X.

      I wasn’t totally up-front in my last few entries. I feel like I should come clean. The illusionist I mentioned, that was me. I didn’t mean to mislead you. Force of habit, I guess.

     But I hope you find it in your heart to trust me. Arthur and Rita really did come to the tent, I swear that part is true. But the rest… I might have taken some liberties. Not a complete fabrication – but I didn’t want to take the first-person at first-meeting. I promise I’ll more forthcoming from here on.

XI.

      The fire at the soil mine – that part was true, too. Quarantines at the border, waiting-lists as long as your arm. I grew up in the woods, so I don’t have a lot of experience waiting in line. It’s a special sort of city suffering.

      Eventually I was processed by a Border Administrator named Sid Civilian. Sid didn’t like their job much, chiefly because it was a demoralizing grab-bag of systemic prejudice wrapped in a bow of red-tape. Sid’s a good person, I really believe so – when they spoke, I would hear the unmistakable breathing of a good person working a day-job in Hell.

       Sid really struck a nerve in me. Or I did in them, it’s hard to say. It was all very fluid, nerve-wise. Squishy.

XII.

      Anyway, it’s lucky I was able to grab my stash before the blast. I painted my face for Sid, which helped keep them malleable. They landed me a job in the City – Public Spokesperson for the Municipal Pharmacy. Seemed like a good fit, given my accomplished career in substance abuse.

XIII.

      Once I had that steady paycheck coming in, all Sid’s talk about revolution started to wear a little thin. I don’t know who’s in charge over there, but they don’t seem to realize what border it is they’re patrolling. Or maybe they do know but they won’t let on, hoping they can keep some of their good citizens from jumping into the abyss.

      Honestly, I’m thinking of turning around and going back myself. I’m tired of looking over my shoulder down here; I’d be safer in the dirt.

XIV.

      And look, I can tell when I’ve overstayed my welcome. Working in state propaganda hasn’t been the joyride I hoped for, and I’m not exactly cut out for a nine-to-five in the first place. Plus this City nightlife is really too much for me; protests and late-night riots throwing my circadian rhythm all out of whack. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m homesick.

XV.

       I miss my tent, I miss my bed. I miss the stars poking pinholes in my head. And I’ll admit it; I do miss Arthur and Rita. They were good companions for a poor psychic soul. When I left the mountain, they were sound asleep. I hope they at least found shelter.

About this.

Ada Vale is a pop music and performance project created by Toronto composer Math Rosen and movement theatre company Polynomials. It explores story-telling, identity, and extinction anxiety.

Over the past decade, Rosen’s instrumental performances have appeared at Mutek (Montreal), Igloofest (Montreal), and Low Indigo (Vancouver), among other venues. He has created music for film and web content throughout the Toronto arts community, and is currently resident sound artist with dance & movement company Polynomials.