Allan Rae

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Welcome to my online portfolio, home to what I feel constitutes my best literary nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, & photography, with links to my published work, as well as the occasional editorial or research update.

Caught Off Guard: Notes From A Year Of Firsts

November 17 / 2007.

Until the phone rang an hour ago, I had forgotten.

“Good afternoon, I’m calling to confirm your reservations at Canoe for seven pm this evening”?

And immediately, I remember. Guilt hits, and like the first unbearable seconds of an ice cold shower, l recoil.

“Um, that’s right. I’m sorry. I was actually planning on giving you a call when the phone rang. I’m afraid we won’t be able to make it. Apologies for the late notice.”

“If you’d like we can re-book”? The surprise in her voice is obvious. Who cancels reservations at Canoe? When making one is done at least four months in advance.

“No, that’s fine for now thank you, but I’ll be in touch to rebook”, I lie.

“Very well sir. Have a great day”, is the polite response from the other end of the phone. Cancelling with less than six hours, and they offer to re-book. No doubt one of the many reasons they are considered one of Toronto’s finest restaurants.

Hanging up the phone, tears welling, I look at Singher. “It’s dada’s birthday”.

No sound from the dog at the end of the bed, though her eyes grow wide. Two months after his death, she has finally stopped sleeping at the front door. Though when I say the only name she has ever known for David, she runs down the hall like an excited puppy.

Half an hour later, Singher finally settles at the foot of the bed, disappointed again at an empty doorway. Where does she think he went, I wonder. This must be so incredibly tough on her. But what I reallyI dread is the day she will stop running to the door, because I know that will be worse.

Pulling my eight year old mutt in close, she tucks her head under my chin. The only sound, a soft whimper.

Mine or hers?

In the silence that follows, the flood of memories rise, crest, and as always, come crashing down.

Non Exacting Summations While Waiting For A Train