Monday, September 27, 2010

A day in Moncton

Today has been provincial election day. The front page - at least three-quarters of it - was a big picture of a football game. The election barely made the bottom of the page. It's been much like that for a week. And I talk to Monctonians who think the whole world is watching them now.

No, it isn't. And be grateful it's not. To anyone in a real city, the front pages of this week's Moncton Times scream "yokel". Be grateful nobody outside the province ever sees it.

Had a problem today.Back on Friday, a kid stole my son's bike. I got his name. Today, I called the house. His mother was quiet, polite - and obviously didn't give a damn about her son. She advised me to call the police. (He already has a record.) So I asked to speak to the son.

There was a very similar tone - neither defiant nor apologetic - just dead to anything.

I remembered kids I had taught in grade seven, especially two. They talked like that. They had mothers like that. Both were shot to death while still in their teens. I suppose if the Moncton Times knew about it, they'd write another editorial blaming the teachers.

I really don't know what to do. I wish I could help the kid. It may already be too late. But I wish I could help him.

I get a sense of this city that a lot of people just  drift through life in that dead way. There's fear in New Brunswick. That's why the politics run so deep in the society and so shallow in thought. That's why so many people have that deadness in their voice - and they settle for a life of sitting to watch others play in a new rink or football field while they drink beer from plastic cups.

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