X.

      Okay, I wasn’t totally up-front in those last few entries, and I feel like I should come clean. The illusionist I was talking about, he was me. I didn’t mean to mislead you. Force of habit, I guess.

     I hope you can still trust me. Arthur and Rita really did come to the tent, but the rest of the story may have been a bit more… creative. I confess it may not have been exactly as I described it. Not a total fabrication – I just didn’t feel like taking the first-person at first-meeting. I promise to be more forthcoming from now on.

XI.

      What really did happen was the accident at the soil mine. Quarantines at the border, waiting-lists as long as your arm. Growing up in the woods, I didn’t have a lot of experience waiting in line. It’s a special sort of municipal Hell.

      My guide through the firey gates was a Border Administrator named Sid Civilian. Sid didn’t like their job much, chiefly because it was a crushing, demoralizing grab-bag of systemic prejudice wrapped in a bow of red-tape. A good person, I really believe so – when I heard them speak, I could feel that unique suffering of a good person working a day-job in hell.

XII.

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

      Anyway, it’s a good thing I was able to grab my stash before the blast. I painted my face, which helped to keep Sid flexible. I nudged them toward getting me a job in the city – which they seemed to find exciting – and landed myself a gig as spokesperson for Municipal Pharmacy. Seemed like a good fit.

XIII.

      Once I had a steady paycheck coming in, all Sid’s talk about revolution started to stretch a little thin. I don’t know who’s in charge over there, but they don’t seem to know where they’re going exactly. Or maybe they do know, but they can’t admit they’re staring into the abyss. Me, I’m thinking of just turning around and going back up the hill. I’m tired of looking over my shoulder; I’d be safer in the dirt.

XIV.

      Look, I can tell when I’ve overstayed my welcome. I’m no fan of state-sponsored media manipulation, and I’m not exactly cut out for a nine-to-five in the first place. And City nightlife is really too much for me; all these protests throwing my circadian rhythm all out of whack. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m homemsick.

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 pray 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.