Coconut Dreams + Social Justice All-Stars Launch
It’s a tale of teenage yearning–the tough, understated and confusing relationship between Tariq and Blake, two boys who live in the same housing project in North End Halifax. Set over the course of one steamy summer day, “Coconut Dreams” follows the many twists and turns of longing and desire. The story is out now in the current (Jan/Feb) issue of This magazine.
Here’s a sneak peek, from a section close to the story’s beginning:
Earlier in the day, they’d been flanked out on Tariq’s bed, in the upstairs middle room in a shabby, North End townhouse. The room was small and poorly ventilated, and dampness clung to the air and cotton from the quilted bedspread adhered like scratchy paper to their legs. Tariq had found an abandoned Samsung phone in an alley behind the library and they were searching for a Wi-Fi signal from somewhere in the complex so they could watch videos from the World Cup on YouTube.
“Let me try,” Blake said. He wrestled Tariq onto the narrow mattress, forehead rigid with concentration, until his friend’s larger body was pinned beneath his weight and his bony knees were hugging Tariq’s powerful shoulders. He looked down at Tariq, the exposed throat and tangle of dark hair, the sneering pout of his mouth, and a noiseless pulse of energy swarmed his lower body. There hung on that moment a trigger of possibility, a message stitched in code across his mind, then he was away and near the window, avoiding Tariq altogether and studying the sweltering basketball court at the edge of the filthy yard, letting his heart settle. (excerpted from “Coconut Dreams”)
I’m beyond thrilled that the story has found a home in Canada’s top alternative monthly mag. Thanks to fiction and poetry editor Dani Couture for taking this one on and a huge shout-out to artist Derrick Chow whose fine illustration so expertly captures the spirit of the story. “Coconut Dreams” shares the pages with the magazine’s Social Justice All-Stars, profiles of 30 amazing Canadians who are active in the fight for feminism, LGBTQ rights, mental health services, and a range of other important issues.
The issue will launch January 28 at Supermarket. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Come out to hear from a few social justice all-stars and support one of Canada’s leading progressive voices. You’ll get the chance to hear from Sheila Sampath, Farrah Khan, and Nayani Thiyagarajah. If you aren’t able to come to the launch, you can find the issue at your nearest bookstore or order a copy online.
Cover photo and illustration: Derrick Chow