Every day was the same and the crunch of the dirty needles beneath his boots echoed through the alleys as he pushed his shopping cart in search of bottles and cans. The stench of urine and garbage filled his nostrils but he didn’t care, chasing the dragons fire was all that was on his mind.
Were you ever afraid of the dark? Do you remember as a child, running quickly to turn on the light, then running to the next one, and turning that one on to ward off the monsters you knew were lurking about? What would you do if those monsters were in your head and they never left you, even when the light was turned on?
His monsters are real and they are telling him that he doesn’t matter and they are angry but he can’t explain why. There is a always a battle, and depending on the day, he’s never sure who will win.
He didn’t know until later on in his life the man that stared back at him in the mirror every morning was destined to be a her. She peered out from behind him hidden in the dark shadows waiting for him to take notice of her. She was patient and let him take his time realizing who he was born to be.
If you ask him, he will tell you, there were signs along the way but nothing that stood out drastically. He never fully realized that he wasn’t living his authentic self, but as the signs grew stronger, he started to pay attention to them.
He was out of control. He didn’t care though; he was on top of the world. He had love, money, homes, a career, and friends. He had everything he wanted or so he thought.
It didn’t start off that way, at first. He only tried it once and that was all that was needed to get him hooked. The high made him feel like he’s never felt before and he loved it. He liked it up there, he felt invincible and powerful. It made him forget the pain that has been staring back at him since childhood.
The more he took the more he needed and it controlled him…
They were high school sweethearts and they were madly in love with each other. They dreamed of a simple life and after a few years out of high school and some savings from his job at the local saw mill, they did just that. He married the love of his life.
He grew up in an abusive home so it was ‘normal’ for him to act out towards her the way that he did. She thought her love could change him and by giving him so much of her love, it would fill in all his broken pieces and make him whole again; but it didn’t and never could and she knows that now.
He had been stalking her for a while, watching every move she made. He was so quiet and not once did she hear him until he startled her by running towards her and stopping just a few meters behind her. He crouched down low and squared off, he wanted her, and he made his intent very clear.
She’s been a working girl for over 10 years now; her addictions led her to this path of no return. She feels lucky to be alive everyday as her work is demeaning and dangerous.
His nightmares didn’t start right away, neither did his screams. He was tough and didn’t think he would be one of them who suffered at night reliving the horrors of the days gone by. After seeing so much destruction, he would thrash around and his screams merged with everyone else who had to endure the terrors of the war...
Dallas Arcand Jr., a 20 - year old hoop dancer from Alexander First Nation, Alta. leaves next week to perform at the Cultural Olympiad Art Performance Festival as part of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Dallas teams up with Wendy Walker and Dawn von Arnim, who make up a cappella group Reconciliation. Their performance will proudly showcase Alberta and Indigenous people at the world event.