piss tree

April 30, 2010

winter 2001/2002

performance or action begun alone, not with the intent of repeating, not with the intent of bringing others into it. a slowly formed idea, arising from a long time desire to piss in public, as a way of claiming territory, as a way of acting free like a man, although as a woman. (i often see men pissing in public in my neighbourhood, living as i do next to a bar and a metro station.) did not begin pissing at the weeping willow. this was later to become a marked destination, both in terms of the tree, and in terms of the length of the walk. it was important it was winter, both for the solitude of the walk, and for the sensation of cold air on the ass, and the trace of pee left in the snow. i performed it probably about 21 times over the winter. i did not take it upon myself to keep track. the walk from home to tree was about five miles. i will mark this out on the map.

piss tree

it is a one hour walk to the tree. i walk at night, it is quiet and calm and cold. i walk with my dog swimmer. we walk through the vacant field and over the train tracks till we are along the bike path next to the lachine canal. the canal is frozen over, snow covers the path and we are alone. we walk past construction sites, factories and empty lots.
the tree is beautiful. it stands along the water. it is a weeping willow. i walk off the path towards the tree. i stand underneath the tree and i undo my belt buckle, i undo the top button of my pants, i unzip my fly. i drop my pants, i squat, and i pee. the air is cool on my ass, the pee leaves a hole in the snow, and because i drink a large bowl of tea before i leave home, i pee for a long while. i watch the cars go by on the other side of the canal. afterwards i stand, pull up my pants, and buckle my belt. i stay with the tree, then i turn and walk with swimmer, till one hour later, we are back home.

march 21
it is my forty-second birthday. montréal is having a spring snowstorm. i go to the metro place saint henri and meet kelly-lynne wood, zoe kreye and brigitte dazcier. it is 7pm. we are going on my one-hour walk to the tree with my dog swimmer. we walk out in the cold snowy night. swimmer loves it. the wind is blowing. i lead and they follow. we must make our own path through the snow. we are about halfway there and we stop for a juice box, and try to hide from the wind. we are coming up to the –in the process of being constructed- bridge that goes across the canal. a man stops us who tells us we cannot pass, i tell him we can, that i have done it before, and i keep on walking. the others follow me and we step around the fence blocking the pathway. we continue. finally we get to the tree. i am relieved to have arrived. i realise that it is a long walk. i squat and i pee, and so do the others. four squatting women marking this tree as theirs. i am so happy i kiss everyone. we hang out for a bit, then start the long trek back home. i feel a warm glow seep through me as i realise the gift these women have given to me. by the time we get back we are all cold and tired. it is 9:30pm. i invite everyone back to my house for some hot chocolate and i dry their wet clothes in my dryer. after we have thawed out they put their dry clothes back on and head for their homes. i take a hot bath and go to bed.

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