Introduction

There’s no place like home.

We’ve all heard that one. Even if you don’t know Dorothy from Toto, it’s a sentiment we can all likely settle on. Home can be a house with your others and children, or the street you grew up on, hundred of kilometers from where you currently are. Our sense of home evolves with us, on scales large and small, in tones both major and minor.

My childhood wasn’t all roses. I was raised by two different sets of parents, who both had different styles of rearing children. For my father, that meant corporal punishment and, at his most extreme, sending me to a boarding school that later closed due to sexual assault allegations.

A couple years ago, I tried to write all this out in detail. I tried to make the anthology you see in your browser (or if you’re one of the awesome ones, in your hands) a retelling of those events that both destroyed and shaped me. This book was supposed to indict and point fingers, rock the boat and make life unpleasant for certain people while being my cathartic vehicle.

Well, after a year and some of writing and re-writing, editing and starting over again, it didn’t quite turn out that way. It completely failed to capture the trauma of my childhood or inch towards victimhood. Surprisingly, its attention was turned to a different microcosm of my upbringing- the city I was raised.

I don’t want to gloat, but I like to believe it’s the best in the world.

It also sucks and is the worst, most stupid place on Earth, and I can’t wait to leave.

This duality tethered itself to my work. Suddenly gone was the woe-is-me attitude that made me despise the original concept. (It is fucking hard to write about yourself and not make it sound like the world should revolve you.) Instead, I was coming from a place of love at the same time I was shitting on it. That may sound like an incremental improvement, but it gave this book the yang to its yin, and I ran with it.

We’re often called the city that fun forgot.

Well, they also say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t they? It may take some inebriation from time to time to balance out the boredom, but there is fun to be had here, some of the best I’ve ever had. I’ve met people unlike any others and seen sights I’d not find in the most exotic locales. I’ve grown up here and outgrown here, more than once or twice.

There is fun to find here.

All you have to know is where to look for it.

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