For all the Marynissen boys.
Technically, he has two arms. He has two hands, two wrists, two biceps.
Technically: Andy Marynissen has two arms.
With the right side of his body, he is very strong. Can do push-ups one-handed, many in a row. Can chuck a baseball fast, has one heckuva hook that’s knocked the shit out of a few different suckers, but only if they deserved it. Like the time in grade seven when Grayson Matthews tells Alicia Spione that nobody’ll marry her cause they don’t want to have any retard kids, and Alicia, who’s got a brother with cerebral palsy, starts crying, and next recess Andy charges at him, spears him to the ground easy with a tackle. Sure, the rest of Grayson’s friends soon pile on, leave Andy with more cuts and bruises than anyone, but he lands a couple good ones, alright. Sure gives Grayson quite a black eye.
Andy’s left arm is misshapen and twisted and small. Shrunken, shrivelled, a stub, its five tiny fingers cannot tie a shoe, or pull a trigger.
Despite the arm there are many things he can do. A three-legged farm dog may not run so fast—may not run at all, not at first—but it learns, it finds a way. It will still try to dig under the chicken coop, and at nighttime bark from the back porch at the coyotes squatting in the darkness on the edge of the orchard.
For instance: Andy can drive.
It’s Mr. Jankowski who teaches him how to. Mr. Jankowski’s this old Polish guy, lives just a bit further down Concession One. Came over to Canada in the ‘50s cause a cousin had already done the same, bought a farm though he didn’t know a thing about farming (hardly knew English, either). Been growing peaches, cherries, apples ever since, now into his seventies.
During the summer before he starts grade nine at Niagara High, Andy goes looking for a job. Sees ads in the classifieds, HELP WANTED posters in the shops on Queen Street. But each time he goes for an interview, boss takes one quick glance at his arm—“Not hiring, kid.”
His mother suggests Mr. Jankowski—“Give the ol’ goddamn Polack a try,” she says—so Andy does, heads down Concession One to the old man’s house.
“I uh-no interest,” Jankowski says to Andy, who’s on his front porch.
“Please,” Andy sticks his good arm out, tries to stop the old man from shutting the door. “I’m Andy. Andy Marynissen.”
Now, to most people in Niagara, hearing this name would not have done Andy any favours. See, the Marynissens were known ‘round town as a good-fer-nuthin buncha drunks. His aunt and uncle both spend most nights in the basement of the Legion, and Andy’s father was once the guy who drove the Zamboni at the Virgil arena but got fired after getting loaded and puking on the ice before a Bantam game. Few years back, Andy’s mom tells him his dad is going to plant trees up north for a while, with his buddy, and neither has heard from him since. The kids at school can sense this sort of thing, too. Might not understand why but they notice the fact that their parents always stop to talk to other parents in the grocery store or at the post office but they never stop to talk to Andy’s mom. They notice that his leather jacket is too big, doesn’t fit right—a hand-me-down from his older cousin—it always smells like cigarettes.
Mr. Jankowski, of course, is not part of this town gossip. Knows the Marynissens only as the people next door. Says simply, in return: “What you like?”
“I wanna work. For you. Whatever you need.”
“Work? What you wanna work?”
“On the farm. I’ll help you.”
Jankowski looks Andy over. Notices the arm, raises his eyebrow.
“You uh—no like my work,” the old man. “Is too hard.”
Think, for a moment, about all the times Andy must’ve gotten this same look. Teachers, classmates—fuck, even his parents. When his dad was still around he takes Andy, once, to go fishing at the Queenston Gorge. Climbs down to the very bottom of the gulley with a pair of rods and a six-pack and a bucket, cracks can after can till the bucket’s full of little common carp—“They’re all retarded from the boats in the dock, makes em easier to catch,” he claims—then lugs them home, sells them to a guy he grew up with who teaches science at NHS now, and uses them in his classroom (“Dunno the hell he does with em but it gets me fifty bucks,” he tells Andy). So the two of them spend a Sunday afternoon down there, filling up the bucket, and when they go to head back up to their truck, Andy grabs the handle.
“Gimme that,” his dad says, but Andy’s adamant: “I can lift it,” he counters.
“Come on, kid.”
“I got it, Dad. I can do it.”
Gives him the raised-eyebrow.
“Kid, it’s heavy.”
“Let me try.”
The two go walking back up the escarpment, Andy holding the bucket in his one good arm, and he’s straining—it’s heavy—but he’s got it, he can do it. And he would’ve done it, too, would’ve gotten the fish all the way up the hill, to the truck, but he happens to trip on this root that’s sticking out, sends him flying forward and the bucket drops, most of the water splashing on the back of his dad’s pants while the fish fly out, fall off the side of the path and slide down into the thick brush. It’s no fault of his, an accident, that’s all. Got nothing to do with what he’s carrying, nothing to do with a good arm or a bad one.
But of course his father doesn’t see it like that.
“Goddamn it, Andy—look what you did!”
His dad never takes him fishing at the Queenston Gorge again.
Andy’s been looked at this way many times, but sometimes it’s too frustrating. Sometimes he’s just about sick of it.
“Come on!” he snaps at the old man. “Don’t gimme that—I can work hard! I will! You think I can’t handle it? You think I can’t do it? I’ll show you! I’m fuckin st—I’m strong, sir. I am strong, and I’ll work hard, I promise. I promise, I promise. Let me show you. Let me do it.”
The old man stands in his door, thinking. He can use some help.
“Okay,” Jankowski says. “Let’s work.”
That afternoon, Andy helps Mr. Jankowski pick up brush from the field. (He works real hard.) The next day, he goes back. For the rest of the summer, Andy works for the old man nearly every day, Jankowski teaching him how to pick, thin, prune. Some things he’ll start to explain, then stops, glances at the arm.
“Is okay, is hard job. I do,” he says.
But Andy stands up straight.
“Show me, Mr. Jankowski. I can do it. Show me how.”
So the old man shows him, and though he shows him with two hands Andy watches him carefully, thinking about what needs to be done, and then, despite his left side, he does it, too. He finds a way. When the old man hands him pruning shears Andy figures out how to keep one of its handles held firm, tight under his left armpit, and gripping the other handle with his strong right hand he snips at the branches just as fast and frequent as Mr. Jankowski does.
Jankowski shows Andy how to drive a tractor, Andy leaning his shriveled limb on the steering wheel to keep it steady and straight whenever he has to switch gears. “And don’t forget,” he says. “When turn off, first, engine run, then turn off.”
Andy nods, promises: never.
Jankowski tells Andy where he hides the key to the old wooden shed behind the barn, the shed where he keeps hammers and saws and all his other tools, and pesticides and a lawnmower and a wheelbarrow and a ladder. “And don’t forget,” he says. “No go in unless when I say, and shut door, tight, so no rats.”
Andy nods, promises: never.
And Jankowski teaches Andy how to drive his car.
“Is like tractor,” he says. “But more fast.” It is just like the tractor: Andy leans what he can of his left side onto the steering wheel—sometimes uses his legs, too, to secure the wheel at the bottom – and with his right arm switches from first to second to third. Though he does not even have a driver’s license—the old man doesn’t know, or care, about such rules—Jankowski sends Andy down Highway 55 to the Fruit & Vegetable Co-op, to grab a big stack of baskets, or fertilizer, or spray.
“Make sure is buy Peraxynyl,” he says. The old man swears by the stuff, says it’s the best pesticide there is, and though you gotta dilute the shit out of it (it’s sixteen times more corrosive than battery acid, and if you don’t water it down it’ll burn through the branches and the leaves) if you know how to use it right you’ll keep every bug off, won’t have a single spot on an apple or a peach.
Andy always takes the back roads, of course, so he won’t run into any cops, but sometimes he takes the long way home, and at the far end of Concession One he idles the car and stares straight on down the road, like a speedster at the starting line, Concession One stretching straight ahead and somewhere down there is the old man’s house and somewhere past that is his house but Andy cannot tell where—all he can see is the bare black pavement pointing towards infinity. He pushes down gently on the pedal so the motor purrs, then he takes off, and as soon as he can he gets the car from first to second to third, and sometimes, when he’s feeling especially daring, he gets it into fourth, and boy, he’s really flying then, and his small stump does not matter, has no significance or consequence as he’s leaning back, his good hand on top of the wheel the way they drive in the movies.
But one time, as he’s really flying down Concession One, a cat runs out from the ditch, runs right out and leaps in front of the car, timed so exact it is as though it is trying to kill itself. Andy slams on the brakes and the tires squeal as the car fishtails to a halt but he is not fast enough: he hits the cat, the front end bashing into and then rolling overtop of the body with a deep dull thud. Andy rips himself out of the car, looks back. In the middle of the road the cat writhes and wriggles. The left side of its head is flat against the asphalt, as though pinned in place, while the rest of its body spins round and round, some sick maypole dance, corkscrewing and twisting as it hisses, desperately, pained.
It stops. The cat: dead.
Andy spots a collar round its neck, and to his left, sees a house. He does not know if the cat has gotten out of that house but he picks it up into his right arm, the body still warm and totally limp, a puppet with its strings cut, the head in particular hanging loose, swiveling.
As he nears, a woman runs out, hands to her mouth, screaming.
She runs to Andy, sobbing, shouting, so hysterical it startles him and he drops the body. The cat hits the ground and the woman screams louder.
“What the hell did you do!” she cries. “What the hell did you do!”
The woman now at Andy’s feet, rubbing her hands along the cat’s still frame.
“I’m—I’m sorry,” Andy stammers. “It ran right out. I couldn’t stop. I tried to. It was an accident, ma’am. I tried to, I’m sorry, I—”
“Don’t you know how to drive,” she shrieks. Looking up, she notices Andy’s shrunken shrivelled stub.
“You fucking freak!” she begins to scream. “You freak! You shouldn’t even be allowed in a car! Look what you did, you freak!”
Cradles the cat in her arms like a baby, heads back towards the house.
“I’m sorry,” Andy cries out, again, but she does not turn.
The NHS offense squats at the twenty yard line. Down by five with a single play left in the teams’ first meeting of the season, the Niagara High Trojans eye victory against the Dennis Morris.
Andy, the only ninth-grader on the squad, looks straight into the eyes of the DM lineman across from him.
“Good luck, you fucking cripple.”
“Good luck,” Andy grunts back, stare held. “Fucking Catholic.”
On the sidelines, Coach McCarthy has his arms folded, motionless, while his right foot taps the ground. “I wanna beat these fucking guys,” he mutters, under his breath, to Gary Englund, his assistant coach. “I really wanna beat these guys.”
“You sure ‘bout the Marynissen kid?”
“No,” says McCarthy. “But I’m not not sure.” Ed McCarthy has coached football at Niagara High for eighteen seasons, but he’s never come across a player like Andy. Most kids came out to football ‘cause they want to be part of a team, or at least, they want all the hallway perks that come with being part of a team. But in the locker room, at practice, on the bench, Andy doesn’t even seem to realize there are other players there: never says a word, just stands silent, brooding, pacing, like he’s eager to uncage something trapped inside for far too long. His back is always flagpole straight but his head dips low, like a boxer’s, his eyes darting, careful, watching, as though he’s always in the middle of a ring. He has an underbite, too, just slightly but it’s there, and when he looks at him, McCarthy can’t help but be struck by the many ways in which he resembles a bulldog. McCarthy’s noticed, too, it’s the same way Andy walks about the school: solitary and somehow slightly scary. He’s not surprised the other kids keep their distance.
Doesn’t help that he’s a Marynissen.
At the line of scrimmage, the center snaps the ball between his legs and into the hands of Jack Andrews, Niagara High’s starting quarterback.
The DM lineman charges Andy, who meets him, and though his opponent is much larger, Andy does not budge: they collide, Andy leaning his right shoulder into the oncoming body, their bodies hitting hard but the guy from DM bounces back. Keeps his eyes locked on Andy, as he has since they first greeted head-to-head at the scrimmage line.
To the left, Andy spots movement. Another DM linebacker has circled around the commotion of the play, and is charging, so fucking fast, towards Jack, the quarterback.
So Andy begins charging, too, directly towards this barrelling opponent. However strong he knows himself to be, he knows, too, that the basic laws of physics have long ago determined that he is neither rapid nor robust enough to stop a collision from occurring—yet he knows, most of all, that while this impending and inevitable collision cannot be altogether prevented, the participants affected can be. Andy lunges towards the linebacker, lunges and leaps, and the linebacker collides with him, bashes into Andy’s body with a deep dull thud.
The DM linebacker lands on top of Andy, pins the left side of his head flat against the grass. Underneath, Andy squirms, corkscrewing and twisting. He is smothered, but he can hear commotion: clapping, whooping, cheering.
“You fucker,” the DM linebacker spits at him. Andy shoves him off, rises. He is, of course, sore, but he does not notice: Jack has grabbed him round the waist, lifts him up, spins him round.
“We did it! We did it, you crazy sonuvabitch! We fucking did it!”
The whole team forms a giant mob around the two, Jack having just completed a pass straight into the arms of a Niagara High receiver planted firmly in the end zone, Andy having just intercepted a bullet aimed straight for Jack.
“What a block!” Jack beams at Andy. “What a block, you crazy fucking wildman!”
For the first time in many seasons Niagara High seems to have a team that can hold its own, even—especially—against Dennis Morris (those goddamned Catholics). Many reasons for this, but one that’s undeniable is the pairing of Andy Marynissen and Jack Andrews. Jack is a good quarterback: he’s talented, naturally so, has that intangible yet so-very-real knack for the game, the kind you cannot want or will yourself into, cannot fight for, cannot earn but by birthright. He’s so good, in fact, that the coaches and the players and the parents—on the Trojan’s side, and against—think he could do something with it, really go and do something. With Andy on his offensive line Jack can throw more completed passes than any other QB in the board, rarely fumbles and, though it seems impossible, after several games has never been sacked, not with Andy on guard, a watching and willing martyr. Andy blocks and bashes, takes bullets blindly, offers himself sacrificially for the sake of the squad but specifically for the sake of Jack, buys him moments, forces openings, falls so that Jack may stand, for the universe is fueled on balance and equal scales, to push you must pull, to give you must take, and Andy gives himself over so that Jack may then take for the team. Jack is good. Andy makes him better.
But here’s the thing.
Though it is never acknowledged, Andy has a limitation, tangible and so-very-real. While Andy makes Jack better, Jack does not need Andy. Jack needs a left tackle and Andy fills the spot but if Andy was not around, someone else, eventually, could take his place. Without Jack, Andy has little to offer. Andy can help score but Andy cannot score himself, and this is a significant distinction: Andy is the drummer of a band and yet however steady he keeps the beat, Jack is the frontman—Jack writes the songs, Andy brings the tune to life but without him you can still sing the chorus, whistle and hum it, pick it up and put it in your back-pocket. Andy may keep the beat steady but without Jack there wouldn’t even be anything for him to bash along to.
Andy needs Jack.
Jack does not need Andy.
One night after practice Andy is pulled aside by Jack.
Jack’s leaning by the trophy case across the hall from the locker room. Tyler Kazynski, team kicker, stands at his side.
“Hey, man!” Jack calls, looks around to make sure no one is listening. “Great practice.”
“What’s going on?”
Both Jack and Ty look at each other, as though something’s not going to plan. Ty nudges Jack with his foot.
“So, listen,” Jack begins. “Me and Ty were wondering—you wanna hang this weekend?”
“Yeah, man. Get to know each other.”
“Team bonding!” adds Ty.
“Exactly,” says Jack, grinning. “We’ll come by Saturday afternoon.”
“You … wanna come to my house?”
“For sure, man!”
“All … right?” Andy offers.
“Great, man,” Jack says, looks at Ty, smiles.
“Yeah, great,” echoes Ty.
Andy nods and walks away.
That Saturday Jack and Ty ride their bikes to Andy’s.
“How’s it going, man?” Jack asks, soon as they get into his bedroom.
“All right,” he answers. “You?”
“We’re good, man. Nice place.”
Andy looks around his room. It’s mostly undecorated.
An awkward pause – no one speaks. Ty, once again, nudges Jack.
“Hey, Andy, so—whatcha wanna do?”
“We got an idea!” Ty blurts in, and Jack shushes him.
“We were thinking,” Jack begins, diplomatically. “You ever smoked pot?”
Andy shakes his head. Ty looks at Jack, betrays a look of surprise.
“Us neither. But we got some. Didn’t wanna do it in town, though.”
“Yeah, yeah. Too fucking scared,” Ty adds.
Andy knows what they mean: both Jack and Ty live in Old Town, and, like so many of the other kids in Old Town, always worry someone’s going to see them in some sort of shenanigan, tell their parents the trouble they’ve been up to. Andy and the farm kids have no such fear: out on the Lines and Concessions, it’s much easier to keep out of sight from neighbours.
“Thought maybe we could come do it out here,” Jack says, smiles at Andy. “If you want to.”
“Team bonding!” says Ty.
Andy thinks, shrugs.
“Sure,” he answers. “Let’s do it.”
Jack and Ty grin. Ty pulls off a backpack, starts to pull out an orange polka-dotted pipe.
“In here?” Andy asks.
“Yeah…?” Ty looking puzzled towards Jack, Andy.
“We can’t do it in here.”
“My mom might know.”
“Would she even care?”
“Why wouldn’t she…?”
“I dunno, man, I mean—”
“Nevermind,” Jack interrupts. “Where can we go then?”
Andy pauses, considers.
“What about the farm?”
“The farm!” Jack cries, claps his hands together. “Great call!”
The three boys head out, Andy shouting an unanswered goodbye to his mom in the basement.
“Fucking cold out,” Jack says, zips his jacket to the very top, shoves both hands in his pockets. Ty is wearing only his Niagara High hoodie, starts shaking, shivering. “What a wind.”
The boys head down Concession One, towards Jankowski’s. Andy leads them over a ditch and through rows of fruit trees on the edge of the old man’s farm, parallel to the house.
“Keep low,” he says. Hasn’t seen Jankowski in awhile, doesn’t want to have to explain what he’s doing there. He squats and peers towards the house. Lights off, no car parked: the old man isn’t home.
“Come on,” Andy says, stands straight and tall. “We’re good.”
The three boys march into the field, out of view of the road.
“Here all right?”
Jack and Ty look at each other, shrug.
“Get the stuff, then.”
“Wait,” says Ty. “Maybe we should go a little further.”
“Yeah, make sure no one can see,” Jack agrees.
So the three boys walk even further into the orchard.
Ty reaches into his backpack, hands shaking. “Fucking cold,” he says, though Andy’s starting to suspect the temperature is not the only reason Ty is fumbling.
He pulls out the baggie of pot and the pipe.
“You go first,” he says to Jack.
“It was your idea!”
“Yeah, well, I got the stuff. You try it.”
“I’ll go first. Give me it.”
Ty looks at Jack, looks at Andy.
Raises his eyebrow.
“Give me it. I’ll do it,” Andy repeats.
“I’ll pack it for you.”
“I got it. Give me it.”
Andy grabs the pipe from Ty, places it on the ground, squats. With his right hand, pulls out a pinch of pot, packs the bowl. Once full, he lifts the pipe, places it in his shrivelled and shrunken left hand. Andy grips it, as best as he can; it is awkward yet it is held there, however tentatively. In order to actually hit it, Andy has to lower his head, bend like a hunchback towards the bowl.
Flicks the lighter, several times. Only sparks. Shakes it and tries again but there is no flame.
“Hurry!” says Ty, hopping from foot to foot to keep warm.
Andy again shakes the lighter, and this time, a flame does rise, but by the time he has lowered both it and his head towards the pipe, the flame has gone out.
“Fuck, come on,” says Jack. “Let me do it.”
Jack reaches for the lighter but Andy pulls his hand away.
“I got it. I can do it.”
Andy shifts his body, turns sideways to block the wind. Tries the lighter once more, and again: flame rises but is soon extinguished.
“It’s too windy.”
“Let me do it for you.”
“It’s too windy.”
“I’ll light it for you, let me—”
“It’s not gonna light. I know how to light it, and it’s not gonna. It’s too windy.”
“Fine,” Jack says, disappointed. “Forget it.”
“What about that shed?” Ty says.
“The one we saw, by the house.”
“No,” says Andy, thinking about Mr. Jankowski, the promise he’d made to stay out unless told, what he’d think if he knew. “We can’t.”
“No, I’m not scared. We can’t go in there.”
“Man, just admit it,” says Jack.
“I’m not scared.”
“No, not that.”
“Admit you can’t do it. Gimme it.”
He reaches for the pipe but again Andy pulls away.
“Fine,” Andy says. “Let’s go. Fuck.”
Andy leads Jack and Ty through the field, cuts diagonally across the orchard, and heads for the shed. From underneath the flowerpot outside the door, Andy retrieves the hidden key, swings the door wide open.
“Come in, quick,” he says, and Jack and Ty follow. Andy shuts and locks the door behind them. It’s dark inside, hard to see, but Andy can tell it’s more cluttered than last time. The old man has thrown junk in there for the winter, but also a bunch of stuff he won’t need until next season, stuff that he just bought at the Co-op on Highway 55: a stack of three-litre fruit baskets, some new pruning shears, and a big tractor tire that he’s going to replace in the spring. The tire was on sale, and he got a heckuva deal, too.
Got a good deal on three buckets of Peraxynyl, too.
Swears by the stuff. Best pesticide there is.
Use it right, you’ll keep every bug off.
“Good call,” says Jack, looking around. “Let’s do this!”
Again, Andy lifts the pipe with his right hand, shifts it over to his left, uses his fingers to grip it as best he can.
“You got this?”
“I got it.”
“It’s hard, man.”
“I got it,” Andy repeats, his annoyance hardly hidden. Again, he flicks the lighter, and unlike before, out in the field, the flame stands tall and straight. Slowly lowers the flame to the bowl, and as he does he lowers his head towards it, too. His left arm is very small, and he really has to bend over severely to get his mouth all the way to the end of the pipe, a move he must do carefully, slowly, or he’ll tip the pipe and it’ll all spill out. So Andy moves gently, with control, but as he does, suddenly, the flame goes out.
Maybe it is from the time it takes him—maybe, in concentrating so completely on his left hand, he forgets about his right, and in so forgetting lets go of the lighter’s spark wheel, releases the button and squashes the flame.
Or maybe, through some gap in the structure—a tiny opening beneath the doorway and the ground, or between one of the beams in the walls—some of the wind (it’s fucking cold out) blows through and puts it out.
“Goddamn it, man!” says Jack, his impatience overwhelming. “Give me that!”
Jack lunges for the lighter, snatches at Andy’s hand, but Andy is fast. As always, his eyes dart everywhere, frantically and feverishly yet focused, careful, calculated, calm. Andy can see Jack’s movement, can react—has reacted—before he is even aware of what he is doing. Turns his body sideways, blocking the lighter, as the right side of his body collides with the left side of Jack’s. Andy even leans into the hit; Andy has been hit before, can take it. Jack, though, has not. He stumbles, falling backwards.
Jack’s hands reach out under him, trying to break his fall. The first thing they contact, though, is not the ground, but the plastic lids of two of the containers of Peraxynyl.
Best pesticide there is.
With his momentum and the full weight of his body baring down, Jack’s hands plunge easily through the flimsy tops, splashing straight down, elbow deep, one hand each in a bucket of the caustic chemical.
His skin begins to sizzle and sting.
Jack yanks his hands out but it is already too late: such a brief contact, and yet, already, the palms of his hand is raw and red as layers of skin peel away, charred black at the edges and bubbling, blistering. The burns spreading up his arms and to the ends of his fingers. He looks at them and for a moment seems almost puzzled, saying nothing.
But then he starts to scream.
“Oh, fuck!” Ty screams now, too. “Oh, fuck, man—are you okay?”
Jack rises to his feet, hands held out in front. Staggers to the door of the shed, screaming, no intelligible words but only anguished noises, screaming and screaming as Ty runs behind, screaming, “Fuck, man, fuck,” and “You okay?” and “What the fuck?” He turns back to Andy.
“Look what you did, you fucking freak!”
Andy says nothing, stands wide-eyed, breathing heavy and fast as he watches Jack stagger away, Ty right behind.
“I—I’m sorry,” he cries out, at last. “I’m sorry,” he repeats, louder, but neither of them turn.
Five weeks later.
The Niagara High Trojans face the Dennis Morris Raiders, at home, in the regional finals.
Jack, as usual, is quarterback. His hands had been in bandages for three weeks, but, just as the doctors predicted, they make a full recovery. There is no lasting damage.
Andy is not at left tackle.
Andy sits on the bleachers.
On the Monday morning after the accident, Coach McCarthy calls Andy into his office to suspend him from the football team. Though Andy tries to protest, both Ty and Jack claim it was his fault, he was the one who pushed, he burned Jack’s hands, and nothing Andy says can change the decision.
Doesn’t help that he’s a Marynissen.
During the championship game Jack is sacked two times. However, it does not matter: he throws a Hail Mary in the game’s dying seconds, and Niagara High wins their first zone title in many seasons.
RYAN A. GAIO loves listening to oldies on AM radio while wearing a jean jacket and will one day be the winner of Survivor: Canada. A recent graduate of the MA in Creative Writing program at the University of New Brunswick, he can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @ryanagaio.