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Letter From Canada

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 OPINIONS

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Dear America:
It’s me, your younger sister, Canada. We haven’t talked in a while, I know. Sorry, I’ve been reading the fine print of your latest bilateral trade offer. I’ll get back to you on soft-wood lumber. In the meantime, please quit stopping my gay porn at the Detroit border. Customs officials have other things to worry about. Like terrorists. Just kidding. Actually not.
     Now, I’ve been following your latest courtship with great interest, not that I can miss it. As always, everything is a prime-time drama with you. This time, though, I think you’re in trouble. As your little sister, I want to help.
     You might think of me as large, cold, and dull, but that’s what you get when you abandon a person to Catholics. And even though you never call me back, and think we don’t have much in common anymore, I know you better than you think. Remember, we share the same continent and the same mother, despite the fact that she doesn’t want much to do with you these days. (Why’d you make our stepdad take sides over Iraq? Was it worth it?) And we fuel you in a big way. Don’t fight it. It’s true.
     Listen to me, America. Dump him. I’m sick of hearing what a dick he is, how you didn’t know he was like this when you got involved, how you thought he had your best interests in mind, how you thought maybe he’d change, that maybe there was still a chance to turn things around.
     It’s over. Your toxic relationship with him is affecting your judgment. Ottawa says I gotta keep healthy boundaries, but I don’t care. I love you. You’re thinking, what does she know, boring old bitch? Hasn’t fucked over another country since overcoming her own native yearnings. And yes, okay, everybody cool, talented and funny leaves me. But your national bedpost is as notched as a beaver’s sharpening pole. Sorry to say it, but America, you’re becoming kind of a whore. And your hand-me-downs don’t suit me anymore. Halliburton can totally have them.
     Look, maybe the turn of the millennium was a bit too apocalyptic for you. You were having so much fun in your pre-9/11 world of knotted limbs and lips! I paid for premium cable just to watch Carrie Bradshaw stomp New York scrotums in her Jimmy Choos. My public broadcaster blushed when reporting on how your last boyfriend was caught buckling the dimpled knees of that panting intern. But he wasn’t a bad boy, merely a brat — someone you tussle with during peacetime.
     Then came the bite out of your Big Apple, and the gig was up.
     Other countries gossiped about you, but I didn’t listen. They called 9/11 "the nadir of your sexually corrupt, consumptive culture, suffering its humiliating, crashing, inevitable fin de siecle." I put my hands over the coast of Newfoundland and the western reaches of British Columbia and was all, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.
     When even our mutual friends whispered, “Vell, joost like the fall of Eden and den Berlin,” I told them to fuck right off. I said, give the girl a break. We’re talking about the perverse interpretation of authentic religous doctrine, cultural subterfuge, married with a borderless enemy, assholes! When those evildoers (your emphasis) called your national heartbreak the new “fall of Sodom and Gomorrah,” I totally stood up for you. America, there’s no proof I let those fuckers in through my back door. But I’m looking for the holes. Still looking.
     But lately, I’m scared for you, America. You’ve become isolated in that abusive relationship. Your guy’s acting like a date who drinks too much at a wedding, cops a feel off the bride, then crashes the rented limo into Mexico. Still, I can see how scared you are. And vulnerable. You’re afraid to leave him. You think it’ll make you seem weak, and you always want to appear so strong. Like you don’t need anyone.
    But fear is a dangerous narcotic, America. Makes a girl do dumb things. You’re thinking, “I’d rather stick with the dick I know than take a risk on the new guy. I don’t know how big he is. I don’t know if I can live with someone else. We’ve gotten so used to each other; we have these four years together. We’ve been through a lot.”
     The other day I heard you want to stay with him because he represents “stability, security and consistency.” But America, he’s the classic bad boy who’s learned to disguise himself as the good guy. He’ll tell you what you want to hear, get you to commit. But I swear he’ll leave you at the altar. Remember, when someone wants you so bad that they’ll lie, cheat, make war, manipulate military contracts and hide evidence of true cowardice while instituting a color-coded campaign of terror to keep you off-kilter, it’s a bad sign.
    America, take it from me: your wise, much younger, gay sister. (Yeah, I’m out of the closet up here. Mum knows. Doesn’t care.) You have to dump him. Now.
     Love you.
     Call me.
     No pressure.
     — Canada  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
©2004 Lisa Gabriele and Nerve.com