Loud noises from the kitchen

The Compass - - OPINION -

Ac­cord­ing to the loud noises coming from the kitchen, Nal­cor could tell that his mis­tress Mizkat was hav­ing a bad day.

There have been a lot of those lately, thought the lit­tle muskrat, bur­row­ing deeper un­der the blan­kets in his bas­ket to try and drown out the sound. But it wasn’t pos­si­ble.

The sound of frag­ile things break­ing against the kitchen walls burst forth into the hall­way, turned the cor­ner and raced down the cor­ri­dor into the liv­ing room, sped across the car­pet, dived un­der the cof­fee ta­ble and bored into the lit­tle muskrat ears seek­ing shel­ter there.

Nal­cor was caught in a dilemma. He liked Mizkat as a per­son, but in spite of that couldn’t agree with many things she did. When Mizkat first brought him from his home in Labrador to live with her here in the pre­mier’s of­fi­cial resid e n c e of New­foudl an d a n d Labrador, Canada’s Rich and Poor province, she had al­ways treated him like roy­alty. She was kind to him in ev­ery way. She fed him noth­ing but the best food and he was al­ways warm and dry.

She didn’t no­tice that he really pre­ferred to be cool and damp, so he was care­ful not to get water on the floor when he sneaked a re­lax­ing cold soak when she was out of the house. She brushed his coat daily and of­ten picked him up, put him in her lap and talked to him qui­etly at the end of day. He found it calm­ing and could tell she did too.

He missed the days, quite long ago now when she used to take him run­ning out­doors. That was when she was slim­ming down and get­ting fit be­fore the last elec­tion. Af­ter the elec­tion the run­ning stopped. Or, at least it did as far as Nal­cor was con­cerned. She didn’t take him with her any­more. Ac­cord­ing to her stress­ful ir­ri­tabil­ity, Nal­cor con­cluded that her run­ning was a thing of the past.

Too bad, thought th e l it­tle muskrat. It did her a lot of good, and when she stopped, the signs of stress didn’t take long to ap­pear.

It had be­gun af­ter the elec­tion, which she won al­right, but she had trou­ble ac­cept­ing that her win was by a nar­rower mar­gin than her pre­de­ces­sor, The An­gry Man Who Talks Too Fast. She had really wanted to do as well or even bet­ter than him, but not enough peo­ple voted for her. It didn’t take long be­fore jour­nal­ists were com­ment­ing on it and that ir­ri­tated her.

They started to blame her for the un­pop­u­lar­ity of the Muskrat Falls project.

It was around that time that Mizkat’s tone changed and she started to speak aloud about her bit­ter­ness. Aloud to Nal­cor only. He was her con­fi­dante, but only be­cause she was un­aware the he un­der­stood from the In­ter­net and tele­vi­sion ev­ery one of her in­creas­ingly bit­ter words.

Her ev­i­dent un­hap­pi­ness and her in­abil­ity to get over the per­ceived crimes com­mit­ted against her by her col­leagues, ex-col­leagues and the press, had be­come too hard for Nal­cor to bear and he had fled home to Labrador.

From afar he had kept track of what was hap­pen­ing in her life. As he saw her TV ap­pear­ances re­veal­ing a more and more ag­i­tated state, his sym­pa­thy ul­ti­mately brought him back to her.

The wel­come he re­ceived was so heart­felt and al­most pa­thet­i­cally joy­ous that Nal­cor re­al­ized the im­pres­sion he had gath­ered from In­ter­net and tele­vi­sion in his lodge in Labrador be­side the Big Ci­gar River was true. She needed help. If he wanted to help, and he did, very much, to thank her for all her kind­ness to him, he had to take some kind of de­ci­sive ac­tion.

The day the opin­ion poll came out was a piv­otal one. It placed Mizkat’s party be­hind the NDP for the first time in the province’s his­tory, and Mizkat her­self be­hind “The Saintly One” in per­sonal pop­u­lar­ity.

That evening the kitchen walls in the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of The Rich and Poor Province’s pre­mier were the tar­get of a lot of fly­ing glass and crock­ery.

It was then that Nal­cor re­mem­bered see­ing on one of those “Learn to Feel Good About Your­self ” shows on tele­vi­sion, some­thing that caught his eye. It was an ac­tiv­ity or­ga­nized by friends of peo­ple ad­dicted to sex, drugs, drink, shopo­holism and anger to help them over­come their prob­lem. Nal­cor con­cluded it was time to take an­other look at this thing. It might be of some use to Mizkat. It was called an in­ter­ven­tion. … to be con­tin­ued.

Peter Pick­ers­gill is an artist and writer in Sal­vage, Bon­av­ista Bay. He can be reached by email at the fol­low­ing:


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