Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Hi Angie, it's me.

Last night we were mostly alone, a small crowd of mutual friends saying goodbye to Alan who is going away most likely forever. It wasn't a large public affair, and after we left together and slept. Finally and only once I got to see the House Band perform together, Alan on guitar, Anna on upright base, Denis on drums and Ben on his sax. Their friends and in fact they themselves have welcomed me, and there were nods of recognition when I showed. Yes Angie, these are good people.

We slept almost immediately when we got home, it was chilly and he asked how Clark is and if he would be alright without me for a night. I am a little concerned as he slept behind my air-conditioner instead of up in his terrarium, and I said so. This means that probably he will end up not underneath his lamp this morning like he should, but he is close to his full and plentiful food dish. I slid under the blankets and cuddled up and then moved over as he fell asleep almost immediately and began to snore like an odd, unrythmic metronome. There was no discerning what would come from the inhale to the exhale, all was loud, punctuated by monstrous gargling and snorting sounds. The screensaver was still on for what seemed like forever. I lay there in the dark room, finally moving a pillow in front of my face to block the glare of the too-bright beach scenes until the computer finally went to sleep. It was this same pillow I later put over my face in the hope of blocking some of the sound, but alas, there was no relief there. I turned over and ran my hand along his chest and down the side of his face in the vague hope that by simply my love alone, I could cure his sinus obstruction with my touch. I was wrong, and I heard him when he woke up ever so slightly and tried to snuggle next to me. His hands reached for my face and found the pillow on top of it. He turned over and tried to sleep again, but quietly. Yes Angie, these are good people.

This morning I did my best not to wake him or anyone, but Alan was packing up his car, and Denis had left to teach a class early. For once we were the last ones up, possibly for the only time in this relationship. I mooched into the kitchen after wake up snuggles and Anna realized I was not at work today. "I'm on vacation this week" I told her, and she made a separate portion of eggs and bacon for me. I sat down and poured some orange juice for Alan's last breakfast here. Yes Angie, these are good people. He even got me ketchup because he knows how much I like it on my eggs in the morning. There was coffee as well and small words suitable for early morning consumption.

I offered to do the dishes as I am at times a thoughtful guest. There is olive oil labeled aurora on the windowsill above the sink. There is green dishsoap and a man in red coming to tell me I don't have to do that and to stop: no-one expects me to clean for them.

It has been just over a month now and they are still the same with me. They are inquisitive, but there is a warmth to their curiosity that precludes a dissection of the more usual kind. They are trusting and, I feel, trustworthy. This is a new place for me and it is still difficult to sit back and relax. I don't really understand how this is possible without falling footwear and a snicker when the rug gets yanked. I am learning about simple gratitude and that not everything can be repaid. There are times when it rains and you're eating dimsum or turkey as an unnamed guest of an invitee when the only thing you can say is Thank you and wonder if you will see these same people again. I am learning about accepting good things. I am learning how to receive. I am learning how to say Thank you and leave it there.

I am still frightened and it has not been long. There surely will be some strangeness or complication, most likely by my own design. It has turned into fall and even the nice days are cold, though bright. I wonder what can happen at any given moment. I wonder where this encouragement comes from; why he seems so interested in my success and happiness. These are still mysteries to me and the only answer I can currently confirm is that he seems happy when I am happy. It is hard for me to leave it at that, but I am learning. I miss you and I wonder where you are in that most vicious of our cities. I wonder what it is like there now that Jane is gone from us. I wonder how much longer it will be before thinking about you and him won't bring unbidden salty tributaries. Unbidden and unfair, but that is for another time. I will see you in 30 hours. I will for the first time since April put my arms around you and exhale. I know for now you are in a place where the financial is the most important and therefore more easily focused on as you currently need to be. I know that soon you will return here to your birthplace, my chosen home, and begin a more intimate calibration of priority: a life itself. I love you, and until you are back with me where we can sit on terraces and yell, until we can confirm certainties from cardinal points in this town, until there is home for both of us here on the mountainside, near the water, I want you to know I am here with them. I am in good hands and not quite so pointlessly alone.

The work begins now in a safe place. There is music coming from the basement, and a sense of concern. There is commitment and orange juice when necessary. There is life here and strangely enough, there seems to be hope. I am beginning to think I will not end up like our lost friend, I will not end up like my parents or those ogres I have left lost in the desert. Make no mistake, though it is early, he is saving my life.

Yes Angie, these are good people.

1 comment:

orangelina said...

i'm crying, because i believe you, and for the first time in such a long time i think i understand.