It’s 2012, the final year of human civilization, according to prophecies galore. A good time to end it, too, given that a a tweet by @Injustice Facts claims that “A survey of Justin Bieber fans found that 4/5 have fully memorized the names of all his songs, but failed to name the capital of Iraq.”
The tradition here at Deonandia is that the first post of the year is supposed to be a list of things I am thankful for. Let’s get that out of the way:
3. I am thankful to live in a democratic, socially conscious and prosperous nation, especially in these times of global economic and ecological uncertainy.
2. I am thankful to be employed in an institution that tolerates my inconoclastic attitudes and behaviour, in a job that I adore.
1. I am thankful that I am part of a large, loving and healthy family.
Okay, that’s done with. I also want to start a new recurring trope today: Important Anecdotes. Here’s how this works. Let’s assume that in the few decades (years? months? days???) that I have left to live, I manage to do something so important that historians actually take note of me. They will need some cute and engaging anecdotes to fully tell the tale of the phenomenon that was Dr Wat. So every now and then I will take the time to transcribe one such anecdote in this space. Let us begin.
Important Anecdote – Raywat’s Version
The year was 1999 and my very first book, Sweet Like Saltwater, had just gone to press. It was the culmination of my years of struggle, as my tortured youth had finally produced something of both emotional and literary merit. I did not know at the time that the book would be award-winning. But I knew that it was special, at least to me; perhaps the most heartfelt artistic work I had, or would ever produce.
I rushed down to the University of Toronto campus to see my friend Nicolas, who was living in Massey College (until his recent death, the home of Robertson Davies). We met in the courtyard and started celebrating loudly, whooping it up and dancing on the walkway. “Ray’s an author!” Nick was shouting, or something like that. In my excitement, I bumped into an older gentleman who was trying to enter the college. He was in an unpleasant mood, and mumbled something under his breath as he pushed past me into the building.
That man? Mordecai Richler.
Suddenly, being a first-time author didn’t seem so impressive anymore.