CONTESTS

Meditation

LISA MARTIN

Second prize winner of the 5th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

For summer vacation my family flew to Nova Scotia to stay in a cabin on Hubbards Beach, but it was foggy and moist and my son looked sad digging in wet sand under an umbrella, so we packed it in after two days and rented a car and drove to Dartmouth.

We stayed with a petite Filipina nanny who my in-laws had brought to Canada some twenty years before, hoping she would cook meals and raise my husband and his two brothers, and who, it turned out, also burned toast and described the men who sat beside her in church as “stalkers.” She’d then married an older doctor who told us story after story about fishing and making jam, and only on the last night of our stay remarked over mashed potatoes that he’d also studied transcendental meditation for more than twenty years and once got caught in a sandstorm while riding a camel in India.

One Sunday evening at a Halifax country club, our nanny managed to get in a brawl with a Newfie woman who called the doctor “honey” and “dear” one too many times. “You should know that’s not acceptable in my culture,” our nanny said, and called the Newf a bitch right in front of the smoked salmon.

She was still so upset with the doctor later that night back at home that she drove to downtown Halifax and went to the Casino, something she never did because she didn’t drink and was deathly afraid of dying, and put a fiver in the slot machine and won five hundred dollars.

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LISA MARTIN

Lisa Martin’s short stories have appeared in Geist, Crank and the anthology Sights Unseen: New Writing from British Columbia. In 2002 she was shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award.


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