A Letter From Julien

Hello Out there,

My name is Julien Hill.  If you’ve read KJ’s book, False Hope, you would know who I am.  KJ wanted me to write a little bit about myself to give you ‘insights’ into my behavior in the book.  Frankly, I think it’s a big waste of time, but she can get a bit whiney and this was the only way I could shut her up. 

Like I said, my name is Julien and before I went working undercover at that sorry excuse for a law office of Upshall’s, I worked on the Vice squad for about five years.  Most of my policing experience comes from dealing with drug dealers and low-lifes, so this new gig was one I wasn’t looking forward to.  I regret the whole thing.  The only light in the entire operation was Ashley.  She’s an angel.  It’s no secret I had a thing for that girl, but she only had eyes for Jamie, or Jax, as you all would know him.  Trust me, that guy has some secrets he wouldn’t like to get out.  But this is about me.

I grew up just outside of Toronto.  I was an only child.  My parents were teachers and are retired, now living in Hamilton.  Linda and Brian were always worried about my tendencies to be alone instead of hanging with a bunch of kids from school, but I just never found my group.  I stayed locked up in my room reading comic books.  They suited me better.  I was never good at sports and the geeks were too brainy for me, so I fell somewhere in the middle.  I got my first good camera in grade 10 and taught myself how to take cool shots and develop them myself.  I started spending a lot of time in my darkroom I had set up in the basement.  Again, Linda and Brian weren’t too pleased with my ‘obsessive’ tendency to take ‘pictures’ and suggested I spend more time with my studies.  This led to a lot of arguments with my parents and I ended up storming out a few times.  I needed to get my own place, I knew that. 

After high school, I really didn’t know what to do with myself.  I knew a guy who had applied to the police department for kicks, so I thought I’d apply.  I wrote on the application I was handy with a camera and they seemed interested by that.  I showed them the portfolio I threw together along with the dark room I had and they sent me to the academy.  I hated that too, but I made it through.  They sent me directly to Vice and I was set up to do surveillance.  Apparently, my eye for detail and awesome photography skills came in handy.  I got great shots that handed guys some hefty sentences in Kingston.  I was feeling useful in that gig.  I got my own place and set up my darkroom off of my bedroom.  And then, they sent me to Organized Crime with the pretty boys like Jamie.  Adrian had strict rules about who I was to ‘associate’ with, so no buddies at Vice for me, anymore.  I hated undercover.  The only thing that suited me was the fact I got to be alone and take some shots.  I guess you know by now, that I had some photos of Ashley and some women.  It wasn’t a pervy thing.  I just appreciate a beautiful form.  Call it art. That’s all I’m going to say about it.  The secret compartment under my desk was supposed to be private.  The fact that Ashley found it and it wasn’t discovered by the guys in OC was more awesome than I could have ever imagined. 

I know I’m dead, now.  You don’t have to pretend that I’m alive and kicking and will be magically reappearing in another of KJ’s books.  I know it ain’t happenin’ but I couldn’t have imagined any better way of dying.  All for Ashley.  Those idiots couldn’t save a raccoon from a tree, let alone a beauty like Ashley.  That’s why I had to dive in.  I had to make sure she got away from the goons charging into the apartment and I thought I had a good shot at getting her away from Jamie and his gang of merry men, but that didn’t work out as well as I had planned.  But, she did good in my opinion. 

She was innocent in all of this.  She wasn’t supposed to be in any of the operation until Jamie got his hooks into her and made her a part of this mess.  It’s his fault she had to run from murderous bastards and his fault she had to move away.  I could see how hurt she was when her friend was killed and I could see he left her in the middle of the whole ordeal.  I didn’t bail on her like Jamie did.  I was behind the scenes watching like always.  And I was there when it counted, in the end.  That’s what’s important.

I don’t know what they did with all of my stuff.  My apartment is empty so I assume Linda and Brian cleaned it up.  I know Ashley asked that my pictures be taken away.  I only hope she has a few to remember me by.   Her savior.  Her hero.  I loved her the most.  You can tell her I said that.

Always,

Julien

Directionally Challenged And Little Panicky

Anyone who knows me, knows I have issues with driving.  Not driving in that I can’t operate a vehicle properly or have issues with traffic manoeuverings like signal lights or merging or passing.  I have issues with directions.  East, West, North and South.  How to get to one destination several different ways.  How to find my way from one point in town to the opposite without ending up out on a distant country road, or worse, Mt. Pearl.  My apologies to all of those fine folks who reside there, but I just can’t stand the constant turning lanes.  I once ended up in a left turning lane which then led to another turning lane and went in circles for a good half an hour.  By the time I got daughter to her track meet, it was over.  That was 11 years ago and I still haven’t recovered from the trauma.  Maybe it’s the signage.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to know my way around there.  Or maybe it’s just me.  Yeah, that’s a more likely reason.

It’s not something that’s new to me.  When we first moved to St. John’s 12 years ago, I used to carry the telephone book on the passenger side of my car because it had a map of the city in it.  I would keep it open just in case I turned down a wrong street and ended up somewhere other than the intended destination.  People used to say to me the best way to discover a city or a new place is to get lost in it, but I could never do that.  I need to know where I’m going and exactly how I’m getting there.  Getting lost is out of the question.  As explained in the following tale, if I’m driving and get ‘misplaced’ God help us all, we are in for a crying-sobbing-wailing-middle-finger-pointing helluva time.  I’m not trying to sound melodramatic or in need of a case of Ativan, I just have an emotional breakdown of sorts if I’m not where I’m supposed to be.  A little over-the-top I realize, but for the past few years, having meltdowns on various ski lifts and Disney rides has become my modus operandi. Add to this complicated cocktail, driving without a sense of direction….my family has a hard time keeping up.

The other day I was supposed to pick up daughter for an appointment.  Let’s back track a bit.  The possession of the car is a three-way street.  My son, my daughter and I share one vehicle.  Two of us work full-time, one is a Uni student.  At any given day we are at mid-city and shuffle the vehicle accordingly.  Daughter had to leave work midday and since I had the car, I was to retrieve her from her work and she was to drop me back at my work and then mosey on down to her appointment.  This is how my life works.  Complicated with a twist of lemon. Easy.  Kinda.

My work is literally a five minute drive from daughter’s – that’s on a good day when there are no roads inexplicably closed for random construction or for lame reasons like bursts pipes and road improvements.  Ugh.  Like this particular day.  I was easily driving along when all of a sudden, BLAM, road closed.  Turn right, lady and find your own way.  Okay.  I can adapt, I think.  I turn then go straight, only I should have turned again.  Instead, I ended up downtown.  The epitome of driving madness, one-way streets and impatient drivers who hate people like me.  Hence, meltdown time.  I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOWNTOWN.  I was supposed to be on the opposite side.  Of the city.  DAMMIT WHERE THE FUCK AM I?  No clue.  I keep driving and end up at an intersection that only God and Einstein on a good day can figure out.  It’s going every which way, which is typical for St. John’s BUT THAT’S WHY I DON’T DRIVE DOWNTOWN.  Given I don’t know where I was going and aware the clock was ticking and having no intelligent nor rational thought whatsoever, I STARTED PUNCHING THE SCREEN ON THE DASHBOARD OF THE CAR HOPING I CAN PICK DAUGHTER’S NUMBER AT RANDOM.  The most recent calls were there as was every other person I’ve ever called in the universe.   I ended up calling Daughter number 1 who was working and whose phone was dead (thanks for that), a radio station, the car’s system stats, until finally I get Daughter number 2, all the while swearing, crying and sweating and also managing a few middle fingers at people with no patience.  HELLO, PANICKED DRIVER HERE.  CAN’T YOU SEE I’M HAVING AN EMOTIONAL TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE, RIGHT NOW??!!!   GAAAWWWWWDDDDDD!!!

Here’s how it went down:

D2: Hello?

Me: OH MY GAWD HAYLEY I’M SO SORRY I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM!!!!  (also panicked and crying.  My voice is so high-pitched, dogs are howling)

D2:  It’s okay, mom.  Stop panicking.  Where are you?  (she is aware of my panicked state when I don’t know where I am)

Me:  I JUST TOLD YOU I DON’T F***ING KNOW!!  SOMEWHERE DOWNTOWN.  I HATE DOWNTOWN!!

D2:  Yeah, I know.  Okay.  How did you end up THERE?

Me:  THE DAMNED ROAD WAS CLOSED.  I THOUGHT I WOULD END UP AT EMPIRE AVE ACROSS FROM THE DOMINION!!

D2:  Okay, so what do you see?

Me:  UM…OH MY GAWD CAN I TURN HERE??!!   WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT BUDDY?!   UM…I SEE A TIM’S…

D2:  Yeah, that doesn’t help me.  What else?

Me:  UH, THE POST OFFICE?? …WAIT.  FUCK IT, I’M TURNING.  EXCUSE ME, SIR.  OKAY, I THINK I’M ON DUCKWORTH NOW.

D2:  Okay….  (Hayley is very calm, by the way.  Good thing she can talk her mother down from that emotional ledge)

Me:  Yeah, I see the Newfoundland Chocolate Factory.  I’m on Duckworth.  I see the Sheridan hotel now…

D2:  Okay. So don’t hang up just keep driving and tell me where you are.

Me:  Okay.  I know where I am.  Thanks, Hayley.

D2: BY THE WAY YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!  I THOUGHT YOU WERE LYING IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE DYING!!  DON’T EVER CALL ME CRYING AGAIN!!

Me:  DON’T YELL AT ME.  I’VE BEEN TRAUMATIZED.

D2:  SO HAVE I!!

 

In the end, I picked her up and she dropped me off and ended up stuck in construction on the highway and CALLED ME PANICKING.

The apple and the tree, folks.

panick driving

 

Conversations With…The Dog

Me:  Mags, stop eating the sock.

Mags: I love socks.  Socks are heaven.  This one is my precious.  You can’t have it.  STOP LOOKING AT IT.  IT’S MINE.

Me: If you get all paranoid and possessive I will take that from you.

Mags: Oh, no you won’t!  You have to catch me first!

Me: Oh, God.  I’m not chasing you.   This is me walking away.

Mags: Okay, but look at the sock I have.  I’m going to follow you, and jump on you and pee on the floor from how exciting this sock is.

Me:  Ugh, stop being so annoying and PUT DOWN THE DAMNED SOCK!

Mags:  No.  I love the sock.  The sock loves me.  We are inseparable.  We Looooove each other.

Me:  You know the sock is a thing and not a living breathing thing, right?

Mags: Tsk, you doubt my intelligence human.  Now stop bothering me and look at my sock.

Me:  No

Mags: YES! LOOK AT MY SOCK. IT’S A GLORIOUS SOCK!!!

Me: Stop chewing bits off of it and eating it.  You’re going to get digestive problems

Mags: NO, I WON’T!  I LOVE MY SOCK!!!!

Me:  Here look.  Cheerios.  Cheerios are better to eat than socks.   Gawd, I think I said that to one of the kids before….

Mags: WHAT?!   YOU HAVE CHEERIOS?!

Me: Yes, and I’m just going to casually lay them here on the bed so you can eat them…see?

Mags: Hmmm….but, sock though…

Me:  Cheerios, Mags.  Come and have some cheerios…yummmm…

Mags:  Well, maybe just one…

Me: *snatches sock from floor as Mags eats Cheerios*

Mags:  I love Cheerios!

Me:  I know, Mags.  I know….

Maggie 2013

It’s like she’s saying, “Fuck You and give me a sock” but in a cute puppy way…

 

Drive-Thru Etiquette You Didn’t Know Existed

My daughter tells me very matter-of-factly one day, that I am rude in the drive-thru. Seriously, do you even know me?

Me?! Rude to the drive-thru attendant? How is this even possible?
We are Tim’s obsessed, probably due to my overzealous need for caffeine and Hubby’s need for tea that’s made by somebody other than me. Whatever the reason, we can’t help ourselves. Whilst attending the drive-thru on the way home from work one day, the attendant person pleasantly asks for my order and, in my sincerest nicest voice ( I swear, I was nice) I give my order…or so I thought.

MOM! Why are you so rude?!” I hear from the passenger seat. D2 was appalled and looking at me like I had just turned into a Zombie and was about to snack down on a stranger’s arm. Geez, it’s not like I tried to tell her a joke, or made a Dr. Seuss rhyme out of my order like I so wanted to. “Can I have timbits in box with a fox in his sox? I do not like tea on a train or in the rain or by the plains. I do not like green tea and jam, I do not like that Swiss cheese and ham.”
I was shocked.

ME?! RUDE?! WHAT?!

Everybody thinks I’m nice…well, everybody who I declare my niceness to on a daily basis and have no evidence of the contrary, unless you count that time I called somebody a jackass for putting out notes all over the place regarding my apparent total disregard for putting my trash away when really, in my defense, it wasn’t technically ‘trash’ so much as compost and I had left it in the wrong place. Then maybe….
What was not nice about that?” I ask.
You just said ‘Yeah, give me blah, blah, blah’ DON’T SAY ‘YEAH’ SAY ‘HELLO’ OR ‘HI’”
Obviously, I missed the drive-thru tutorial on niceties and politeness while giving a Tim’s order.
Okay, former McDonald’s drive-thru chick, I’ll say ‘hi’ instead of ‘yeah’. Anything else?” I hadn’t even realized I had said the totally offensive ‘yeah’.
No, just try to be nice. They WORK IN A DRIVE-THRU FOR GOD’S SAKE”
Okay, okay….but I did say ‘thank you’!”
Yes. That’s good, but drop the ‘yeah’. It’s rude”
Can I rhyme? I want my coffee in a box with a fox….”
NO! NO NO NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO!”
So…no? Hmm…then saying ‘ yeah’ is rude?”
Yeah…I mean ‘yes’”
Hmmm….”

Ugh…”

Yummm...

Yummm…

Conversations with Mags…the Dog

Me: Mags, we need to talk about this ‘attitude’ you seem to have developed.
Mags: What?! Attitude?! Me? ! I have no ‘attitude’. I’m just a better dog than all the others, that’s all
Me: Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. You’re not better. In fact, you are anti-social and don’t like humans or dogs. You’re a downright bitch.
Mags: Well of course I am. I’m a female dog. The smartest and prettiest dog ever. AND, humans that come to MY door need to pass a security test. I smell them to make sure they are okay to enter MY house. I’m protecting you. I don’t know why you get so upset when I bark at intruders. They need to be screened. You humans are so trustworthy and stupid. Gawd.
Me: Okay, first of all we are NOT stupid and since when did you use the word “Gawd”?
Mags: Our human child says it all the time when you’re not here.
Me: ‘Our’? Ugh, I suppose she does. And not all humans are untrustworthy, Mags. You trust me, right?
Mags: Barely. You need all the help you can get. You let anybody come traipsing in here with their little humans who incessantly chase me around and try to pet my head. I hate that.
Me: I let people we know in the house. Not complete strangers.
Mags: The dude that fixed the fridge was what? Your bestie? I hardly think so. And you let those other humans sit in my spot and mess up my blankie. Poor blankie….
Me: Yeah…okay. Speaking of ‘bestie’ you need friends and you can’t have friends if you bark at them and antagonize other dogs all the time. You’re getting a bad rep and you need to be friendlier.
Mags: Other dogs are stupid. They slobber and walk around as if the world is a happy place. It isn’t happy! It’s scary. Stupid.
Me: Mags…how about Howard?* You like him, right? You guys play together after you ‘screen’ him, right?
Mags: Howard is an idiot. That dog just sits there and stares blankly into space. Does he not know how to chase a ball or run? Seriously, what’s wrong with him?! I run around the yard and he just sits there and looks at me like I’M the one that needs help.
Me: That’s because you scare the crap out of him! If you let him sniff you and…
Mags: Wait a minute…YOU WANT ME TO LET THAT IDIOT SNIFF ME??!! ARE YOU CRAZY??!! That dog is going nowhere near my butt….
Me: It’s how you animals make friends, Mags.
Mags: Where do you get your information from, Mom?
Me: Ugh, anyway Howard is adorable. He’s all fluffy and cute and is actually FRIENDLY TO PEOPLE.
Mags: Yeah…dummy. Just like I said.
Me: You need to at least try, Mags.
Mags: Okay, I’ll let our human daughter’s friend in. I like her.
Me: Yeah, obviously. You pee on the floor every time she walks in the door.
Mags: I get so happy. Is she coming over now?! IS SHE HERE?!! HERE?!!
Me: NO! Stop it.
Mags: Ugh….let’s play ball! I wanna play ball!
Me: We aren’t done talking, yet.
Mags: BALL! BALL! BALL!
Me: NO
Mags: BALL! WUBBA!! WUBBA!! *runs to the door* I GOTTA PEE!
Me: Okay, but NO BARKING AT THE NEIGHBOURS!
Mags: JUST LET ME OUT I HAVE TO GO!!
Me: Okay, okay. There.
Mags: *stands stationary for five minutes surveying the yard, then…* BARK, BARK, BARK!!!
Me: Mags!! Come here!
Mags: *runs happily to me* WHAT?! GAWD, THEY STARTED IT!
Me: Ugh….
*fictional name to protect the innocent…and adorable.
I think Mags just rolled her eyes at me. Can dogs do that?

I'm so pretty, it hurts.

I’m so pretty, it hurts.

Conversations With….The Dog

Maggie: I shall sit upon your lap and chew on this tasty bone for the next few hours. You are my favoritist human and I shall not be vacated from this spot for any reason whatsoever.
Me: Okay, Mags I need to get up. I have stuff to do. Can’t be lounging around here all day while you chew that nasty looking bone.
Mags: I’ll ignore that last ‘nasty’ remark and remain seated fervently chewing upon said bone. I am your best dog.
Me: Up! Mags, Up! I gotta go. (shoos Maggie from my lap)
Mags: Well! That’s quite rude! I wasn’t finished yet! Oh, wait are you getting food?! I LOVE FOOD!? *jumps wildly around my feet* FOOD! FOOD! FOOD! I WANT FOOD! I’M SO HUNGRY I HAVEN’T EATEN IN LIKE HOURS.
Me: No, Mags I’m not getting any food. Calm down. You have food in your bowl you haven’t touched yet.
Mags: FOOD! FOOD! I LOVE HAMBURGERS! ARE THOSE HAMBURGERS?! THAT’S MY FAVOURITE!!! IS THAT CHEESE! OH HOW I LOVE CHEESE! *jump, jump*
Me: Ugh, Maggie. NO! Stop jumping! Look! I have a ball! *tosses ball down the hall* GO GET IT!!
Mags: OH MY GAWD YOU JUST THREW MY FAVORITIST BALL!! *scurries after the ball and brings it back. Places it at my feet for another throw* Here you go. You lost this. THROW IT AGAIN!!!
Me: Seriously, I have stuff to do. *tosses ball* GO GET IT!
Mags: I GOTTA GET THE BALL!! *retrieves the ball and places it at my feet. Sits staring up at me: Um, here you go! Hehe…waiting here…THROW IT AGAIN!!!
Me: Ugh, Mags. *throws the ball* GO GET IT!!
Mags: I’LL GET IT!! *chases the ball when one of the kids comes in with a friend* YOU! HUMAN! I KNOW YOU! I DO NOT RECOGNIZE OTHER HUMAN WITH YOU! INTRUDER! INTRUDER! I SHALL BARK AND JUMP VICIOUSLY TO SCARE AWAY NASTY INTRUDER!! BARK! BARK! I AM PROTECTING YOU. STAY BACK!
Me: MAGGIE! Shhh…(so doesn’t work) *D2 opens the door and allows friend in to let Maggie have a sniff.
Maggie:*sniff, sniff* BARK! I don’t know you! BARK! You might be a vicious intruder. *sniff, sniff* Hey!! DO YOU HAVE A DOG, TOO??!! *sniff, sniff* I SMELL SOMETHING! DO YOU THINK I’M PRETTY?! MY HUMAN SAYS I’M PRETTY SO I MUST BE. YOU WILL THINK SO TOO. I SMELL BACON!! DO YOU HAVE BACON?! ARE YOU MADE OF BACON??!! I WANT SOME I WANT SOME I WANT SOME!! I think I love you….*follows new friend around the house and sits on her lap* AHH…BACON….
Me: Oh, God…

What?  I'm pretty.  That's all you need to know....

What? I’m pretty. That’s all you need to know….

 

Texts With Daughter

Texts with D2 as I wait to pick her up from rowing practice:

Me: Here

D2: —–

Me: Kinda no place to park so…

D2: —–

Me: You should maybe rush a little.

D2: ——-

Me: Still here

D2: ——

Me: Nice Police man drove by and I waved.  I think if he comes back he’ll make me move.

D2: ——–

Me:  Your response and caring are overwhelming

D2:  ———

Me: Waiting patiently kind of

D2: ———-

Me: People are mad at me for blocking traffic

D2: ——–

Me: They’re probably calling me mean and nasty names now

D2:—–

Me: Like yucky face and poo-poo head

D2:  ——

Me:  The police man came back

D2:——-

Me:  He’s now yelling at me furiously.  I probably shouldn’t have stuck my tongue out at him.

D2:———-

Me:  I’m now making a scene and he’s giving me a ticket.

D2: ——-

Me:  You’ll have to call your father for a ride home as I’m now in the back of the police car going to RNC headquarters.

D2: ————

Me:  Get bail money ready.

D2:————

Me: I see you’re stunned into silence by my behavior

D2:————–

Me: They let me go since I know *people*

D2:———

Me: Now I’m parked safely facing the lake.  It’s lovely.  So glad you care.

*I watch as D2 exits the boat she’s been in the entire conversation*

Me:  Ignore all my previous texts

D2:——-

Me:  Here

DSC00138