautifully displayed. The whole fruit
and vegetable section has wooden floors. The entire
store is absolutely clean. I had a brief chat with the
wonderful teenager at the sunny checkout. I told her I
would come home to retire.

My parents have their Jewish retirement home’s kosher
lunch between noon and one every day, amongst a bunch
of doddering old folks in electric wheel chairs. I
hope I will get to do some electric kosher doddering
in a few years, but in the meantime I must buy my
ethnoculinary supplies on my own. However, River
Heights lies directly between my sister’s neighbourhood and
the home. To put it very mildly there is no problem.

It is perhaps ten minute’s drive from my sister’s
house to the corner of Grant Avenue and Niagara Street, the
home of Stewart’s nowadays Argentinean kosher
delicatessen.

Stewart’s has been there since I was a lonely,
sports-indifferent pre-teen on Oak Street, two blocks
round the corner. However Stewart’s now flies an
Argentinean flag proudly in the frigid Prairie breeze
and displays another one alongside the Maple Leaf in
its front window. One enters via the side door, a
guilty sneak into a world of positively sinful
Hispano-religious food delights.

I had not entered that side door since before the days
of John Travolta. Nothing has physically changed since
my pre-disco generation but certainly, in that long
ago world of my young, if rather feminine manhood, we
would not have known a kosher leche flan from a
tortilla. Things are a little different know. There
are kosher quesadillas next the
rabbinically-supervised corn beef, knishes, bagels and
brisket.

I bought stuff to take back to my sister’s and then asked
permission to take pictures. The kindly lady at the
deli counter asked why. I explained that there was no
real food in the Ottawa Valley, just too Anglo to
supply our vital ethnic cholesterol. A grandmother
from our River Heights was there. She elaborated on my
behalf. Her daughter lives in Montreal and must take
kosher care packages to her friends in the nutritional
desert of Eastern Ontario, our two Founding Nations,
white bread, mayonnaise on your poutine, denatured
shawarma, Beaver Tail sweet and bland, national
capital. The kindly counter mistress of the brisket
spoke briefly in Spanish to the nowadays Mr. Spanish
Stewart, who granted his permission. I left with
camera and photos in one hand and Latino kosher
goodies under the other.

From Stewart’s it is perhaps ten blocks or so to Grant
Park High School, the concentration camp nightmare
where my early adolescence was quite thoroughly
brutalized. However the Grant Park Mall nowadays lies
directly opposite, just across Nathaniel Street.

I was very hungry, it was time for lunch, and the
Grant Park Safeway, like its sister at River and
Osborne, has a sandwich bar and an instore Starbucks.
Mr. Stewart, his kosher deli Queen and the kindly
knowledgeable grandmother had given me courage and a
sense of purpose. I kept to my plan and saved my
Latin Kosher goodies for my sister’s home. Safe at
Safeway, I bravely scoffed at Grant Park High School
and its vile atrocities, purchased an oriental turkey
ginger salad, a yogurt and a Diet Pepsi, parked myself
at a Starbucks table and settled down for lunch.

Perhaps Grant Park High School is no longer a
combination Nazi spiritual death camp and maximum
security prison. The teenyboppers are allowed out to
the mall at half past noon, where they buy a lunch at
Safeway’s sandwich counter and a cappuccino at
Starbucks.

Brittany and Lindsay have long-since triumphed over
the prudery and sexual meanness of my long ago times.
Fresh young sexuality is no longer a weapon to be
wielded by a tiny, blonde and Aryan group of
cheerleaders. Your Grant Park teenybopper of today
dresses in tight and fashionable jeans and form
fitting sweaters, wears plentiful makeup and talks and
acts a lot like Paris Hilton.

Stephen Harper may be outraged, but I suspect the
modern teenyboppers of Grant Park are rather more
generous with their young boyfriends, taking their
first painful and tentative steps on that so long and
lengthy road to manhood, then their female ancestors
ever were. Let South Winnipeg’s young females be
generous, accessible and kind to those teen boyfriends
who treat them with respect. May their nasty mothers
and older female relatives, who took pleasure in
denying us not very aggressive, not very masculine
young men, a chance for a normal adolescence, be
bitter, jealous old and wrinkled. May the reign of the
football coach and the conservative, authoritarian and
sadistic high school vice principal be banished
forever from any Manitoba memory younger than mine.
May the kosher quesadilla, the warmth and kindness of
real grandmothers and the Buenos Aires tango reign
over our Jewish Winnipeg.

Have a good evening.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Academy Award Night at Gio’s Gay Community Bar

Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 02:10:47 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Academy Award Night at Gio’s Gay Community Bar

I went to Myer’s Delicatessan today. Mr. Stomach was
craving a sense of community. There is nothing like
knishes for that, plus some real rye bread. Myer’s
features large sticks of Chalvah but I know that Mr.
Gut is waiting in the wings, eager to return. When I
retire home to Winnipeg I will eat myself to a quick
and happy death.

I replenished my supply of sexual encounters yesterday
evening, at the Adonis gay baths. Needing no more sex
today, I decided to do something else communitarian,
other than honour my ethnicity in my digestive tract.

Queers have no business in the Orthodox synagogue, the
only real one in my opinion. However, this was Academy
Award Night. Gays and lesbians and us in betweens love
Hollywood. The things that go on there are what we do,
but the people are ten times more attractive, or
multiply even more in my case.

Gio’s charged $15 for the tickets, which however
included popcorn, potato chips, prezels, canapes, one
free drink and a chance for a door prize. I parked
alongside Gio’s, on fearful and frigid York Street.
Across the road is Robin’s all night donut shop, which
has resided on the southwest corner of York and Garry
Streets for many years. Robin’s is a joy for those of
Winnipeg’s numerous armed robbers who can not sleep at
night, so go out to make their living and steal a
donut or two while rifling the cash. I made it around
the corner and into Gio’s front door without being
mowed down, an innocent bystander and being a social
misfit, a useful target to the extra bullets whizzing
by.

I was greeted warmly by the two butch lesbians who had
organized the evening. The lesbians enjoyed a
confident masculinity that I can only dream of. I was
only too pleased to be submissive and take
instructions, sign the ledger, check your coat, take
your free drink ticket, etc. If I could fulfill my
ultimate dream of being a lipstick lesbian, I know
very well who I would want as my dominant partner.

The crowd was thin as I expected. It was after all an
exhausted late winter Sunday night, in fearful and
dangerous downtown Winnipeg. However, more butches
arrived. They sat at the table behind me. I felt much
more secure.

I have not seen any of this year’s top movies.
However, this was not important. I was not alone on a
late February Sunday night in my Winnipeg. My
Winnipeg’s butches are frank in expressing their
desires. My comforting table of aggressive women made
it clear that they wished to bang every young starlet
who appeared on Oscar’s long red carpet. This
emboldened us feminine men. Together we cried out our
desire for Johnny Depp.

I won a prize, a holiday gift car care kit, in a
decorative wooden box. I will give it to my sister.
Perhaps she will polish her van, when the Manitoba
Public Insurance Corporation repairs her most recent
accident. Two of my butches reside in Barbados, so won
a door prize for being the most distant visitors. The
canapes were good.

The Oscars ended rather early, short on material in
the turbulent wake of the Hollywood writers’ strike.
Towards the end of the evening the volunteer chap who
had been serving up the canapes gave me a safe sex
kit, condoms, lube and written instructions for both
gay men and lesbians about how to give a blow job
without dying not long after as a result. I promised I
would use the kit and behave myself.

This was Gio’s first Academy Awards. The lesbian in
chief promised there would be more to come. Myer’s
wonderful knishes and giving safe blow jobs are both a
powerful path to oral satisfaction.

I will time my next winter visit to my home, Winnipeg,
according to the Oscar schedule of the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I will eat real
food, designed to expand the wasteline of us Prairie
ethnics. I will submit to the instructions of my
wonderful, powerful and dominant butches, as we dream
of banging beautiful same sex people in Hollywood.

Sleep well.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Saturday Night Joy at Club Adonis

Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 18:45:50 -0500 (EST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Saturday Night Joy at Club Adonis

Gay men need sex. I am only half gay so I need some.
Try and get in Ottawa. The gay men of The Valley are
homosexuality’s only Methodists and Presbyterians. In
their heart of hearts they know that all sex is wrong,
a nasty, horrid body thing. They don’t think it feels
good. Our gay Catholic franco-jansenists as well know
this as well.

This causes me to beg the question. Why have all the
difficulties of being a homosexual, if you don’t
believe in being sexual? I would love to ask the gay
Ottawans I meet, but they are mostly too drunk to
discuss it, which may in itself answer my confusion. I
would like to ask my lesbians even more, but I make
them rather nervous as it is. In the event, I am
closest with my French ones. They forgot about Jansen
a long time ago, perhaps because he was a notorious
patriarch.

Here in Manitoba, the United Church has been pushed
out by the true believers. Winnipeg has lots of
Baptist and Pentecostal gay men, also the occasional
feminized Mormon. As true Christians, they know that
sex feels very good indeed. That is why it is a sin to
do it and temptation is all around. Saturday night at
Club Adonis is the most tempting place in all of
Winnipeg.

I was tempted as much as any born-again Baptist. Newly
arrived at my sister’ss place from Winnipeg International
Airport, I left my luggage without unpacking, drank
two instant coffees, locked my sister’s front door, jumped
into my rented Ford Focus and did a mad dash up North
Main Street. A quick u-turn just before the Redwood
Bridge found me in front of Club Adonis, its little
block of North Main Street lined with parked gay cars.
I turned right on Burrows Avenue, and parked so
quickly I nearly ran over two rubbish bins. I poked my
head out the car window and did only my briefest
possible standard check for incipient drive by
shootings, acts of arson, vicious baseball bat
beatings and other typical acts of Winnipeg nighttime
recreation. I made it to Adonis’ front door without
becoming urban Prairie roadkill.

When you are tempted, it is nice to do some tempting
as well. Now that I have lost sixty pounds I am
somewhat wrinkly, but a little more enticing. I
noticed this in Adonis’ always friendly darkroom, no
more than thirty seconds for the first happy
accomplices in my evening’s homosexual acts. Many more
helpers followed. I was tempted to keep a box score,
lots of gay runs, some playful hits and not an error.
However, as any sincere member of the Conservative
Party could tell you, gay men all hate sports.

I have to admit. It wasn’t family fun. In a few
minutes of getting Manitoba man-handled I was given
more sex than in three months of Eastern Ontario
desperate pleading. However, none of this was in aid
of starting a family. Being feminine but a male is
great, all the fun but none of the bother.

I left Club Adonis after three good hours, sweaty but
refreshed. My evening was running in reverse, first
sex than socialization. I was off to Gio’s and Club
200, Winnipeg downtown twin gay bars, almost back to
back on Smith and Garry Streets, separated by a
frightening, frigid, icy back alley.

Gio’s was rather quiet but Club 200 was going strong.
200 is a nasty place with frightening people, I think
the most fearful gay bar in all of Canada. However,
the fear, apprehension and dread is part of the fun.
If somebody strikes up a conversation you may be on
the fast track to the bottom of that dumpster in that
awful back alley. However, is any Saturday night
really worth it, without the fear of impending violent
death?

I am a Winnipeger. I own my regional identity with
pride. I fixed my face in a psychopathic sneer,
everybody’s vision of a provincial, Jewish-Canadian,
aging queer serial killer. With my mean face I
achieved social connection and a feeling of community.
People recognized my appropriate attitude and talked
to me. I finished my evening a sexual and social
success, my intimate and human needs completely
fulfilled.

This is the Manitoba we love, diversity, acceptance
and social cohesion, the Prairies at its very best.
Would that the Albertans would learn from us, and the
Eastern Ontarians too.

Have a good evening. I miss you.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Kosher Cowboys at the Palomino Club

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 16:38:40 -0800 (PST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Kosher Cowboys at the Palomino Club

The Palomino Club is on Portage Avenue, three miles or
so west of downtown and a mile to the east of the Polo
Park mall. The Palomino has a big electric sign with a
picture of a jumping horse and lots of flashing
lights.

The Palomino has been on Portage Avenue for many
years. I never go in. I am afraid of getting
gay-bashed there. The Palomino is the favourite bar
for off duty members of the Winnipeg Police Service.
Our police will not tolerate un-Manitoban behaviour.

However, gay Winnipeg was unbearable on Thursday
night. The small clientele at Club 200 consisted
mostly of very bitter, very angry, young First Nations
gay men. Thursday is supposed to be karaoke night at
Club 200 but no one was in the mood. The angry,
two-spirited aboriginal guys clustered themselves at
the video game terminals, suffocating their rage in
petty gambling.

After a couple of hours I gave up on Club 200. I made
my way cautiously and fearfully across the snowy back
alley, looking left and right for potential muggers.
The parking lot of Gio’s gay community club faces that
of Club 200, separated only by that alley full of
fear, snow and caution.

Gio’s is meant to have a Thursday night gay disco.
They didn’t. An angry-looking young man
took a stepladder out and adjusted the dance floor
lights. After a bit he took the ladder away and went
inside the DJ booth for a few minutes. However,
nothing happened. The bitter looking young man went to
chat with the bartender, an equally-young, very
bored-looking Goth chap. The only other customers were
several older gay men at the table next to me, in
classic Winnipeg working-class windbreakers, one with
a grey pony tail. They watched ladies’ curling on the
big screen TV, and talked drunken nonsense.

I could not stand it anymore. I was terrified of the
Palomino Club but decided to face my well-deserved
beating. I returned cautiously to my sister’s van and
began my fear-laden drive, fifteen minutes down
Portage Avenue to the jumping horse sign. The
Palomino’s ample parking lot was completely full. I
parked two blocks down, next the Manitoba Government’s
Robert Fletcher Building, where I had had my first
summer student job, long ago, 75-pounds lighter and
much more naïve.

I was hoping to take my beating at the Palomino’s
front door and get it over with. Nothing happened
except the coat check and a four dollar cover charge.
I thought surely, ordering a Diet Coke at the crowded
front bar would tip off the Winnipeg Police and earn
me some serious pain. However, the bar was full of hot
young Manitoba straight babes and the normal young men
who would like to love them. I got no attention. The
courteous bartender gave me a freebie coke and his
compliments on my being a designated driver.

I wandered through the Palomino with my freebie Coke.
At the back, amongst the many babes in attendance, I
found a mural, the Kosher Cowboy, a soul brother in a
Stetson with our classic nose. I think it was a
depiction of the proprietor. In Winnipeg ethnicity
trumps the rednecks. I’m not sure if the babes and
their cop admirers got the joke but I certainly did.

I gave up my hope of a beating and settled down on a
stool beside the dance floor, bouncing beauties
everywhere. Winnipeg has wonderful young babes, every
ethnicity, hair and body type us old guys could dream
of. At least our police service has good taste. The
live rock band was superior. I think, in accordance
with our sacred traditions, the proprietor is passing
on the business to the next generation. The
proprietor’s son presided over a male booty-shaking
contest. The young chap who earned the most
babe-shrieks got first prize. I enjoyed it all and was
not worried even when I crossed my legs. I just made
sure not to shriek.

Sometimes being Bi is fun. One has alternatives,
bouncing babes, cops who don’t beat up on you and
fellow Jews in cowboy hats. All booty is good. Just
don’t say it out loud. Winnipeg is still home, even
for the likes of us.

Love,

Martin

Subj: My Winnipeg: Young Women Suffer at the Toad in the Hole.

Subj: My Winnipeg: Young Women Suffer at the Toad in the Hole.

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MySister@OntheRoadinOntario

Sent: August 22, 2007 11:54:41 PM

I went to Gio’s gay community club yesterday evening, on Smith Street, across the ominous back lane from Club 200, which is at 190 Garry Street.

I had phoned Gio’s first, and asked the chirpy young lesbian bartender if anything was doing. She said it was just a friendly pub night, no DJ, no young lesbians bouncing about the dance floor.

I went anyhow. It was eight P.M, so a poignance hour with a Diet Coke was somewhat attractive. This isn’t quite what I got.

There was one table of old, gay guys there, practising being drunk and elaborating their obscene vocabulary, as loud as possible. I think they were the same proud obscenity group as in my previous visit, in the bitter snows of February.

Most of this drunk and swearing team left after half an hour, off to Club 200. One older chap, with a particularly foul mouth, hung on, exchanging volumes of obscenities with my chirpy young lesbian. I am used to this. Every gay bar has at least one aged, drunken, mean-tempered foul mouth, it’s compulsory. It is the Gay as Victim philosophy, the world is cruel to me, so consequently, I am gross and vile to my fellow homos. Doesn’t that make sense? Well I feel better!

I understood very well the context of this drunk and obnoxious old fairy coot. He didn’t irritate me anymore than such gay coots do. However this vision if my future definitely did. I do not want to be a faggot coot. A modest bachlorette apartment, loneliness, boiled cabbage and repentance in working class southeast Winnipeg Saint Vital is a much better option, far more dignified.

Mr. Coot’s vision for my future began to terrify me. After an hour or so, I followed the gay man’s drunk and swearing club across the fearful back alley to Club 200.

It wasn’t much better. For the two-dollar cover charge, Club 200 offered it’s Tuesday night drinks raffle, presided over by a six foot, middle aged drag queen in a miniskirt and blond wig. The crowd was distinctly scanty. Maybe social isolation in Saint Vital won’t be enough repentance. How about being a volunteer, live-in caretaker at a very Orthodox synagogue?

When the above scenario starts to seem quite attractive you know it is time to leave. I decided it really was past time to wind up the gay part of my evening. At 11 P.M. I was off to the Palomino Club, in the hope of viewing some shaking young straight gal booty. There wasn’t any. Tuesday is karaoke night at the Palomino Club. A respectable, ethical young Manitoba woman does not shake her booty to karaoke. These young women are not the skanks of our Winnipeg. There are other places in town to go, if you are desperate for the companionship of a female skank. In the heterosexualist, karaoke, Winnipeg context, karaoke is left for old straight coots, aged male skanks.

I think I would not mind being a straight old Manitoba karaoke skank. Making a commitment to this lifestyle would certainly cut down the growing repentance bill I owe to the Eternal One, the supreme ruler of all us Judeo-Manitobans. However, heterosexually singing my way to repentance is a project for the future. Winnipeg’s booty babes do not attend karaoke.

In preparation for karaoke salvation, I decided to spend the rest of the evening searching out booty, a token of my gratitude for this new vision.

The Toad in the Hole, in Osborne Village, is Winnipeg’s reserve bank of booty. Twenty minutes later I was there. There was no DJ, but there was booty on the patio outside, smoking in this mild, late-summer evening, their boyfriends worshiping in attendance. Booty was shooting pool inside. Downstairs, at the Toad’s Cave basement annex, booty was attending a live rock and roll concert, the bass portion of the music thumping up through the barroom floor. There is lots of booty to repent to at the Toad.

I was looking for my traditional poignance table. There is always one at the Toad. I thought I had found it, just across from the bar, sit there, look absolutely lonely, look miserable and give the young folks a dreadful vision of their own future, having just been given one of what’s left of mine.

However, it wasn’t poignance after all. The Toad is not in Ottawa, it is in Winnipeg. Two young ladies actually joined me, drunk and sad. Their issue, their boyfriends of course. The boyfriends are lazy drunk, sports-addicted and lacking any vision for the future, other than next year’s NHL scores. The boyfriends pay for nothing. Five years and not one dinner invitation. There is not even a karaoke serenade. Being booty has its price.

The boyfriends were so bad that the two young girls actually spoke with me, presumably far older, post any kind of sexual, and with some vision of my rapidly diminishing future. One of the young ladies was, like me, an ex-Winnipeger trapped in Ottawa. We bonded, dumping on the metropolis of the Valley, its rapidly-growing army of stumbling crack freaks and its determinedly non-existent LRT. This poor youngster is trapped in the wasteland called Kanata, amongst earnest young Moms with strollers. Why is she trapped? Of course, the visionless boyfriend. He will not move from the couch, never mind Outer West Suburban Ottawa. I listened for a while.

At the back of my mind was a proposed solution. Head on down to Gio’s, chirp, and do some same sex, dance floor bouncing, egalitarian, feminist bootyism in defiance of the patriarchy. However, recruiting for female homosexuality is not an appropriate way to begin a later life of straight, karaoke repentance. I gave the girls a sympathetic, hopefully masculine and broad shoulder to cry on, and wished them well when they left at 1:20 A.M., for another bar, in a last-ditch search for future-oriented young men who would pay at least some of the bills.

I will plan my repentance program. I know I can do it. Maybe I should take some lessons and learn the lowest, butchist singing notes my vocal cords can manage.

Have a good drive tomorrow. Atikokan is not so far. Kenora is beyond it.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Petula Clark Will Sing at the McPhillips Street Casino

Subj: My Winnipeg: Petula Clark Will Sing at the McPhillips Street Casino

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MySister@OntheRoadinOntario

Sent:
August 23, 2007 11:33:01 PM

The Casinos of Manitoba have two outlets in Winnipeg, one in far east Transcona and one on McPhillips Street in the industrial northwest end. Petula Clark is coming to sing at McPhillips Street, heavy trucks with flatbed trailers hauling diesel tractors, backhoes, construction cranes and combines up and down outside.

I am fond of Petula Clark, as are many more or less gay men. Her song “Downtown” resonated with me, when I began to realize that I would not survive an evening at a Winnipeg country and western, suburban motor hotel without being brutally beaten and murdered. “When you’re alone and nights are making you lonely, you can always go, downtown”. Of course, my potential downtown Winnipeg, so very long ago, would have consisted of giving blow jobs in the toilets of the Mall Bus Station (Hard to focus on your oral technique when you can hear Greyhound pulling out for Kenora, Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Atikokan.), cruising for gay hookers on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature and socializing with butch lesbian biker gangs at the beer parlour of the Saint Charles Hotel. Nevertheless, Petula gave us hope.

This morning I stopped for my pitifully small diet sandwich, at the delicatessen section of the Grant Park Mall Safeway Supermarket. The Grant Park Safeway delicatessen attracts very young women, dressed as if they were on the way to booty shake night at the Palomino Club. Normally I am as surreptitious as I can possibly be in checking out my mistresses of nubility. However, my diet has drained my blood sugar to a record low level. Deprived of sufficient glucose to provide my self-protection, Mr. Brain directed Mr. Eyes to look directly at a particularly fine youngster, dressed up as a pervert Pippi Longstockings. Our eyes locked. Pippi was visibly gratified by my offer of worship. Why haven’t I done this before?

Perhaps Pippi is a cheerleader at Grant Park Collegiate, the personal Auschwitz of my early adolescence. I turned my Chrysler Charger, rent a light tank left into the Mall at the main door of Grant Park Collegiate, a few seconds from the parking lot of Safeway. The Collegiate now has a marquee sign out front, school resumes on Wednesday, September 5, just after Labour Day. Over and above my incipient starvation, the sign made me ill with fear. I remember that sign. They had it in 1964. Hello Martin, our Death Camp is awaiting you. We hope you had a good summer. Now it is time for you to be our helpless victim again. Get ready for unbearable suffering, you useless, kikey, faggot loser. Signed respectfully, the blonde, blue-eyed Aryan cheerleaders of Grant Park Hell School.

If Petula had appeared to take me away, I would have gone with her anywhere, to any seedy, blow job downtown, on the face of the earth. Petula would have understood if I had borrowed the most massive backhoe that will shake McPhillips Street outside her performance, taken it directly south to Grant Park, and resolved my issues with Grant Park Collegiate, brick by shattered brick, classroom doors broken down to splinters, my backhoe reducing the cheerleader’s gymnasium and rehearsal hall to dust, bits of crushed lockers and the foolish memories of arrogant young women.

The Simkin South Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence is an excellent facility, except that the soft drink machine in the kosher cafeteria takes your coins and rips you off. I explained this to Clarisa, the volunteer Judeo-bopper at the Simkin reception. Clarisa explained that my dollar and a quarter could not be refunded until the maintenance man returned, next week. I told Clarisa to donate my change to the Simkin garden fund. Young Clarisa is hot but she is a soul sister. She need not go to the Palomino Club. Clarisa certainly has a booty but I hope she never has to shake it. I hope Clarisa never, ever learns about alternative, feminist lifestyles at Gio’s and Club 200. Clarisa deserves a proper, Orthodox wedding, a Medical Doctor for a husband, membership in our Jewish Glendale Golf and Country Club and a south end mansion for a home, with the hugest mortgage in the history of our Province of Manitoba. Tie your doctor down Clarisa, do not let him roam to look for cheerleader booty at the Palomino Club.

The Burton Cummings Theatre is kitty corner the north side of the Marlborough Hotel, across Smith Street and north of Ellice Avenue. The building is very old. It was a vaudeville theatre very long ago, then a movie theatre where I used to go, alone in my social isolation, across the massive parking lot between it and the beer parlour of the Saint Charles Hotel. Olivia Newton-John will be playing there. Olivia is another quasi-gay icon, rumoured to have had a feminist friend or two. Since the Burton Cummings Theatre is already downtown, five minutes walk from Gio’s and Club 200. Olivia can sing of other things.

I return to the Valley tomorrow, the Far East shadow of Grant Park Collegiate. Have a safe ride and enjoy Thunder Bay.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Equal Opportunity Wednesday Evening at the Adonis Gay Baths

My Winnipeg: Equal Opportunity Wednesday Evening at the Adonis Gay Baths

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To; MySister@OntheRoadinOntario

Sent:
August 23, 2007 7:22:10 AM

Monday and Wednesday are co-ed nights at Club Adonis. I’m not sure if I like it. Any gay bath is meant to be a refuge from booty and its demands. You should be able to relax in the fellowship of other men who like you, are worn down in the world of women. None of this works when the ladies are there. They run around, they make demands, they want attention, they intimidate us poor feminine men. I do not go to the gay baths to be confronted by someone with a tightly-wrapped towel, no penis and a judgmental attitude.

However, there is a positive side. The rampaging, feminist ladies of the bath house make us dedicated homos hide in the dark room and cling together for protection. It’s amazing the fun you can have when you cling. I clung and got clinged. The ladies will never understand. A lesbian bathhouse would be a place for feminist discussions, rosehip tea and an exchange of tofu recipes. The girls just don’t get it.

I went to the Polo Park Mall this afternoon, immediately after seeing Ma and Da at the Simkin Residence, until 4:30 or so. Of course it is only fifteen minutes drive from the Simkin to Polo Park. However I had had a particularly mingy diet sandwich for lunch and was utterly starving. For Mr. Stomach the ride in our rent-a-Chrysler was a death march, an endless agony. We barely made it.

Polo Park’s food court is under renovation and broken up into small makeshift areas, poorly lit, with all the ambience of a 1950’s Soviet canteen. I had to stagger through this grim maze, exhausted and ill, until I found the Japanese stirfry outlet down a dingy corridor. After fifteen minute’s wait in a determinedly leisurely queue I was eating, something I barely remembered how to do. Even the mall’s numerous boppers, dressed like North End street whores, could not distract me. The world consisted only of my teriyaki plate and my need to fill the profound void in my stomach. A culinary dark room would have been appropriate, me clinging to every rice grain, every wholesome vegetable.

I remember when Polo Park was a polo park. Winnipeg’s race track and polo grounds were there until they moved far west on Portage Avenue to Assiniboia Downs, sometime in the mid 1950’s. The era of the suburb, the tail-finned car and then the shopping centre had arrived in Manitoba. The Polo Park Shopping Centre sprung up, first a blizzard-swept open, north south mall, friendly California shopping in Antarctica. Yes, it was character building, and an excuse to eat cherry cheesecake in the mall’s nondescript café, the calories justified by not freezing. However that is far in the past, Polo Park has been enclosed for many years. It could easily be in Dayton, Ohio. The Mayor of nowadays Winnipeg is a fellow Jew and owns the baseball park. Us Man-faggots have a place to go, Club Adonis, no more furtive groping in the toilets of the Mall Bus Station. Now the assertive, liberated ladies of our twenty-first century Winnipeg have followed us there. Nothing is left. The Manitoba of my childhood was about hard work in numbing cold for low pay, not boutique shopping and endless self-gratification. The homo-busting ladies of Wednesday night at Club Adonis have no idea of the sacrifices that we made. Now, in modern Manitoba, cholesterol cherry cheesecake is a much worse sin than a happy man-on-man fondle in Adonis’ darkroom.

Teriyaki sauce is good emergency fuel. After dinner I made it to Zeller’s and its brother Hudson Bay, and left the Mall replete with extra underwear and souvenirs. When I retire back home in Manitoba I will be a regular at Polo Park. The women have triumphed at Club Adonis and us defeated lady men are down to our last stand, barricaded in the darkroom, grasping each other in our terror. However nobody, not even the most dismissive woman, can take away my memories, the memories that matter even more as I starve myself into low-cal eternity, thawing frostbite and that wonderful, wonderful cheesecake.

Have a good drive tomorrow. What could be better than Sault Saint Marie in late August?

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: I Found the Holy Grail at the Saint Vital Mall

Subj: My Winnipeg: I Found the Holy Grail at the Saint Vital Mall

August 22, 2007 6:54:13 AM

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MySister@OntheRoadinOntario

I have turned retail Winnipeg up and down, looking for a General Electric Big Button phone for Da. The GE, Big Button effort has a volume control on the front, not the side. Maybe Da will see it and turn it up instead of down as he now invariably does, presumably inadvertently, shrieking hello, hello, hello, bewildered and frightened into the receiver, because he can not hear the caller over his blasting CNN.

The Big Button is sold out from one end of Winnipeg to the other. The kindly stock lady at the Wal Mart, round the corner from the Simkin Jewish senior’s residence, thought she had one left. She even got up on a ladder, and checked the boxes at the back of the top shelf. However, there was none. Wal-Mart has them on back order. The nice lady gave me the model number. I was going to tell you about it.

I went for a ride, after Ma and Da departed for their kosher dinner at five o’clock. I was looking for someplace new to have my bland and small dinner diet sandwich. I drove east on McGililvray Boulevard then south on Pembina Highway, reviewing various cheap motels where one may have an assignation. There were many places to get a donut, Tim Horton’s always extending the hand of caloric friendship, but no place to get a six-inch low cal lean turkey sub on brown bread, with diet vinaigrette dressing, no, no, no mayo please. I am on a diet. I must not enjoy.

Starving, I reached the Perimeter Highway, now only 40 miles from the border. I thought for a second of driving to North Dakota for a diet dinner, but instead I turned
east on the Perimeter, deciding to see a brief slice of Prairie, before returning back to Winnipeg’s centre. I crossed the Red River bridge and then reached St.Mary’s road, the southern gateway to Saint Vital, Winnipeg’s working class southeast.

Saint Vital and St. Mary’s Road figure prominently in my vision of my future. There are various small, nondescript apartment blocks on St. Mary’s Road. I envision myself retired, alone and friendless in a bachlorette, the smell of boiling cabbage drifting in from the corridor. I embrace this. It will be a time of repentance, before infirmity and my turn at the Simkin residence, screaming hello, hello, hello into some futuristic telephone, far too complex for diminished Mr. Brain. My half-starved drive up Saint Mary’s Road was a confrontation with my certain future reality.

My reality at 5:45 or so also included an imminent death from hunger, before I could ever get to cry in the bachlorette. I arrived at the Saint Vital Mall, Winnipeg’s largest, and managed to park my rent a Chrysler. As I got out of the car, Saint Vital began to blur and shake. However, I summoned up the very last of my tryglycerides, and made my way through the enormous mall, to the food court, Mr. Sub and the requisite diet sandwich.

In the event of an emergency my liver can process new food intake extremely fast. Within five minutes I had inhaled the sandwich and soon after returned to the land of the living. My living land includes shopping malls. Some February ten years or so from now, I will escape from the boiling cabbage by doing the senior’s walking circuit inside the Saint Vital Mall, exempt from Manitoba’s raging blizzard outside. I decided to get a head start, and walk the mall from end to end. Excited and recalorified, I set off at a brisk pace, dodging teenyboppers and young Moms pushing strollers.

I have described my hunt for Big Buttons as my futile search for Winnipeg’s Holy Grail. The Saint Vital Mall has yet another Wal-Mart. I was going to visit it and earn another retail rejection. However, I came upon London Drug first.

London Drug is not a drugstore chain, although it might have been one some time long ago. London Drug originates from BC and Alberta, and has now crept east out of Redneck land, finally reaching our Saint Vital, my future seat of boiling cabbage. London Drug stocks enough telephones to make Future Shop cringe. Guess what I found there, Big Buttons, ten dollars more than Wal-Mart but Big Buttons in its living, beige plastic, not on back order, but ready in its GE cardboard box, buyable and available. I grabbed it and ran to the cashier. London Drugs offers it with a one-year, limited warranty, no extra charge other than the ten additional dollars.

The Saint Vital Mall has massive low-price sales. I found two pairs of high-quality Caterpillar shoes, tough, winterized boots and sturdy sandals, for 70% off. The young salesgirl has listed me as a preferred customer, on the grounds of being a sentimental ex-Manitoban who just wants to go home.

I think I will accept my bachlorette with grace, and boil my own cabbage. By the time I make my modest home on Saint Mary’s Road I will be eligible for senior’s discounts at the food court. I will not be dieting then. There are pizza slices there. When I am not boiling my own cabbage I will eat them and finish off with a frozen yogurt from the outlet across the way. Young at heart I will be as one with the teenyboppers around me.

I am at Club 200. Winnipeg Transit runs many buses along Saint Mary’s Road, all in this general direction. I will have my senior’s bus pass. You can always buy the Holy Grail at London Drugs, any grail you want, fresh from Edmonton. There is nothing to worry about. Saint Vital will shine brightly in my dreams.

Sleep well.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Shake Your Bootie at the Palomino Club

My Winnipeg: Shake Your Bootie at the Palomino Club

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MYSister@Onthe RoadinNew Brunswick

August 21, 2007 7:31:14 AM

The Palomino Club offers Booty Shake Mondays. The bar tables have printed colour flyers, “Booty Shake Mondays; Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya to Win Cash! Party to the hottest tunes.” The evening is organized by Hot 103, Winnipeg’s #1 Hit Music Station, with hosts DJ Alfredo & Chris Love. If Winnipeg were American, Bruce Springsteen would have been required to sing about it. Ottawa it isn’t. For money, people will shake their booty on a Monday night, in English only, fresh from a first hard working day of repairing auto transmissions, tending diesel locomotives at CP’s North End railyard and supplying parts for Komatsu heavy construction tractors.

The Palomino Club bills itself on its colour-printed flyers as World Famous. It is world famous for normal people. The young ladies do the booty shaking at the Palomino Club. Us real men shut up, sit behind the dance floor bar rail and watch.

Mr. Brain is a dual mode operation, but not the latest model. Having had a jolly night out yesterday with the boys at Club Adonis, I had to do some manual shifting of gears, cummon Mr. Old Brain, it’s our ladies night, surely you remember women, yes? Sure you do. One of these day’s I will wear out Mr. Brain’s clutch and that will be it, stuck in neutral at the Simkin South End Winnipeg Jewish Senior’s Residence.

The parents-at-the-Simkin thing makes its demands. Da is hard of hearing. He can not hear anybody on the phone. The volume button is on the side, slipping down in his aged hands. With CNN blasting away, all day, every day, the way he likes it, he can’t hear a thing except various American disasters and thinks no one is there except the TV commentators in Atlanta.

Da can not handle a cordless phone. He will lose it. He lost the TV remote long ago, content to leave CNN permanently set on blast. He needs a receiver with a cord. Try and buy one. Winnipeg ‘s electronics retailers have entered the twenty-first century, they want to sell you something, anything cordless. I went to Canadian Tire, Walmart, The Source, Future Shop, Best Buy and Zeller’s, all in the course of this Monday evening, in a gentle, soaking, late summer rain. Some of these memorable outlets deal in cordless only. At the few who have not yet cut the cord there is just one suitable model, a General Electric, Big Button phone, with a volume button on the front, where Da can hope to see it.

Try and buy it. You can’t. It is sold out everywhere in town. You are in Winnipeg, one thousand five hundred miles from Toronto, two thousand miles from Vancouver. As far as that Big Button phone is concerned it is Moscow in 1988. That phone is back ordered. The nearest delivery truck is half a continent away. Forget it. It will come at just about the same time the Palomino Club allows old bisexual males to shake their booty for cash.

I tried. It was my Monday evening Holy Jewish Grail, get moving, get wet, get exhausted, get sad. Try buying it at the Polo Park Mall, where you ate far too much cheesecake when Mr. Junior Gut was only seven years old, in 1958. Earl’s Red Lite Bar is a primary part of Polo Park nowadays. The beautiful young women who populate it look at me as if I were a particularly nasty alien, just recently arrived from the Back East part of outer space. OK, Mr. Giant Rabbi upstairs, I get the message.

Shake Your Booty Night at the Palomino Club was wonderful. Winnipeg has far, far better booty than Ottawa, no skanks at Palomino, just splendid booty, booty, booty, well and scantily-dressed, energetic booty, in good makeup. Booty was in the eye of the beholder, as much booty as the eye could possibly want to see. Mr. Old Brain and I are very happy. We saw booty all night. We are aliens from eastern outer space. We will sleep well. We shifted gears.

Winnipeg is covered by a warm fog tonight, Portage Avenue all fuzzy.

Enjoy your drive tomorrow. Have a gentle evening in Edmunston.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: Kosher Cowboys at the Palomino Club

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 16:38:40 -0800 (PST)

From: Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subject: My Winnipeg: Kosher Cowboys at the Palomino Club

The Palomino Club is on Portage Avenue, three miles or
so west of downtown and a mile to the east of the Polo
Park mall. The Palomino has a big electric sign with a
picture of a jumping horse and lots of flashing
lights.

The Palomino has been on Portage Avenue for many
years. I never go in. I am afraid of getting
gay-bashed there. The Palomino is the favourite bar
for off duty members of the Winnipeg Police Service.
Our police will not tolerate un-Manitoban behaviour.

However, gay Winnipeg was unbearable on Thursday
night. The small clientele at Club 200 consisted
mostly of very bitter, very angry, young First Nations
gay men. Thursday is supposed to be karaoke night at
Club 200 but no one was in the mood. The angry,
two-spirited aboriginal guys clustered themselves at
the video game terminals, suffocating their rage in
petty gambling.

After a couple of hours I gave up on Club 200. I made
my way cautiously and fearfully across the snowy back
alley, looking left and right for potential muggers.
The parking lot of Gio’s gay community club faces that
of Club 200, separated only by that alley full of
fear, snow and caution.

Gio’s is meant to have a Thursday night gay disco.
They didn’t. An angry-looking young man
took a stepladder out and adjusted the dance floor
lights. After a bit he took the ladder away and went
inside the DJ booth for a few minutes. However,
nothing happened. The bitter looking young man went to
chat with the bartender, an equally-young, very
bored-looking Goth chap. The only other customers were
several older gay men at the table next to me, in
classic Winnipeg working-class windbreakers, one with
a grey pony tail. They watched ladies’ curling on the
big screen TV, and talked drunken nonsense.

I could not stand it anymore. I was terrified of the
Palomino Club but decided to face my well-deserved
beating. I returned cautiously to my sister’s van and
began my fear-laden drive, fifteen minutes down
Portage Avenue to the jumping horse sign. The
Palomino’s ample parking lot was completely full. I
parked two blocks down, next the Manitoba Government’s
Robert Fletcher Building, where I had had my first
summer student job, long ago, 75-pounds lighter and
much more naïve.

I was hoping to take my beating at the Palomino’s
front door and get it over with. Nothing happened
except the coat check and a four dollar cover charge.
I thought surely, ordering a Diet Coke at the crowded
front bar would tip off the Winnipeg Police and earn
me some serious pain. However, the bar was full of hot
young Manitoba straight babes and the normal young men
who would like to love them. I got no attention. The
courteous bartender gave me a freebie coke and his
compliments on my being a designated driver.

I wandered through the Palomino with my freebie Coke.
At the back, amongst the many babes in attendance, I
found a mural, the Kosher Cowboy, a soul brother in a
Stetson with our classic nose. I think it was a
depiction of the proprietor. In Winnipeg ethnicity
trumps the rednecks. I’m not sure if the babes and
their cop admirers got the joke but I certainly did.

I gave up my hope of a beating and settled down on a
stool beside the dance floor, bouncing beauties
everywhere. Winnipeg has wonderful young babes, every
ethnicity, hair and body type us old guys could dream
of. At least our police service has good taste. The
live rock band was superior. I think, in accordance
with our sacred traditions, the proprietor is passing
on the business to the next generation. The
proprietor’s son presided over a male booty-shaking
contest. The young chap who earned the most
babe-shrieks got first prize. I enjoyed it all and was
not worried even when I crossed my legs. I just made
sure not to shriek.

Sometimes being Bi is fun. One has alternatives,
bouncing babes, cops who don’t beat up on you and
fellow Jews in cowboy hats. All booty is good. Just
don’t say it out loud. Winnipeg is still home, even
for the likes of us.

Love,

Martin

My Winnipeg: No Exit from Magnus Avenue

Feb.20, 2007

From Me@Winnipeg,Manitoba

To: MyDomesticPartner@Ottawa,Ontario

Subj: My Winnipeg: No Exit from Magnus Avenue

The Jewish Old Folks Home is now called the Sharon Senior’s Residence. It is still in the same place it was when my grandparents died in it, 146 Magnus Avenue, near the Red River. Driving north on north Main Street you turn right just past the Chesed Shel Emes, the Jewish funeral home. As you turn into Magnus there are two yellow signs on either side of the street. Both say No Exit. The signs refer to how Magnus Avenue ends at the Red River. However to me the signs mean something quite different.

The Sharon home is in a relatively new concrete building, a five-story effort with free visitor parking out front, equipped with plug-ins for the incredible cold of our Manitoban winter. The different stories of the Sharon have meaning. The sicker you are, the higher up you go. My parents are on the fourth floor. By the time you are on the fourth floor you are free to babble out your uncomprehending pain and despair in Yiddish, all day and all night long if you wish. They take you to the fifth floor when you are very close to ascending from Manitoba and meeting the Eternal One.

The old brick building from my 1950’s, where my grandparents died, is at the back of the Sharon and out of sight. I don’t know whether the Judeo-teenyboppers who volunteer at the Sharon’s front door know what it is. That’s OK. I do.

Magnus Avenue runs from the Sharon across Main Street, for blocks and blocks westward, through what is now a profoundly-distressed part of Winnipeg. Even during the 1950’s we were being replaced. That part of the North End was “Going Indian” as we used to say, before we decided not to be as racist as the people who had just had a happy time murdering us. Magnus Avenue and the area around it are now solidly First Nations.

Our aboriginal Manitobans are free to have unlimited pain and despair long before they are old enough to babble. They do. Magnus Avenue is full of crack houses, gang headquarters and trick pads. Winnipeg’s aboriginal 14 year olds sell their bodies at the trick pads in order to eat, not to make a profit. Winnipeg is better off than it used to be and the moneyless prostitute teens are not short on customers. On Magnus Avenue the drive-by shooting has been raised to the level of an art form. Winnipeg competes with Edmonton for Canada’s highest murder rate.

I went out to the gay bars tonight. There are two of them in downtown Winnipeg, Club 200 and Gio’s, across a snowy back alley from each other. Downtown Winnipeg is sinister and frightening at night, although there are not as many whizzing bullets as on Magnus Avenue. However us homos share our part of downtown with the First Nations. We have a complex relationship with the men of the First Nations. Some of them see the more feminine of us as readily available, extra girls, contemplating us on our shapely buttocks and grabbing the occasional feel as we wander in and out the door of Club 200. Some of the First Nations guys are themselves genuinely two-spirited, or simply work as prostitutes at the two bars, like their trick pad sisters on Magnus Avenue. Other First Nations people, men and women both, would like to kill us. I guess I understand their feelings.

Our little Gay Winnipeg was quiet tonight. Nobody grabbed my buttocks and I didn’t get shot either. Posters in the men’s’ washroom remind you that giving blow jobs cause syphilis. I watched ladies’ curling on Gio’s big screen TV and thought a lot about the basic meaning of Manitobanness. There need to be more exits. I will sleep and I hope I will not dream of Magnus Avenue.

Love,

Martin