October 08, 2021

“The faces of men who are being tried beyond human endurance…”

An excerpt from “Trouble and Strife,” by Johanne Levesque 



I go for a leisurely walk to deliver my letter.  I see furniture on the side of the road covered with an orange plastic tarp.  I wonder if it is moving day for these people or eviction day.  I make sure not to walk under a ladder.  There is enough bad luck going around these days.

I stop for a moment and lean on a telegraph pole to remove my rounded toe shoe with wide thick heels.  I rub my aching foot as a fine looking police officer rides past me on his beautiful horse.  Eugene says he cannot justify spending the seven cent street car fare just to post a letter.

As I resume my walk I can see the lavish Toronto skyline, the domed building of the Royal York Hotel, the tall skyscraper that is the Bank of Commerce Building, and the tower clock of City Hall.  Their grandeur is such a contrast with the flood of hopelessness I witness as a horde of down and out men in hats and long overcoats of sombre colours such as maroon, black, brown, and navy stand at the Yonge Street Mission food line that stretches around the street corner.  I observe the men’s hats; they distinguish between those who used to have and those who had not.  Hats won’t matter anymore.  What protection from the bitter cold will a fedora afford this winter?

I read the menu on the board for today: Rice pudding, soup, tea, and bread.  This is an unfortunate time.  I see the appalling conditions of starvation and physical anguish prevailing in the faces of the men who are being tried beyond human endurance.


If you liked this excerpt from Trouble and Strife, you can buy the book at any of the following links:

Austin Macauley Publishers™ (my publisher)
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble
Indigo
Walmart


September 10, 2021

“I am distracted with thoughts of a visitor who is coming for Sunday dinner…”

An excerpt from “Trouble and Strife,” by Johanne Levesque



 
During communion, I walk to the front, and I am distracted with thoughts of a visitor who is coming for Sunday dinner.

The priest says, “The body of Christ,” his hand suspended at eye level, immobile.

I can see he is waiting for me.

“Have you received before?” he asks.

“Yes.”

“Your response is ‘Amen,’” he adds.

I blush and say, “Amen.”

Many Sundays, Warren Burrell, Eugene’s business partner, visits for dinner.  He is always impeccably dressed with charming manners, and he is a thoroughly delightful gentleman.  In all my thirty-five years, I have never found any man even remotely as attractive.  I catch myself looking at Warren’s fiery red hair and admiring his looks several times when he visits.  I have a secret crush on him.  I often wonder why this thirty-year-old bachelor has not yet found a wife.  He would be such a great catch.  Owning properties with Eugene is only a past-time for him.  He made his fortune on the wholesale of tea.  He has clients all over the world, in Ceylon, India and the Dutch East Indies.

In the evening, we sit down to eat turkey with roasted potatoes, Eugene’s favourite meal.  We hold hands while I say, “Bless us Lord for these gifts we are about to receive.  We thank you for the food on our table.  In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”  I have trouble concentrating on the prayer as I feel Warren’s hand in mine.


If you liked this excerpt from Trouble and Strife, you can buy the book at any of the following links:

Austin Macauley Publishers™ (my publisher)
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble
Indigo
Walmart