“The Death of a Halifax Friendship” is the lonely line that prefaces Sarah Mangle’s pocket-size zine, Tourist of the Heart. The deceivingly simple epitaph encapsulates the general theme of the semi-stream-of-conscious narrative that becomes obscured by Mangle’s fragmentary portrait of a simultaneously changing and unchanging Maritime city.
It is unclear what caused the death, or how it happened. There is no single moment to blame, person to hate or event to regret. What the narrative offers is a fist full of other dying, stagnant or displaced things that imply a general feeling of eventual loss. These things unfold in a sped-up life where friends grow up, stay the same, change, move out of Halifax and move on with their lives; a process Mangle describes as a necessary and painful one.
“I need to get shit done,” is an anxious refrain in the zine that never really sees shit get done. Instead, things remain perpetually delayed, forgotten or eventually end, as friendships do, as time goes by. (Annie Wong)
Zine, Sarah Mangle, 25 Emerson Ave Toronto ON, M6H 3S7, firstname.lastname@example.org, $1.50