It feels like old times: It’s gloomy and Darrell is coming to work. He’s building the trellis and adding a planter box to its base before he starts on the courtyard. I lit the fire to compensate for the dark clouds worsened by the absence of my flock of avian buddies. Their loss hurts like a break-up. At least one or two come by once in a while for the suet.
Dr. Majic called. I saw his name on the call display, so I answered saying: “Hi Dr. Majic. I’ll eat less sugar.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Aren’t you calling to tell me my blood sugar levels are too high?”
“Just a sec. I’ll check your numbers.”
“You mean it wasn’t because of that, you called?”
“You’re right, your numbers are high.”
“I thought they would be. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself since I started stuttering and having seizures so I’ve been eating a lot of sweets. I’m a baker.”
He told me to cut back and I will, and then he said: “Actually, I was calling because they did a routine STD screen on your last blood test and you tested positive for Syphilis.”
“Oh my God,” I said, “An immaculate infection.” He reallylaughed.
I told him I’d been celibate longer than a celebrity marriage.
I also had to tell him I was sexually assaulted in France in 1974 and in the medical treatment that ensued, it turned out I’d gotten the disease from the creep who assaulted me. I had to got treatment.
I had to account for my absence from work and classes at the university where I worked with my best friend, Marie-Claude. That’s where, why and how I came out as gay: I told M-C and she explained to those who needed to know that I was ill.
Friday morning, I woke in a warm fresh-smelling house. It felt like I was living and sleeping in the woods. I’d no heat on, no fire, all the screened windows ajar and the double doors of my dining room wide open so that the screened porch feels like part of the house. It reached 23° in the afternoon. The scent of the forest was calming and inspiring. And to experience all this in total quiet was such a privilege.
The morning had begun with a furrowed brow. No cats. They are alwayswaiting to be fed but not yesterday. I panicked until I found them in a corner of the porch, out of sight, where they’d trapped a mouse.
I worked on the back yard all morning. I feel really good about all the yard work I’ve done — particularly pruning dead branches off the natural growth. After two days of conscientious work the place is looking pretty good.
The fountain was a brilliant idea. I can hear the water as I work — even in the front yard. It was inexpensive; it looks great (to me) and adds a lot of ambience to the yard.
One bucket list thing I will never do is walk through England with a dog. Instead, I am in heaven walking on Gabriola with Sheba. She is a fabulous dog. She runs to me and sits when cars come by and she’s even learned to fetch and bring the ball and drop it for me — sometimes. Her hair is a bitch to keep clean of detritus; that’s our only challenge.
When twigs get caught in her hair, she hates it. She comes to me and cowers and she lets me lift her legs up to remove whatever is bothering her. In the next few weeks, the groomer and I will decide whether or not to shear her. I like her the way she is but one cut each Spring might be a good plan.
Regardless of what she looks like, she is such a magnificent soul mate.