I went to bed at ten like a normal person last night and I woke up before Sheba so this morning was “deposit” free. She clearly knows that the objective is to do her ablutions outdoors.
The other thing about last night is that my body was not hurting. I had no pain anywhere in spite of all the stacking and yard work so I must be getting into better physical shape than I was when I arrived on Gabriola.
Today is going to be a drag. It’s supposed to rain all day and rainy days are boring for Sheba. But tomorrow is going to be sunny. I wish I were going to be here but I’m going to Vancouver for the day. I’ve a lost of objectives for the day: Fennel saucisson sec from Oyama Sausage, lots of Venezuelan chocolate (I can’t abide any other kind), Stella and Chewy’s nutritious Chick Chick Chicken for which Fred, Ethel and Sheba do cartwheels, two towels from The Bay and to see Dr. S.
I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I decided to get a puppy. I’d never had one before and it was so hardcore a beginning getting a puppy the day it was weaned from her mother and siblings. The first few nights I slept on the floor with her and followed her around with paper towels.
And I’d been “single;” footloose and fancy free. I had Leon, but Leon was independent from day one. He didn’t require constant attention and monitoring like Sheba (and for that matter, Fred and Ethel). Now, I am never alone. Sheba goes everywhere with me and I feel kind of used to it now.
In fact, I feel profoundly grateful for her constant company. I adore my pets. Each day, I feel closer to Fred and Ethel as I see behavioral signs of acceptance.
I’m meeting Jay for breakfast at Robert’s this morning. I’m really happy about our friendship and the idea of us having Sunday breakfasts together. This is our second. He’s the fellow who took my pool table and he’s a really decent, straightforward guy. It’s nice having a gay friend on the island.
And speaking of things gay… This warmed my heart:
“I know we don’t get happily ever after in real life. I’m a hopeless romantic, not a total fucking idiot. As my friend, Russell, said to me once, “Even with the happiest couples, one of you dies first.” But first there is such unalloyed joy.
“We went to the supermarket yesterday and we were wandering around and, at one point, he took my hand, because that’s the kind of thing he does. And instantly, I got flustered. Residual anxiety. Remembrance of past battery. Enduring scars. Even though I know I’m hardly likely to get my head kicked in by the salad bar, PDAs can still make me nervous.
“And then he said, gentle as anything, and I’m not going to do the accent… “If there’s a gay kid in here with his folks, frightened that he’s a freak, don’t you think that it might give him hope, seeing two guys wandering around, being themselves, getting their groceries, like everyone else?”
If happiness is a place… it’s the biscuit aisle in Sainsbury’s. And anywhere else I am with him.
~ Allan Cummings
From the short-form project comprising eight monologues from well-known actors in the U.K.’s “Gay Britannia” season on the BBC, launched to mark 50th anniversary of “The Sexual Offences Act,” the law that decriminalized homosexual acts in the U.K.
Darrell is interested in building my sunroom. He says he can do it in wood and I like that idea better than extruded aluminum. Budget Glass uses metals for their frames.
He came by yesterday with his wife, Eileen, so she could see Sheba, Fred and Ethel. He brought me some marijuana he grew saying it might help me relax. I was touched by his thoughtfulness. He’s been such a find for me!
I grew up scared of men. Dad beat me, Uncle Carney wouldn’t let me in his house, boys made fun of me for being a sissy and there were the confused men who would pick up homosexuals and then beat them immediately after the intimacy.
Dad and Uncle Carney were decent people but uneducated and I equated the violence against me to the uneducated male and as I got older that mistaken impression was solidified when I reached college and started mingling with educated civilized people — men, I mean; I’ve always loved women.
So there’s something wonderful and magical about befriending Darrell whom I know is vastly different from me.
The thing is, I respect him so much. He works hard, he strikes me as really fair and moral in his wage negotiation, he loves Sheba and his work is brilliant in design and execution.
Late Saturday afternoon there was a short power failure — my first. Bonus! When the power came back on, my stove was flashing a text message: “Set clock.” It was something I’d been trying to do for two months and couldn’t. I’d been unable to access the clock re-set function. Now it works. Sweet!
Saturday evening was pet play (and some refereeing) and more searching for my cheques. I found them and realized immediately that I had wasted my time. I need cheques with my new address on them. Still, in a pinch, these can work so the penultimate thing gets checked off my To Do list. (Now I’ve just the cistern to fix.)
I have not had one minute of boredom since moving here. And I’ve had neither a moment of regret about moving — or of feeling lonely. I carry all my Vancouver relationships in my heart and stay in touch via email and via my blog. I Skype or Facebook with Dwight and Steve regularly.
When I talk to the animals I never stutter ever; speech comes naturally and easily. But if I try to speak out loud just to try it, absolutely nothing comes out. My jaw just trembles up and down. But I can talk to people — rarely easily but I can communicate. Often I can only say one syllable at a time. It can take me a long time to speak that way, so I use Tonto speak a lot. Tonto speaks like this: “Me want co la?”
That’s how I ask where the soft drinks are, for example. I can’t say “I” so I always use “me;” cola is two syllables so it comes out as “co la.”
It’s the best I can do. If I use a note, people think I am deaf too and it’s worse so I just speak as best I can.
I apologize a lot and everyone says not too but I can’t stop.
With people I trust and like, I can get pretty good at speaking if we are just two or three people and settled. Here at home, with a friend, I can almost speak fluently.
Phone calls are tough. I try to avoid them.
Sum total: I feel my speech is absolutely no better at all since the onset of C-PTSD. I’ve just become more accepting of it and used to it. And I’d way way rather have this problem here than in Vancouver. I am maximally happy here.
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