No Fixed Address: An Amorous Journey
Weaving through the small towns of Alberta and beyond, No Fixed Address is a picaresque unafraid to hit below the belt. Arachne Manteia, a travelling underwear saleswoman in a 1959 black Mercedes, maps the general stores and delicates drawers of the prairies while her Apocryphal lover Thomas maps the rest of the country and tends to their home. In between tête-a-tempestuous-têtes with her confidant Thena, Arachne picks up road jockeys and delves into what lies beneath: the confining undergarments she herself refuses to wear, the uneasily buried bones scattering the province, and the unspoken assumptions meant to keep rogues like her in place. Unabashedly transgressive, Arachne pushes every boundary she meets, eschewing a journey to the sun for earthlier affirmations of hubris.
“Viking, Jarrow, Irma, Fabyan, Wainwright. Viking mutters to itself under its breath. Jarrow hides its face behind its sleeve. Irma Co-op takes five dozen cotton briefs; it must be the heat. In Fabyan Arachne sees a Dutch immigrant family weeding potatoes, dust rising from their hoes, feet in wooden shoes. She stays in Wainwright, and the bar grumbles below her room until three in the morning, the floor so thin she can hear the thud of glasses on terrycloth-covered tables, the snap of the pool cues, the span of the shuffleboard, the chink of the waiter’s change slots. She is ready to go downstairs and join the noise, but getting dressed would be too much trouble, so she contents herself with drumming her heels on the floorboards.”
“The train stations have all been torn down, the hardware stores sag. Arachne swings into another Co-op or Redbird or Market with her clipboard, her order pad, her sample box. Bullies and cajoles, threatens and teases, entertains or coerces them into ordering, their cautious future making them hedge. The only good thing about panties is that they are not perishable.”