Halifax, NS II

A decision: to try to make a living as an artist. Forgoing the 9 to 5 route was hard, not merely because of the personal financial risk, but because, well, kids. You know. Is it irresponsible to conspicuously attempt a career where you might not be able to provide the material comforts of life as fully as you might like? Stop. Flip that on its head. Is it irresponsible to be an unhappy parent? Which is worse for a child: an unhappy household or a frugal household? Ultimately, this is the decision. "I think of those airplane safety videos, the ones where they tell the parent to put their oxygen masks on first. If they don't do that, make sure they're okay, nobody will make it.

"I think this card cost me twenty dollars," and he holds up a piece of green plastic with a typically unflattering government mugshot. "It's provence by provence, so when you move to a new place you register... and that's kind of it." The piece of green plastic is a Canadian health care card. "If I was rich, I would probably buy supplementary insurance so I could go to America for specialty stuff—you guys have more advanced medical facilities. Not that ours our bad, we do lots of research on our own... but sometimes the waiting lists can be kind of long." At the microbrewery the sales tax is 15%. This does not phase him. Perhaps this is because he does not fear a sudden parental illness might bankrupt him and his family. He hears the story of The Mechanic in disbelief.