Short stories from The Vicious Circle 

The Smell of Lonely

The Whistler Writers Group, also known as The Vicious Circle, will be presenting the Whistler Writers Festival Nov. 3-14, 2004. The festival is designed for writers and readers, with a smorgasbord of creative events, including: discussions with and readings by award-winning West Coast authors; a workshop to inspire new writers; and an intensive workshop for emerging writers on craft and the publishing industry. A schedule of events is available through Stella Harvey at or by calling her at 604-932-4518.

The Smell of Lonely is the second of four short stories written by members of the Vicious Circle that will run in Pique Newsmagazine from Oct. 15 to Nov. Nov. 5. These stories are part of a collection of stories by local writers that will be released at the festival. The journal, appropriately called The Vicious Circle, will be available for sale at the festival for $5. Enjoy the stories! And check out the various events open to the public at the Whistler Writers Festival.

The Smell of Lonely


My brother Ben and I are thinking about buying into a sharehouse with Solomon.

What I know about Solly is this:

1. He’s a classic anal retentive.

(Ben, my brother, used to sneak into his room in residence and move his pens and his colour-coded noticeboard pins around, just to provoke his irrational angst. Solly has an aversion to public washrooms. We’ve gone on road trips with Solly, and he has managed to not shit for several days until he can return to the comforts of his own lavatory. Which I have used, and honestly, it’s not worth holding out for.)

2. He’s a bachelor bachelor.

(Solly sleeps with his cat, doesn’t go on dates and seems oblivious to the cues that signal a positive female interaction.)

3. He’ll never buy a house of his own in this market.

(Be it the Olympic death-knell to affordable housing, the unrevivable stock market, or a frenzy of baby boomers beefing up their portfolios, the market is bullishly pawing at the ground and snorting in contempt at working thirty-somethings looking to gain entry. Ben and I would be stretched so thin we’d be transparent and our folks are good for the deposit. The house we’ve formed an attachment to (the first trap for young players is emotionally connecting with a chunk of real estate) is a swanky pad with ocean views and a wrap-around deck in a bourgeois neighbourhood that holds community dances. To a socialist like me, buying in feels like selling out, so sharehousing with a potsmoking anally-retentive bachelor and my gay brother is suitably subversive that I can sleep at night.)

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