Mul­ti­cul­tural Tim­bit

Geist - - Findings - ANNHARTE

From Indi­gena Awry. Pub­lished by New Star Books in 2012. Marie Annharte Baker is a poet, es­say­ist, play­wright and win­ner of the 2015 Blue Me­trop­o­lis First Peo­ples Lit­er­ary Prize. She lives in Win­nipeg.

Sus­pense at air­port stopover. I walk back and forth to ex­er­cise. Can­not find a Tim­mies. Won­der what coun­try I am in. Just Toronto. Then I see a star de­scend­ing from the heav­ens via plane. He is a stel­lar pres­ence in a First Na­tions uni­verse. He’s an ac­tor so he gives me a tip on how to pre­tend to speak French by adopt­ing a fake ac­cent and droop­ing a lip à la Chré­tien. Shrug of­ten too. I am on the way to Que­bec and must bust through the lan­guage bar­rier. I know the word “pou­tine” so I will not starve for sure.

The flight at­ten­dant on the plane does not give out a Globe and Mail to me. Did she fig­ure out I was “anglais” and “au­tochuck”? To her, I might be part Métisse but do not speak Michif. If I spoke in hand sig­nals, the mes­sage that I want a Tim Hor­ton donut might be mis­taken for a ter­ror­ist threat. She might think I was sug­gest­ing a hole in the fuse­lage. Les amis pourquoi enough. I must learn to speak more French right away. How would I ask for a tim­bit? Do Cana­dian fre­quent fly­ers get their fre­quent fast food? I am starv­ing.

On deese planes there is no room. Dis plane is so small for the fat ass or is that gross der­rière. On the other plane I ac­tu­ally re­moved my shoes. Now I will have to say Ex­cusez moi but I won’t be able to add a rea­son. My feet get hot be­fore the rest of me gets turned on. I will have to get into a yoga pos­ture to tie my run­ning shoe. Sacré bleu.

Un peu too! Wow, I am speak­ing Français. My ad­viser said to say “un peu” a lot. It means “just tiny”. Mi­nus­cule, right? It would not help me to al­ways talk this way. What if I met a well hung savoir faire dude? I must use dis­cre­tion.

Al­ways I get the wing on the plane. Like at a turkey din­ner, I get to savour the part that might be used for soup. Aha! Has dis turkey been basted for in­stance as I do not want to get preg­nant ac­ci­den­tally, eh? Ex­cusez moi. I was think­ing too much in 75 Anglais and it might be rude to ex­plain all dis anx­i­ety in an­other lan­guage barely taught in high school.

This plane will take hours plus of butt crammed into a crevice called a seat. My cheeks are to be pres­sured all the trip so they will be­come mul­ti­coloured. Mul­ti­cul­ture maybe. I want a snack and dream of fly­ing on an Abo­rig­i­nal run hair­line. I would get a baloney sand­wich as a food pref­er­ence. Ask for it by name. Tube Steak, please.

Maybe I am start­ing to speak bro­ken Michif? I am broke usu­ally. Oui, my blood has been thinned not by the in­jected se­men of a known or un­known donor. No turkey baster or Petri dish for me. My dad gave away sturdy sperm cells which trav­elled the rugged canal to my mother’s womb to de­cide my fate. Now that was a dan­ger­ous trip. Birthing was a tight squeeze as I weighed 13 pounds.

Need to travel more in Canada so I do not cling to the mem­ory of the near­est Tim­mies. I need to be a bit more com­fort­able mul­ti­cul­tural when I do.

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