with abandon


I often feel abandoned.  It’s a . . .. thing.  Probably and certainly something it would be good/nice/delightful/relieving/age-appropriate to have worked out by now.  But there it is.  I can’t merely talk myself out of that one.

I sometimes feel like my strongest connections these days are with my A.T., who I have to pay and S.T., who gets paid quite a lot to hear me out.

It’s weird/interesting because that is not really true.  I rarely give credit to what is often right in front of me.

Friday was a day.  It was, of course, a non-working day.  A day of non-work.  I forget what I did in the morning but in the afternoon I went for a wee swim since it was uber hot out.  Not as hot as it is now but still, hot.

Then I puttered around, eeek, gack.  There were a few things I could have gone to, places I could have been with people I didn’t really know.  I did not.

By around 6 pm I was going out of my tree with myself.  I toodled :(or angst-ed) over to R’s across the street.  I believe I have mentioned R. here before.  I met more than 11 years ago at my Monday evening writing group which I seem to sporadically attend.  Almost eight years ago she kind of got me into the building I am living in now, the one with the rent too high for my unemployment but ‘cheap’ for being right by the beach.  Yeah, like a ten minute walk from the beach and a great view of it if I step outside. R. is in her 70s now and living with her are a series of young people, formerly troubled, and really generally awesome.  “They find me,” she tells me.  Friday night it turns out was F’s birthday, he is 81 and still basically R’s long time partner.  He himself is awesome.  So I stepped into the middle of a birthday party – F’s son and daughter, the young adults who live there, and a few other folks.

“Oops, R, I had no idea,” I said.

“Sit down.  Eat.”

“I have all ready eaten.”

There was spanakopota and all sorts and a homemade pie made by Fred’s nephew.  I was fitting right in.  The young folks R. brings in can be extraordinarily welcoming and really nice and super comfortable with people of my vintage.

“Hey, Karen, great to see you!” they both said.

Fred’s son, B, plays Sam on the TV show Rookie Blue, a show I have seen exactly once.  But I love to talk about Hollywood but he does not and Roma insisted on a topic change the second I brought it up.  Oops.  These are intense folks and there was intensity but there I was, having angst-ed over from my abode across the street (my bedroom window faces her living room window) and I was welcomed.  Last week R. gave me Epsom salts for my back/shoulder injury from my fall.  “Just don’t slip in the bath afterwards,” she said.  Indeed.

The more time I spend alone, the more abandoned I feel.  I have figured out that particular math but am not sure how to solve that equation.  By today, Sunday, I was losing it a bit again.  My solution for this is to often go to Chapters and buy books I of course can’t afford.  Darned if there wasn’t a text from G. this morning.

“Gl. (her sister, visiting from the east) and I are going to Squamish to ride up on the gondola.  I have a free pass;  do you want to join us?”

“This is lovely,”  I texted back.

I hadn’t known that the Squamish Chief now has a gondola.  It is almost $40 a person but G. had a pass as she does.  The drive to Squamish, while treacherous, is beautiful.  By 10:15 am we were on the nine minute gondola right up the mountain.  Beautiful, if not a bit scary.  “Hail Mary, full of Grace,” I intoned.

We got to the top and went on a few wee hikes and G. had made pasta salad and put it in three containers;  one for each of us.

“This is the best pasta salad I have ever eaten,” I said.  “Mazel tov.”

It is so beautiful up at the top and not too crowded although there was a tour group of Japanese seniors, many of whom were in wheelchairs.  That is the great thing about the top now – the suspension bridge is full accessible as are some of the walking trails.  We were going to get a tour from the tour guide but decided not to.  He is also the First Aid person up there.  It seems one of the Japanese tour group people had passed out in her wheelchair.

“The guide didn’t want to take everybody down yet and the woman said she was fine, that she passed out all of the time.”  Good then.

Gl. and I snapped photos on our phone at fairly regular intervals.  The suspension bridge was very cool.  I usually find those scary but this one is so new and safe seeming that I even bounced up and down on it.  Living on the edge, etc.

Then we drove home, catching some Upper Levels Highway/Lions Gate Bridge traffic chaos.  Gl. was cool and calm throughout that whole experience.  “Get out and walk if you don’t like it,” she pre-warned me.

I got home around 3 pm and then cycled over to Main Street for an art show by various artists.  I’m all about that now, art and artists.  Collaging and colouring, a bit of painting.  Cycling home it was uber hot.  This necessitated a stop at Starbucks for an iced tea/lemonade situation along with a Chapters visit where I purchased not a thing, phew.

Now it’s evening and while I’m tired (and rather nicely tanned if I do say so.  A tan is so not healthy but wow, it can make a person look healthy), I’m back on the abandoned ship.  No work this week, except an hour and a half first thing tomorrow morning to intake a very small amount of students.  That’ll be me up for the day.

“I don’t get why you are so bored,” noted T. on the phone the other day, “I know lots of people who don’t work and they are never bored.”

“Uh huh,’ I said.

There is a risk of course in writing about these things – it can sound self-pitying and it an actually be that too.  And that can alienate the wee wee fan base.  I shall risk it.

It is so hot here at 8:15 pm.  But I’m not complaining!  Well, I am complaining but . . .

It shall be nice all week so I shall be pooling it all week.  It is thankfully much less crowded during the week.  I overheard this conversation there on Friday:

“So I met this woman at my gym and she has kids too so we decided to walk in the mornings although jeez why did I tell her 6 am.  She told me about a recipe for a protein shake and she e-mailed it to me and I love it.  I am so content with my fabulous Kitsilano life I can’t begin to tell you.”

Something like that.

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