I could always leave Tokyo, go back to Alberta, buy a big Hereford ranch, become a landgrabbing cattle baron, discover barrels of light sweet crude, be a price gouging petroleum typhoon, maybe something really heavy in natural gas. Yessir. If I ever get tired of rigged sumo and the Prime Ministers visiting Yasukuni Shrine, I can return to my old stomping grounds: get myself a fine old Fear & Loathing style convertible; roar into Cowtown, wind whistling through my thinning gray stubble-cut; watch the Bow River flow under the Center Street Bridge, just to get the sense of watching water flow. I can buy a big brown Stetson, Western pants, purple cowboy boots; become paranoid, narrowly right wing. I will be a real Albertan, a genuine Calgarian; channel myself below the crazy glue sky spouting creationism; gnaw away on roast prime ribs of Alberta beef; I can blame Eastern Canadians for Albertas problems: Newfies, Mackerel Snappers, The Frogs, Peasoupers, Hottawa, Hogtown, Windypeggers, Saskabush. Yes, when I get burned out on official corruption, tire of in-house investigations, can no longer sing My Way in smoky karaoke bars, I will head back to Gods Country; sit in the Blackfoot Lounge with my decaying redneck buddies; drink rye and ginger ale; blaspheme Pakis, Chinamen, Wetbacks, Camel Jockies; curse feminists, liberals, the twenty first century scheme of things. Then I can drive back to my ranch, open a phone book, count the number of Jewish names; watch the weather report, wonder if the weathermans gay. When I finally tire of racing cockroaches to the refrigerator, I will return to the Big Sky Country; wear cowboy boots forever in the enormous packing houses and fossil fuel refineries; yes, shitkickers at weddings, funerals, animal testing protests; during lunch and dinner; while making love, taking a bath, transferring illicit funds to an off-shore tax haven; while having a lung removed, my favorite pet spayed or neutered; during authors readings at Pages On Kensington, throughout artificial insemination workshops. I can see it all now. No more whrring pachinko balls or drunks vomiting on late night trains. I will be free. Free to watch skin blister under the enormous prairie sun. Free to hear university profs prove the morality of unregulated markets and disprove global warming. Free to hear Christian crackpots deny Darwin while spouting biblical bunk and broadcasting reactionary bilge. Its gonna be great. Going back to Alberta. Where it really matters. Reality calling. The soul truly alive. Bingo, bowling, really klutzy haircuts, infomercials for The Brick. Back to fur coats and round the clock country music. Ian Tyson crooning Four Strong Winds. Toby Keith warbling for the Pentagon, howling against peaceniks. Calgary: Dallas North. Alberta: Texas On The Half-Shell. John Wayne culture covering endless prairie vistas, you-all values thicker than tank cars of spilled pancake syrup. Alberta. Like living on another planet. The North. Nice but not immediately appealing. Fort MacMurray. The Tarsands. Vegreville. The timeless energy of Central Alberta. Red Deer. Three Hills. The Prairie Bible Institute. Then the all inclusive South. Dewinton. Medicine Hat. Lethbridge. The Frank Slide. High places, calling to each other. Calling across boulders, sloughs, dried up grasslands. Calling from leaky feed lots, bummed-out reservations, The Silver Dollar Action Center. Alberta. Cellphoning across the Pacific. Smoke-signalling to Tokyo. Pulling me back to the vast unraveling. Land pulling away from the sky. Bottom falling out of the riverbank. People losing it for no obvious reason. Come. Come home. Come Back to Alberta. Tokyo, Sun. 10/16/05