Thursday, 15 February 2018

Sad Family

            I needed to take a shower on Wednesday at around noon but I wasn’t sure if I had enough shampoo and conditioner. All of those bottles of Aveeno that I got from the food bank last year had finally run out. So I got dressed and walked across to the Dollarama. Their security guard was a skinny old guy with a longish grey beard who looked like he’d be less out of place up the street, panhandling in front of the liquor store. I bought a two-in-one shampoo and a separate conditioner. When I showered though it turned out that I still had enough of the old stuff.
            While I was dressed and outside for the Dollarama it would have been practical for me to go to the liquor store as well, but it slipped my mind. So I got dressed and went out again in the late afternoon. It was a warmish day and so a lot of the dirty street side snow banks left over from our recent snowstorms had melted into filthy puddles.
            Since that evening's English class had been canceled, I spent the three hours that I would have spent in class formatting a pdf of the poetry of Pat Parker into a word document. I had to keep resetting the format as I changed the position of her lines to fit the original. I had converted the text with a program that turns images into text but since the image for each page was for an open book showing two pages, I had to reformat it at every page.
            Pat Parker's poetry is mostly concerned with issues of both racism and homophobia at the same time. In most cases she just tells it like it is and is not particularly innovative in her style or use of language. One poem stands out in which she juxtaposes the tender feelings she has towards her white, blonde, blue-eyed lover with her anger about violent racism she's experienced from white people.
            I watched the third episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. This one starred Brian Keith, who soon after that became a TV star on the show, “Family Affair”. He played a forest ranger that'd adopted a girl with a horrible past that she did not remember. Her birth father had murdered her mother in front of her and he had chosen to keep it a secret so as not to cause her trauma. Her father was psychotic and there was fear of her inheriting the condition. A priest arrives at the ranger's home and wants to speak with the ranger. It turns out that he just used the collar to gain trust but he was really a blackmailer threatening to tell Keith’s adopted daughter about her past. To protect himself from harm, the blackmailer has an accomplice who will divulge the information if anything happens to him. Keith arranges to give him the payoff but when he arrives he says he can’t get the money till he next morning. After Keith leaves the accomplice arrives and demands his share but the blackmailer doesn’t have it. The accomplice accidentally kills the blackmailer and then tries to extort a lower sum from Keith. They meet but the ranger pulls a gun on the crook. Just then the daughter arrives, who had followed her father there. The crook reveals that he is the girl’s second cousin and tells her all about her past. Her father sends her for the police but after she leaves they struggle and Keith thinks he’s killed the man. Back at his place the police arrive to tell him that the man he thought he’d killed is alive and has made a full confession. Keith’s wife is upstairs with his daughter and he runs up to tell her. It’s a strange ending because it doesn’t how clearly what happened. Judging by the mood it seems to have been something tragic, like maybe the daughter killed her mother or the mother killed her daughter or the daughter killed herself, but I couldn’t make it out. The 13-year-old girl was played by Claudia Cravey who didn’t seem to do much else under that name. She later changed her name to Claudia Corday and did one film as a ballerina.

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