S P O T    ~    C H E C K ?



Once upon a time, as I have on previous occasions, I had a hankering for some Caribbean Fare; specifically, from Jamaica, my native land. Having acquired the wherewithal, instead of walking there only to return with a large store of food I decided to drive. My route there took me westward along Queen Street, where my Parking Fairy issued me a spot in close proximity to the food-provider. I parked.


After acquiring provisions to store in my refrigerator’s freezer until such time as I’m inclined again, I chose a route eastward along a one-way street. Unbeknownst to me this route took me through what was deemed the ‘Entertainment District’, where I was summarily pulled over at random by a female officer and a ranking male officer took charge noting something requiring his interference.


I rolled down my window as he approached, offered me a cordial greeting before making his inquiries of how I was and where I had been. I told him I was in good health and heading to my dwelling after purchasing take-out meals, and showing him the bags on the passenger seat. He regarded them, made a judicious decision and bid me a good-evening. I put my auto in drive and proceeded to leave the line of autos, but not before noticing the expression that appeared a disappointment on the female officer’s face which I considered a mystery.


After all, I was simply one of many she directed out of the traffic flow to the side of the road, although the experience of questioning was mediated by her superior. What could have been is anyone’s guess, but my mindset was being fuelled by a feeling of inconvenience via a misadventure along a Spot Check Route of which I was unfamiliar. Did experience intervene on a possible unfortunate discourse? It was what it was, an untimely and minor interference for Safety sake.





11. Victor&Don James c.'74




I emerged in-between two wars and during a decade changeover. Not only that, I was inhabiting a British Colony between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. I became a cocoa drinker betwixt the world’s coffee-realms. Little did I know what was afoot on this third rock spinning along with its satellite, orbiting a nuclear gas giant with other captured masses caught unaware in a then unknown corner of a galaxy of a vast Universe. 


I had no choice in this emergence, as far as I know, but did come to learn from written and words spoken I might have had a choice. Surmising the situation, I was a hapless and wandering spirit sequestered onto this dominion discovering a madness unfolding able to survive in this plane of existence.


The families into which I was aligned, were not one with advantages of station and/or wealth, but one resulting from generations of cultural cross-pollination and a pioneering spirit. A strain of inadequacies accompanied this genealogical fruit flavouring the path I was to tread unravelling complexities along my way.     





1a. Gated Guest c.'53

BEFORE  –helpful-  LABELS


You have your troubles, I have mine which are noted below from what I’ve learned growing through the education system.


It appears not only had I overcome stuttering during adolescence, but also was an undiagnosed ADHD/Dyslexic/LD-Communication Exceptionalities individual. I discovered I was experiencing these qualities during my studies. Unknowingly, I struggled with these qualities and was able to manage them as I grew through the education system. The LD aspect allowed me to develop tools to manage others, and managing them to my advantage until Life afforded me the privilege to use these deficits in a productive manner. Accidentally, although I felt guided, into the vocation of teaching whereby the ADHD flourished within the adolescent realm of learning. 


There was learning and discoveries on both sides, which I felt went undetected. Since everyone whom I was charged to teach evolved into whom they desired to become, if not more. I was undetected-undiagnosed and not labelled, albeit labelled in another way by cultural/social standards at the Time which inculcated similar negativity until recently. 


My dyslexia took much effort to manage in establishing credentials, albeit not as much as I could have if I had today’s resources and supports. The ADHD didn’t require much as it was beneficial in managing the myriad of classroom mindsets. It allowed me to engage each person in their individual confines, allowing them ways to expressions not normally fostered. Of course, the ones requiring more structure received it according to curriculum standards even though they may not have liked watching how I allowed others to behave: to each her/his own.


Early in retirement, my ADHD required more effort in keeping with the issues garnered along the way in Life, especially by not having the diversity I once had in my vocation. My stutter had been allocated to quiet reflection and thinking-before-speaking about which many have their own thoughts. Dyslexia continues as always, managed with care in my Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.


I function within the parameters of anxiety restraining its fear ’n anger offspring on waking most days. This realization took me decades to align upon reflections after a ‘chance’ meeting of my mentor at OISE. He appeared to understand much about me from our conversations, guiding me as best he could. What he said was added to previous professors cautions concerning difficulties I was to face apart from the apparent ethnicity issues I tended to overlook, until it was too late.


Being a late-bloomer with issues, and many disruptions in early childhood into adolescence, I have much going on and the knowing is only explanation of what went before that affected my growth into the present. Reduction in challenges incoming and current conditions is non-existent. Like many still above ground, I carry on as I learn and manage conditions as much as possible moving forward.


As the saying goes, “May the Force be with us.”  





Body-Surfing Dolphin-assisted

P R E A M B L E …



Reflecting during a long walk yesterday, it’s as I’ve always known, ‘no matter where I go there I always was’. I carry what bothers me and eventually returning it to reside wherever, whether my place of departure or place of visit. Visiting with family and/or friends are simply temporary changes in place appearance of situation albeit not the actuality of condition. I simply managed to exchange one illusion for another, a temporary delusion with recreation in mind.


This knowledge makes it difficult to make headway while living alone, in spite of it feeling beneficial as others claim. Still, I feel I am on the verge of discovering a solution to improve this plight I had inadvertently created. Only Time and Circumstances will allow me forward. 





15. Visiting Cousin

C H A N G E    -of-   V E N U E 



Prior to leaving high school, I discovered there was a world of mind outside the Judaeo-Christian confines of The King James version of The ‘Holy’ Bible. So much so, I became a voracious reader of philosophical and psychological texts with sociological writing to augment me appetite. These readings were to affect my mindset as I began to actuate a 3:00am to 4:00am poetic writing cycle. This resulted in some of my works becoming a class project for my peers studying in the Printing Department when one happened upon my poems atop our mutual English teacher’s desk. 


I was to discover much later these poems were being used in the poetry section of of a high school in another board in the city’s school system.


The time came when I was to venture onto higher learning, a desire I had instilled by my grade nine Math teacher, Mr. Graham. One fine day, as was his way to tell us stories, he advised us all to do our best to acquire a university education in order to establish a well paying future for ourselves, whereby we may have a life with a family and a home, and whatever accoutrements available.


This was the sixties and, unbeknownst to me, I was a black immigrant from a working class, single-parent family, a mother who had left me to my own devices to charter my way through an education system unaware of how to support one such as I. From my Public school year, from repeated visits to my grade eight homeroom teacher, I learned I was not expected to succeed in making it to grade thirteen, much less grade twelve. Round about my grade eleventh year visiting her, I gleaned from her reactions my visits were wearing on her and she was also surprised with each year of success. I ceased visiting, accepting the umbilical cord severance.


There were many incidents of merit where I gained notoriety, coming into my own so to speak, and acquiring honours although struggling to maintain a grade for easy acceptance into university. My visit with my Guidance Counsellor was unfruitful, in the manner I discovered much later when I was also a Guidance Counsellor! He asked what interested me without embarking on informing me of my scholastic record which was on his desk. I told him I discovered an interest in Psychology and Sociology, and he decided that was where he would register me in university. Positioned to fail with an assured OSAP loan to become a debt.


This was what was deemed a subtle systemic bias, deliberate – subtle – ignorance, who will say? Nonetheless, off I went on a Conditioned-Acceptance, Probationary with the understanding that, ‘failure’ meant a year’s absence before re-applying for acceptance to re-enter. I discovered within the first two-weeks of classes I was registered in the wrong programs and was not privy to the process of how I could change my courses. I thought once registered I had to see it through, pass or fail. I accepted I would fail; but, I would not go down in flames. I would make failing have a silver lining, come what may. I dropped out and stayed in, accepting the cost to learn what I never could anywhere else.





2. I spy

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