Saturday, April 29, 2023


The ‘performance’ of my monologue at the library went extremely well. I did a shorter version, leaving some out to stay within the time limit set by the organizers. People had lots of questions when I was done, and no questions followed the other presentations. It was a fun event.

Yesterday was a day to remember. It was a glorious 21°—gorgeous and sunny but not so hot as to make working uncomfortable. It was a spectacular day. In the afternoon, after the library talk, I went over to Pete and Ali’s to get some plants from them. They were thinning their garden, and man-oh-man did they ever give me a lot of plants. I’ll be planting them all today and vastly improving the look of my garden. Woo hoo.

When I was four, my parents moved us to West Vancouver. That year, I met Marilyn and Doug Downey. Doug was my age; Marilyn was a year younger than us. They were a gift from God. Me, the untouchable child found family in Doug and Marilyn. I called their mother Auntie Jean, but rarely spoke with their father. It was Auntie Jean who told me what being adopted meant.

I’ve often wondered what Auntie Jean thought of me. I practically lived in their backyard, always waiting for Doug and Marilyn to come outside to play. I wonder if she realized what wasn’t happening and what was going on in our home. I was the feral child, always outdoors seeking company. I always was at their house; they never came to my house. None of my friends came to my home. I didn’t want them to see what we were and weren’t.

I grew up thinking that we’d be friends for life, but Doug and I were placed in different streams in junior high school. We had no classes together that year or any other of our six years at West Van High. That year, my mother had her first stroke and my beloved cat died. Worse, I started having to go to UBC two days a week for math; it felt like punishment to me. I hated being at UBC. One day, I walked out of my Social Studies class and went to the Vice Principal’s office. I begged to be able to stop the math classes and he let me stop. It was a hell of a year, but the worst part was losing the intimacy of my friendships with Doug and Marilyn.

As I searched and pined for a best friend, I discovered everyone was interested in sex and boyfriends or girlfriends, their studies or finding jobs, and then everyone was getting married and having kids. I despaired of ever having a friend like Doug and Marilyn again. It hurt to think that. Doug and Marilyn really were my family; I am not using a metaphor.

Perhaps you can imagine the overwhelming joy I felt yesterday when there, in my inbox, was an email from Marilyn. I wrote to her via a website I found many, many months ago, but I never heard back from her and I assumed I wouldn't. So yesterday I was in tears reading her warm and welcoming email. We've been furiously emailing back and forth and catching up. I couldn't be happier.

I’m surprised to find myself likely not performing my monologue. It isn’t a dead project for me yet, but I’m almost hoping that it is now that I know how rinky dink an event it will be. I love amateur theatre people, but I’m not keen to be one. Just as I did when I quit the clinic, I feel free with the prospect of performing waning. I have a ton of gardening and wood work to do and I’ll enjoy doing it slowly today and all of next week during the good weather.

A good friend and fellow dog-walker mentioned a Netflix series called Diplomat. I’m really enjoying it. It’s a rocket of talk, but the acting is great. It’s a clever script. The dialogue is amazing, but so is the game of power in they are playing. It’s good storytelling. 

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