life rattle show no. 1347
Presented on thursday, juLY 24, 2015
hosted by laurie kallis
Life Rattle No. 1347 features three stories by new writer Janine Carter.
Janine Carter was born in 1995 in Manila, the Philippines. She immigrated to Canada with her mother and brother when she was four, settling at her uncle’s house in Oakville, Ontario. Janine and her mother shared a bunk bed in the basement. Her brother’s “room” was a storage closet that could only fit a twin-size bed and night table.
When Janine’s mother could finally afford it, she moved the three of them into a basement apartment, where mould was the main decoration and little mushrooms grew from the floor corners. It was their first home they could call their own. Janine still had to share a room with her mother. Years later, they moved to an apartment building. For the first time, Janine had her very own bedroom. However, after years of having to share a bed with her mother, Janine was unable to sleep alone.
The family eventually moved into a small townhouse in Burlington, Ontario, where Janine finally became comfortable sleeping without her mother, and where she perfected her English and made friends, particularly her best friend, Kyle Longer.
The three stories we feature tonight explore different aspects of Janine’s friendship with Kyle and the close relationship she shares with her mother. Throughout these stories, Janine writes with a perfect pitch. She moves us back and forth in time to let us see how everything and everyone is connected and love in many forms. And we, the listeners, follow along on the edge of our seats, mesmerized by the sharpness of Janine Carter’s prose and her incredible use of dialogue.
"Really Important" introduces Kyle, when he first dons his suit of shining armour in a hilariously gallant approach to staving off the attention of an unworthy suitor in the middle of the school cafeteria, and then we fast-forward many years, to find her friend, grown to a young man, caring for the young woman he fell in love with long ago, when she suffers at the hands of her brother.
"Strangers" reveals that our narrator and her friend’s deepening relationship has moved beyond the platonic. Faced with pregnancy, our seventeen-year-old narrator decides to have an abortion. The pain of that decision, and the shame that holds her back from reaching out to her mother, come together in an unforgetabble scene between mother and daughter.
"How to Throw" brings us full circle. We are left with a deeper understanding and a sense of awe at the incredible relationship between our narrator and her best friend.