Thursday, June 23, 2016

Life Jackets in My Luggage

It’s 6:00 am and the sky is screaming, “Stay inside!” It’s dark and wet. We’ve had two weeks of unseasonal weather that is supposed to end on Saturday. Next week is predicted to be a hot bright week and I am going on an adventure.

My friend, Dwight, has to install a show that his employer, the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG), is lending to a gallery in Kamloops. He and the art work fly up there on Sunday and there ain’t a lot for a big city boy to do up there at nights, so I decided to visit him there.

My friend Tim, who lives in nearby Burnaby, is going to stay here and look after my cat and my fish while I am away. On Tuesday morning, I go to see Dr. Shoja and that means on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday I will feel great. I always feel great after I see her, so right after my appointment I am going to drive to Kamloops in my new red convertible.

Mr. Year-In-India-and-Six-Months-in-Africa is very excited to be going to Kamloops for two nights. Top down, radio blasting Vivaldi and cookies in the passenger seat, a long drive with stops along the way for fun in the radioactive sunshine of high summer—does it get any better?

I’ll have two nights of playing with Dwight and I’ll meet him for lunch on Wednesday and then he may drive down with me on Thursday — he may not, but I hope he does. I haven’t spent this much time with him since we went to LA when he installed a show there about fifteen years ago. The VAG has rented Dwight a cheap room in a cookie-cutter hotel, so I have booked one of their best suites to we can hang out there if we want to eat take-away and watch a movie or have drinks before dinner.

I got home from my last trip to Africa in December of 2012 and I told all my friends that I was done with travelling. That was three-and-a-half years ago; I’ve been sleeping here in my own bed every night ever since. When I think back to that decision, plus my decision to stop long-form writing (and performing) made when Trudeau, the Felons  & Me closed in June of 2015, it seems to me like I might have unconsciously brought on my crisis (April ’16) by “clearing the decks.” 

My decision to go to Kamloops took chutzpa. The prospect of having so much time to play with Dwight was a significant factor in enabling me to make the decision to go — as is the presence of “life jacket” medication in my luggage. 

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