Saturday, December 30, 2023

David Lingers

Friday began with a truly lovely walk with our friends. It was so wonderful because it was so warm. It was 12° in the afternoon! We took a long route to make the walk last a long time, and then I came home to do a thorough cleaning of the house, all David’s laundry from his visit and to put all the Xmas decorations away. It felt good to get the house ‘in order,’ the way things usually are. It kept me busy until it was time to Zoom with Dianne at 2:00. 

I kept busy all day, doing things. It felt good, heading into a new year, to have the place looking as it usually does—and clean. I saw my place and this island through wonderful eyes. David knows little but downtown London, UK. He is like I was as a child, marveling at the little things of the forest floor. He sees, like me, but he has never experienced a log home and a spacious (and cozy) living space like mine.

I am in the right place for me. This Winter, so far, is the best Christmas gift possible. It’s been abnormally dry, we’ve had no storms so far, and it’s been warm. It’s wonderful for me, this warm Winter drought, but not for many. There’s no snow mass in the mountains, and that’s scary for our salmon. And the drought affects the quality of the soil for farmers in the Spring. I worry about our aqueduct and my well.

My eye is better every day. I have not had any pain for a week, and my vision in that eye has vastly improved, just as the surgeon said it would. 

The legacy of David’s visit is a regret that I couldn’t succeed with Steve. I like being alone—especially here, with pets. Dwight feels like a brother to me; David feels like a son, that’s why he’s the prime beneficiary of my will. He gave me a taste of what life can be in an exuberant relationship. We loved doing things together. It was so much fun.

Nothing has taught me more than these relationships I have with Steve, David and Dwight.

In my late twenties, I went to live in France for a year, in Nice. I registered for three 3-month programs in the University of Nice French language school: Beginners, Experienced and Advanced. When it came time for me to take the Experience course, it wasn’t offered, so I sat in empty classrooms trying to learn on my own until, one day, Marie-Claude came into my life.

She was a teacher in the school, and she invited me into her advanced class. The ensuing three months were some of the best moments of my life, and then I moved into her apartment with her, her husband and two children. I could mind the kids for them when they went out, and it’s those kids who taught me French better than anyone because I wasn’t afraid to speak with them, and they’d correct me.

Marie-Claude, and her family, gave me my first experience ever, of feeling wanted. I’d had a taste of it amongst my theatre friends, but it’s a very transient population. That’s where I met Bruce, Beth and Dwight. And early on in that profession, I met Steve. We were together for 14 years. We’ve been friends since; that’s another 30 years next year. 

These people are my entire adult emotional experiences of significance. There are things about David that I can’t tell you, but those things account for the intensity of my feelings for David. I’m a concerned uncle. He ignites my protection fire. Life has felt a little bland since he left.

I feel better about my diet, now that the holiday is over, and I think I’m going to have pretty good vision in a few more weeks. It’s going to be back to reading and my slow safe life, going into 2024. It’s going to be interesting to see how Winter treats us. Will this warmth and dryness go on? It sure is lovely for forest walking! No gloves, not need for scarves or rain gear. I wear my Spring coats.

There’s little flooding on the trails, there’s no scary ice or frost on the long smooth stretches of damp sandstone that emerge on the trail from time to time. There are neither cold ears, nor red runny noses. These variances make Winter change all the time. Everyone from here that I tell about my Clematis having shoots tells me about similar signs of Spring in their gardens.

I have lots of books to get me to when it’s time to get to work on the gardens. I have no grand plans, no resolutions. I just want to keep going and, if possible, free of pain.

Tonight, I party. I go to Kris and Steve’s place, and Stacy will be there. I feel very close to them. These two wonderful sisters have adopted me; they are a wonderful part of my life here on Gabriola. And on Sunday, I’m dining with Fran├žois and Eoin, my gay pals here whom I admire and adore. Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me.

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