The Losses

The man I work for, who I consider a friend and who I greatly admire; got unjustly fired yesterday in the latest development of Modern Absurdity in the City.

I took my daughter to meet Paul yesterday anticipating that I might not have another chance to make this happen which was not lost on her.

“It’s sad.” She said. “Isn’t it? When you are used to seeing someone you like and then you don’t see them anymore.”

She said, “I’m afraid to miss my mother. What if I miss her and go back and nothing changes… then what?”

“You just protect yourself as best you can and live with the fact that you tried to do your best and that is good enough.”

Dennis Mantin

The Check In

She asks me if I will check in on her after she goes to sleep.

I assure her I will.

There is comfort in this trust.

She asked me earlier on our evening walk, “Who would you be most afraid to meet alone… Pennywise or the Grim Reaper?”

I answered, “Pennywise, because with Pennywise you would almost assuredly experience pain.”

“Exactly.” She replied. “If it was the grim reaper, it would just be your time is up.”

Dennis Mantin


I always feared Heroin and was welcoming of all the others. I couldn’t wait to try them all.

I see now how lacking and rudderless my life was when this is what I was looking forward to when the rest were planning their futures.

Future… What fucking future? I had a past that had to be dealt with before moving onto a Future!

I quit it all and tried it all… all except opium. I missed that one along with the heroin before packing it in and facing that past.

17 years sober this September.

Dennis Mantin

The End of Childhood

Those memories that stand out from the others… From the bland dreary day after night boredom of tedious country childhood life tends to be of the horrific and fearful variety…

This one is no different!

He says, “If you tell anyone what happened here… I will have to kill your mother. “

Later that morning after a horror filled hour of school… wondering if my mother was being butchered I ran out from the school towards home.

She saw me from kitchen window as I ran down the road… I’m guessing, and ran towards me; begging to know what was wrong.

I lied about something.

I do remember putting 3 butcher knives between the waist of my pants and my ass cheeks… and hiding there presence with my shirt. I was 7 almost 8.

The rest is a blur. There was a little blood and fear in eyes that weren’t mine and I would never be the same again.

This is for me where childhood ended.

Dennis Mantin

People Pleasing

A recent development in my life is my ability to say ‘NO!’ without explanation. The younger version of myself would not dare offend when asked for a favor.

Humans push boundaries and need push back or they will never know their place.

Being perceived as kind, generous and loving is a definite detriment in most company.

Dennis Mantin

Father’s Day

Society is bracing itself once again for the onslaught of business created by the  least celebrated occasion of the year… Fathers Day!

I am sitting in the shade and scattered light of a the garden outside my home that my neighbor ‘Ivan’ has annointed ‘The Garden of Evil’

I can appreciate this holiday if for no other reason it is at the very least a reminder that I had a father and that it wasn’t like I was told as a kid…

“You weren’t born… you were jerked on a stump and hatched in the sun.”

Dennis Mantin

Saturday Morning Cafe

Jason is screaming about a dead child in front of Tim Hortons coffee shop and a well dressed crack addict is seated silently at the bus shelter outside Larry’s Cafe…

I choose the latter… by well dressed I mean enough layers of clothing and parka to survive the arctic winter.

The horrors of life are all on display here beneath a bright morning June sun, accompanied with cool northerly winds.

Dennis Mantin


The sun broke through our mist today. Breaking through the vast array. Shining.

I look at things so different now. Experience, love and time somehow. Shining.

Feeling good and I’ve gotten old… Mythologies that I’ve been told… Shining.

My life not yours, no sad goodbyes… You take the bad luck with the wise… Shining.

Dennis Mantin


I have 3 people I go to for advice:

1 is my friend Jill; another is my friend David and the 3rd is my therapist Wilf…

I am careful not to give advice and this danger was only averted later in life as I suffered greatly as a young man offering precious opinions on shite I knew nothing about.

I don’t feel alone in this particular defect of character as I believe this is a seemingly inherent right of youth that either you grow out of or you grow alone.

Dennis Mantin


I sleep well, usually in bed by 10… I dream and often have interactions in that world with people I don’t know or recognize.

I shower, dress, drink vinegar and lemon juice, pray; then drink a berry’s and spinach vitamin collagen mix.

Invariably she is the first person who crosses my mind. I long for the day if it ever comes when my biggest pain in my life will cease to be a part of my daily routine.

Today I saw a red cardinal for the first time in my life…

Dennis Mantin