Another excerpt from one of my short stories entitled 'Chaste Berry Tea' in my upcoming book 'An Egg Crowded with Humans and other stories'.
Chaste Berry Tea
The queue at Ping Fat Lee’s tiny herbal store in Ottawa’s Chinatown is massive, eh? Most of the folks look like they’re from away. But even nowadays, so many Canucks seem to be going for herbal remedies. It’s like queuing for a whale’s tail. Whenever you want the best-priced chaste berry tea this is the place. It’s my own Shoppers Drug Mart; always well-stocked. Ping Fat Lee is such a keener to his customers. He knows I always buy chaste berry tea. He’s always ready to sell me as much of it as possible. At times, he’ll try selling me Yohimbe or something similar, but I’ll decline his offer. Today, he’s taking his chance again to sell me a different fertility herb rather than chaste berry tea.
“Hey, my Newfie friend, I just received supplies of a powerful new fertility herb. Horny Goat Weed. You may like to try it.”
“Horny Goat Weed? That’s jokes!”
“It’s from China’s Yunnan Province. It’s good for both men and women, and a toonie cheaper than chaste berry tea.”
“Sorry, I’ll rather stick to what I know aboat.” For me, why change if it works.
I wasn’t so much into chaste berry tea. Viagra and Cialis, yes. But since my non-biological sister and estranged girlfriend Audrey gave birth to identical female triplets, I’ve become addicted to it. My adopted Haligonian Caucasian parents found my addiction extremely weird. I know it’s already giving me Molson muscle. Not to talk aboat my habit of going to get a 2-4 of Canadian at Beer Store, a poutine at Sean’s, to sit down on my chesterfield, and getting glued to the T.V. to watch hockey. At least, I’m no longer frequenting Timmies to grab a box of timbits and a large double-double.
As a carpenter at construction sites, I work hard to make ends meet; always trying to giv’n’r at work. Most of the time, I work the 7 to 3-day shift and work another four hours on private contracts. Such a schedule works fine with me so when I’m home, I can avoid Mom and Dad by staying in my igloo of a basement apartment. Both of them are fond of drinking the mickey. And once they’ve had one drink too many, they become hosers. They always repeat the same statements; it’s like a syndicate ganging against me. Ethan, you better stop washing chaste berry tea in the kitchen sink. Ethan, the pungent smell of chaste berry tea makes us uncomfortable. Ethan, chaste berry tea is not good for a man with triplets from an estranged bitch; a chaste berry tea addict just like yourself. She got you hooked and then left you high and dry. You should have avoided her long ago just as you’re avoiding us now. Once a good ‘ol Canuck lad, now you’ve become a bedlamer. Takitish my boy. Whaddyaat say for drinking chaste berry tea? They’ll keep blabbing until I’m forced to either say gosh darn it or simply hold my tongue.
They may be right to some extent. But things only got worst after Audrey absconded from Aunty Sally’s home and gave birth to the triplets. Some people say her brashness was due to the pregnancy. Maybe. But I know better, way through to the final months of her pregnancy; to the final days in her labour pains. What transpired on those days would shape the rest of our lives. Unbeknown to me, I was aboat to keep an open secret; a calamitous, strangling secret, one that would push us to keep drinking chaste berry tea. It was my guilt of having contributed to Audrey’s ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.