I was nervous about moving here. I was nervous about cohabitating again, and exchanging my run-down walk-up for this bright new apartment with a washing machine I do not need loonies for. I was nervous about windows with screens and Dylan doing his taxes in the next room. I wondered if I would be able to work in middle-class luxury or if artistic output is contingent, after all, on being broke, lonely, and frozen at one's desk in the winter.
As it turns out, I'm able to work.
Subsidized artists' housing makes sense, but that does not change the profound feeling of luck that hits me coincidentally at the same time the sun hits the bedroom wall every morning.
I've decided to try making a living as an artist this year. I can afford it, or at least the sense of financial risk is less crippling. It's a strange feeling, to receive tangible societal support for pursuing this role. I spend so much time at odds with North American values and governmental policies, with oil subsidies, bylaws seemingly designed to strangle the local music scene, the bureaucratic nightmare of grant applications. Now, in one instance, the use of tax dollars aligns with my own values and aspirations in the most intimate way possible.
I was saying to Dylan last week that paying to consume art of any kind should count as a tax deduction. Far-fetched?
We've been here almost six weeks now. I think I've gotten more work done in the past month than in the preceding three months combined. Ditto for eating satay soup. And tacos. Food on the north side is better. Sometimes I meet Hannah in the lobby downstairs with ten minutes' notice and we go for a walk. The first week we were here, I went to the bakery across the street with a shoebox and bought a dozen eggs off their pallet. There's a winter festival going on right now; the street outside our building is blocked off for road hockey. There are supposed to be fireworks tonight.