where the forest used to be

wtfutb exists parallel to the paper my sister, Abigail, and I wrote about the changing landscape of the island we grew up on in Turtle Island, so called Canada. The paper is titled Laval: The Garden of Montreal and is available here.

listen to: a walk with mags

Laval is like the main bathroom of my home. It used to be pink, half tiled walls that might have been light blue with a sink that was built into the old cabinet. Now it's beige, the tile is basic, but my dad pieced it together himself, and we have this big sink that stands out of the cabinet and the ceiling paint was moldy and flaking off for the longest time. One of my sisters also carved a multiplication equation lightly into the side of the cabinet. The math is wrong. I try not to think about that much, nor the mold and flaking ceiling. The light shines in here beautifully, I can hear the birds outside, the fan from downstairs, water running, and if the window is open, the tree in our backyard, surpassing our roof, and our neighbours roof.

I'm safe there.

That's what this city is like. Limbo. No risk taking here.

Sure there are painters, and there are more and more cultural activities, dances, plays, hockey games, concerts... To take part in.

They are creating these opportunities for us to satisfy a way of life, try to prove itself as a destination, a place to be, to stay in, rather than a lay over, and a stop between moving to a nice place in Montreal, or further north, off island.

The Forest used to end here, start here. Now it's pushed back, I guess I'm seeing the forest by the autoroute now. There are no trees. lots of black cars, parked, glistening. Blue street signs. Beige and tan houses in a row, with grey roofs. Identical.

It feels weird, empty. Uncanny and absurd, sitting in the middle of what used to be nowhere. I guess it's somewhere now

A mirage, suburban Utopia.

Like the blank canvas town on sims. Newtown? Newcastle? Something like that. Made for you to fill. A neighbourhood of copy-pasted homes. Abodes.

Their backyards are the complete opposite. Gravel. Stone. No pools here. Not yet at least.

Foundations exposed.

People live here for the investment. French families here. Anglos behind Terry Fox. segregated. kind of, not really

It feels like the city of a movie that hasn't been filmed yet. 7 cent 65

Tufts of grass surrounded by gravel.


Kids biking. Two boys on a scooter.

This is no man's land.

They don't know what this used to be.

And neither so I , I guess. I just remember the marshy forest, broken tree trunks and dirty shoes.

Now this is where matt and I came at night.

VERIDIS. A big :

Voyer construction

Voyer, voyeur

"Créateur de milieux de vie" Depuis plus de 40 ans - in bold

I'm walking here again, behind the behind. In my white toms. Among the dried grass and old yarrow

A small fence separates VERIDIS from the school yard, and what's left of the field.

There's a pond here. Sewage water?

I'm following a path that looks well traveled. Flat and greener that the yarrow around me

I've never seen this before

There are a lot of burroughs here. This is where they live now

There's some quality to the life here

Something neon orange behind the trees

Looks like one of the farms, or the fox man is back again

And I can see the cars go by on the autoroute from the electrical field in the corner of my eye

I'd need closed shoes to go on.