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Week 4 – Mexico Dispatches

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I always find myself on the same street regardless of how many left and right turnsI take. Here I am again on Lazaro Cardenas. I say hola to the family with the colourful woven bags. I am relieved to see that someone is caring for la ninas and ninos so they don’t have to tough it out on the cement in the heat. How uncomfortable must that be. I’m happy the bags don’t scream destination, even though they really rather do. I just want one that’s bigger but I’m beginning to think anything would be better than my backpack. Kicking myself for forgetting my practically theft proof roomy shoulder bag at home. 
It is a holiday. Something to do with the revolution. I’m try to find new accommodation for the end of December (not staying at the Cactus which was my original plan) My background noise is punctuated with a regular series of what sound like explosions. Every one of them stops me for a moment. I would blame that for ruining my flow, but I’ve just been hanging out with that old friend ‘lack of motivation and discipline’.

Stomach tells me it is time to make my way out. Nice breeze. Temperature cooler? Here I am again, walking past familiar buildings, businesses and landmarks. Hola to the hat guy. I end up buying another, a white one, a totally impractical. Now I own 5 summer hats, all of which I scarcely wear. Still, it’s polite to say hi. The 80 pesos ($4) isn’t a great expense. Really would like a coffee…thinking about Panino’s, beginning to think of a ham and cheese croissant. Really, how N. American can you get? A girl and I exchange Holas and then she gestures me into a place I’ve passed many times before. I’m credulous about whether there is a restaurant in there or not because the most prominently stated business on the signage is ‘Yoga’ being the business conducted inside. I am led through, past some tables, through the shop…keep going. Around a juice bar, oh here is where they must do yoga. It’s a big empty space, but there are two discrete small dividers and I’m seated at the lone table in the “top” of the restaurant. I am the only person in the place. It is airy, with smatterings of filtered sunlight creating dancing patterns around me. I get a satisfying cup of coffee (and it’s free!) and a delicious meal of Chicken Tinga. 

I check into hostel early so I can get the bus to SPCA. My luggage and other stuff stowed away. Sense of relief washes over me. Professional! 1464 pesos for 9 nights. A kitchen, tick; a cozy sofa, a place to relax, tick. No pool. Didn’t use pool at Hotel Cactus anyway, and it’s the reason I’m here, having cut short my stay.  It wasn’t an inviting pool anyway. It had that concrete compound feel, even with the funky slide. Methinks the place has fallen a bit into disrepair and only the bare minimum is being done to maintain it. It is more shower and bed sort of place, for cheap. Only one of my roommates has arrived to the hostel and apparently he and I are the only two there just yet. He’s a young guy, 21, from Mexico City working at a local restaurant. I didn’t ask him why but I am curious. Could he not have gotten this kind of job in Mexico City? The conversation turns a bit extentialist, him thinking that he should be in university and further along in his life and he’s already looking back at the choices he’s made. The coulda, woulda, shoulda, road not taken and all of that. I am a bit envious at how self-aware he is and also feeling a bit like if he tries to hurry up and speed his life forward to where he thinks he needs be, he may find himself regretting himself not savouring important moments.I told him about ‘Waking Life’ which was heavy on the existentialist theory, or at least so it was in my brain. That’s how I remember it but I could be wrong of course. I recommended the movie with this caveat. It also reminded me that I wanted to see this one again myself. My other roomies arrive but they aren’t English speaking, all Mexican. It seems they are working as well. Our small room is packed. Perhaps I should have booked sooner to get a semi-private one. At any rate, it’s all good.

Coffee Au lait & a version Jamon y queso croissant at the Frenchly named cafe right next door, handy. I hoover it up. I’m starving. The last night’s dinner at the Cactus was microwave popcorn. The view is hardly pastoral 8 lanes of morning traffic hurtle to and fro. But I am satisfied with my stiff caffe. Who cares!! I sip my coffee reading storefront signs and attempting translations; trying to work at developing some kind of Spanish muscle. I get one right away ‘barato’. Cheap…I heard this one shouted at me at the beach yesterday and one other occasion. I suppose it was in response to the fact that I would’nt buy what was being offered, a massage. I now only patronize Nikko’s tent and I tell every massage hawker this. There is one who ignores this and massages my shoulders as he talks to me; half flirting and half soliciting. 

I observe the obviously American and Canadian people go about their regular lives consisting of yoga, fancy dinners etc. with one simple difference: Constant sunshine. I can hear the barking instructions of the spinning instructor at the fitness place next door. Everyone calls it the Marilyn Monroe fitness club, there’s a giant colour Marilyn Monroe statue in front of it, dress flaring up in that famous image of her over the sewer grate; only in their depiction it is a red dress. It is a great landmark. I always look for it when I’m on the bus. I know this is where I need to get off.


Mexico Dispatches – Week One

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Just arrived. Day 1. That walk into the heat is almost like walking into a warm dense body of water. At first it’s wondrous and then you just start sweating. I packed a couple of handkerchiefs just for this purpose. My host Mario contacted me by imessenger mostly to ask about my arrival, but it impressed me.  I found out later he is the manager of the small property for an absent owner. 

Nikko and Linda picked me up and the airport and we detoured slightly to La Condessa, a roadside open air bar. Nikko ordered us all giant mugs–almost a litre–of beer apiece. I chose Negro Modelo, my favourite dark Mexican beer, which I happily tucked away, drinking it down like water. It soothed and cooled in the 35+ degree heat. We ordered two kinds of flavours of wings I’ve never had before, Lemon and Parmesan. I think I’ll have to get back. d., It’ll mean a bus ride! We drove for awhile seemingly lost trying to find my hotel. It seems the addresses don’t follow any convention at all odd and even on the same side and the address numbers are mixed, larger and smaller as you drive up the street. There’s parking out front and the smallish sign is a bit faded and set back. We finally found it, and Mario was there to greet me on the street, probably wanting to get home because it was after the checkin time of 6 but he greeted me warmly and grabbed my suitcase, hoisted it onto his shoulders and carried it in for me. 

The suite is even better than the pictures. He upgraded me to a 2 bedroom from a single twin and it feels almost palatial compared to my lowest expectations of what it might be.  I’ve got a full kitchen, with a stove and everything. Not that I will use it but I might. The bathroom shower delivers a slightly punishing jet of water, which is very welcome after sweating it out during the day. The a/c in the bedroom delivers on its promise and cools to a temperature perfect for sleeping. If I keep the door open and both ceiling fans going, it also cools the living space. Perfect. Later on I heard rain pelting down. I couldn’t resist going out and sitting out in it, a lonely soul by the pool. The warm rain soaked me to the skin in minutes. I couldn’t have been happier to be in a rainstorm.

Day 2 in Bucerias. Doing a little dripping and detective work I discover I am the only person here so far. It’s a strange feeling and it’s pushing the notion of solitude a bit far. The Netflix and wifi is phenomenal so I’m able to amuse myself in solo quiet pursuits. I was wanting to play some Spanish television in the background to help my ear for it, but that I can’t seem to make that happen. 

I revisited the Casa Tranquila for a stiff cup of coffee…or two…My route there was circuitous and I know for sure i was lost for a moment, but I knew it wasn’t uphill and headed down toward water. I found myself on the next street over, Col. Lazarena, familiar with it from the last trip. I hit the beach and followed the shoreline until I saw the familiar sloped entry to the beach that I had walked many times before. 

I got a recommendation for cheap breakfast which is definitely in order. The last proper meal was on the plane yesterday. I also got a lead on a beach, which again, I’m not sure of its location. Something Blanca. Apparently the beach is lovely white and it is not touristy. Sounds like it is on my list of places to visit for sure. It’s a trip on a bus and then a very long walk from what I gather, because there are no buses that travel to it. Samantha, mum to lovely little Belana (who I played a short game of I drop you pickup) told me to just hail down any passing car and they would take me there. Not sure about that. Never was a hitchhiker so that might be a stretch. 

I walked to beach bar El Chivero, had a couple Negro Modelo’s and wrote journal entry on napkins–forgot my travel journal (yes a travel journal!) at hotel and no wifi meant no wordpress. The only vendor of the few selling their wares I succumbed to was Alejandro, who sold me a bracelet like one I’d lost last year. 

Since my room has a kitchenette, I decided I could do with some. supplies so I decided to make my way to the big local grocery store Chedraui. First order of business was to find a bus stop. But first to find it. Then I saw a casual grouping of people waiting at a corner. What tipped me off is that they all checked their phones and were definitely waiting for something.  All I could summon up was just one word “autobus”, and an older man didn’t really confirm it was a bus stop but did say it was “tarde”; apparently an international malady and I asked the cost. 7 pesos (50 cents) to get as far as the bus goes; in this case Puerto Vallarta. The local city buses are really cargo vans with the seats reconfigured. A narrow space was made for me at the back. As I sat there I wondered where this store was and how i was meant to let the driver know where I needed to get off, but when the familiar destination rose up on right I jumped up and made way to front. It seemed to do the trick. Whether this is right or wrong I have no idea, but  This is apparently the way to do it, because there is  no calling out of stops, stops are anywhere you need to go or anywhere people are standing and waiting. I have to say I rather prefer this to the Canadian way of doing things.

Back at the ranch I had trouble getting in the gate, a lot of trouble. Under the heat of the sun, I felt a river of sweat begin to run down my back and brow. I was reminded of that game show where you had to try keys to open doors to win prizes. I only had 2 keys and one entry. This is not an auspicious beginning. While I sat at the little table outside my room, a man appeared at the gate and then a small wizened woman joined him and we had this conversation across the pool. Well, conversation is pushing it. They spoke in rapid fire Spanish and I said “no se” a bunch of times until I finally decided to plug into my translator the question “are you looking for Mario?” Problem was I couldn’t respond to anything she said after that. I couldn’t pick out any familiar Spanish words in the torrent that followed. In the end I defaulted back to “no se” (I don’t understand) a bunch of times and she wandered off.  I think the learning of a tad more Spanish is in order. Da 

Day 3. What did I do on day 3? Oh yes,…Linda and Nikko, his daughter and her “princessa” Carla came to pick me up. He dropped us at El Chivero, we didn’t leave until dark and I’d spent 500 pesos, Enough said. 

Day 4. I did a bit of wandering along the beach, but then I sought cover under a palapas when I found the rays of the sun a bit too hot and punishing. After my wander I attempted to push through but perhaps too much wandering in the sun earlier or too much beer AND sun the day before meant it wasn’t happening. Mario came and replaced my water and I asked him about the place next door. I wasn’ ambitious to go any further. I asked him also why a cab driver would get on the short drive here. He explained that the numbering convention is nothing like what we’re used to. The development of Bucerias has been even more haphazard than most places because in some cases people would simply choose numbers they liked for their homes. In navigating it, it is more crucial that one pay attention to the landmarks. Other streets that are much more well known are still a bit of a crapshoot. I know now that the dead end we encounter is Las Palmas and Avenue Fibba the cross street, but better yet I’d be more served by saying it is in the Golden Zone. “Zona Oro” maybe at Las Palmas by Royal Decameron. Still not really sure about that or if it is some construct of a hotel owners wanting to make their place seem like it’s in a more luxurious area. There are a lot of luxury condos and bungalows hidden behind tall walls in the area and a dearth of restaurants. At first I couldn’t  exactly figure out how to get to the ocean from here except for some circuitous route through Royal Decameron resort. In there, I passed a pool the size of the average jacuzzi on the left with kids playing in it.  The smallish pool to my right was full of people doing water aquatics.  It is a huge resort and this was just one block. Meanwhile at the oceanside Mexican children frolicked in the surf of the ocean, delighting in the ebb and flow, being pulled out pushed in. Older people swam out beyond the breakers and bobbed in the gently swelling deeper water. 

A biggish flying bug found its way into my room through the gap of a narrow door in my bedroom. Not good with insects, give me one of those geckos I hear so much about.  It creeped and crawled around for a bit and then flapped and flew to who knows where. Great the roommate no one wants.

Day 5. Slept in super late, who cares.  I’m going to leave beachcombing at dawn to another day. I am meeting Linda at the Casa for lunch with a friend of hers. It’s 30 degrees…feels like 41. Ouch. Definitely going to be walking on the sunny shade of the street on my way there. As I went about my morning routine I realized I haven’t had to use any night meditation or medication to fall asleep. The whir of the air conditioner and the fan combined sing me the lullaby I need. My room is plenty cool at night and I sleep under a sheet and light Mexican blanket. Lots of pillows!

Day 6….Hmmm…..

November 6…that whole day thing was starting to mess me up. Perhaps it is day 7 today. Let’s call it 30 feels like 45 too hot for the beach right now. I did a little binge watching last night so my solid 8 got me waking up at 10am. My bedroom is at the back so I don’t hear the sounds from the street, or movement around the bungalows to wake me up. There was an older Canadian couple staying in the one just opposite the night before but only for 2 nights, long enough for her to get preliminary dental work done; a common reason for a Mexican holiday. They were gone when I woke up, so no more idle chit chat near the pool. I noticed a younger couple around yesterday but there’ve no amiable “holas” as we pass each other. Ask but no answer if you know what I mean. I’m writing this from a bar near the Royal Decameron resort called Barchelatas. Because I slept in too late I missed a swim in the water before it got too hot. I’m going to wait until the sun wanes a bit before heading to the beach, maybe. Besides along with having some solid wifi, this place is cheaper and I’ve got a fan blowing a relative cool into my face. There’s NFL and CFL football playing simultaneously along with regional Mexican football. You can tell that a lot of foreigners visit here because only one screen of 6 is devoted to the soccer. 

Got busted by Royal Decameron security trying to get to the beach. No special obnoxious obvious orange wrist band. I guess they don’t want the unwashed masses lounging around in their rarefied amenities. I read somewhere that all beaches are under the purview of the Mexican government but big resorts co-opt them for themselves. So it is with big corp. how can one amiga really ruin it for all those sunshine revelers? Really. I would have allowed him to follow me all the way through to the playa, which is what I wanted, certainly not to be put through my paces in a session of water aerobics. I can do that back home. I also didn’t want to walk 2 blocks out of my way just to get to the beach.

It was another do nothing day. I set my alarm to be up earlier to be sure I could walk on the beach in the morning. A little shopping and then to the beach I think! Another one of those creatures was in my room last night. I plugged up the gap in the door there and trapped it…I think under the side table that is closest to the door, the one  on the opposite site of the bed I sleep on.  It doesn’t fly, at least i don’t think it does, so that’s a bit of a comfort to me. I searched the internet looking for an answer and the only thing I found was a few references to flying cockroaches. Creepy crawly bugs is one thing but give them flight…ugh. I discovered it had escaped to the bathroom where I got a better look at it, exploring and lurking in the shower stall. I tried to take a picture of it but there was no way I was getting close enough to get a good one. Two-tone brown, an inch long, 6 legs, long seeking antennae. Of course my camera needed to be charged so I couldn’t document it.

So….. That was enough for me. Full blown case of the heebie-jeebies. I left the lights on, pulled on my sleeping mask over my eyes and pulled the sheet up and concentrated on the white noise of the fan and a/c, with a little guided meditation for good measure, and woke up to morning light and  the sound of my alarm.

Mad as hell and not going to take it….

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‪Our story became front page news on The Record yesterday, June 22, but I wonder if we’re even truly on the radar of the politicians who are playing political hot potato with people’s lives. The story,‬ shows the photo of Peggy Casey and below chronicles the timeline of how this particular renoviction went down. Oh yes, eviction due to renovations, a palatable term that politicians and developers prefer use to describe what is really going on, but let’s call a spade a spade. People are being displaced from their homes for profit, plain and simple. I’m sure cities would prefer buildings with aesthetically appeal lining their city blocks. I’d like to live in one, an affordable one, wouldn’t we all? There’s renovations to suites that could and should have been done for the tenants living here, but that didn’t happen. Instead these buildings were allowed to age out with cosmetic changes made to the exteriors.

Meanwhile we get caught in the middle. I’ve lived here 5 years.  I’m making some noise, seeking out my options, searching for resources, trying to make something happen all while trying to find a home for myself and my cat. This is beyond easier said than done. It seems a lost cause but that’s not going to stop me. In the latest city of many that has allowed those with money to determine the future face of all our communities, a renter with a low income doesn’t count. At least that is the way it feels, but more than that, our governments have demonstrated that this is true by simply turning their backs on us or shrugging their shoulders at a problem that needs shoulders and will put into it. Our local MLA is sympathetic but her hands are tied. For starters BC doesn’t even have a proper government yet. Even if there was the will there is always the endless consultations, studies and reports that tell all of us what we already know. I would bargain those people being paid very well to consult, study and report on the situation aren’t being put out of their homes. 

I walk through my neighbourhood and I can almost see all the low rises being “renovated”. Where will those people go? Don’t kid yourself. We’re not just fighting, we’re fighting for our lives here.

Anatomy of a renoviction or as The Record calls it….

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This is what a renoviction does…

Letter to the editor of The Record published Thursday, June 15, 2017

I am gutted, as I’m sure everyone in my building is. I feel sick about what I am going to do about an affordable home in the very near future. I got a niggling feeling when I saw the assortment of SUVs drive up to park and deposit occupants who then appeared to be thoughtfully mulling over the bones of my neat and modest 3 storey apartment building here in New Westminster. This small building of 54 homes is where Frank lives. His mobility is restricted to a wheelchair and he just went through a fight with cancer. It is the home of several families with small children. There are families whose children have grown from small to tall here. There’s a young pregnant woman who was hoping to make a home here for her soon-to-be child. We are a group of seniors, immigrants, people with disabilities and the working poor. We are all people of low incomes. Like me, they probably thought they were lucky to land a decent affordable apartment. There are people who have lived in this building 20 years or more. Our compassionate manager, who always asked me how I was doing, like the rest of us, is being put out of the building as well. We had found home. We hung pictures, placed furniture just so and made our spaces cozy and comfortable. Now we’ll have to dismantle it all. 

Our building used to be called Westcourt Manor, but it isn’t anymore. The awning was stripped of its name and address, leaving only a partial awning baring a gaping maw of fluorescent bulbs with lighting so bright it shines into the apartments across the street. The new owners (theM1group) so arrogant they apparently don’t care about the lives of those tenants either.

So I watched as those people took photos and made notes on clipboards. Awhile later we received word our building had been sold. Life went on but it was clear something suspicious was happening. I noticed the two giant trees suddenly had “protection fences” erected around them with placards citing 2 municipal bylaws that I now know have to do with protecting the trees during construction. A couple of suites became vacant and weren’t fixed or rented. The landscaping that was once so lovingly tended began to become neglected, the grass growing long and unruly branches of gangly shrubs reach for sun. Weeds are beginning to thrive and it all suffers from lack of water.

 When we were suddenly instructed to pay our rent to a numbered company, 322 Apartments inc., alarm bells went off and with good reason. We’ve became just another real estate acquisition and for us it signalled the beginning of the end. A little googling revealed that the new owner boasts an inventory of shiny new and very expensive freshly renovated properties. Nice if you can afford them, but none of us can. We simply can’t. We now live in a nameless building that’s slated for renoviction (or as they so nicely put it “eviction due to renovation”) because that’s what they do, and they’re proud of it.

This all happened in a matter of months. On June 3, 2017, a gloomy Saturday, I got a notice through my mail slot informing me that the new owners were just waiting on the city permits that will grant them the power to evict me from my home. They’ve already done just that to my neighbours upstairs. The other shoe has definitely dropped.

Talk about picking on the little guy. All of us are vulnerable tenants whose rights are being trampled upon. We’ve all been displaced with literally nowhere to go in the city we call home. Bureaucrats ushered this through with lightning fast speed, apparently rubber stamping this project through with little to no consideration for what it will do to the local community much less all of the individuals affected. This does not serve the greater good. 

My body vibrates with an unfettered rage. It’s wrong on so many levels. Where are the checks and balances? What happened to decency and humanity? We’ve all been scrambling to make some arrangements. There is a very real probability some of us will find themselves couch-surfing, homeless, until something comes along, and probably not in our community. We’re hoping to share information so that we can all help one another through this. That’s the way proper society works.

I’m sure more developers are eyeing up the plentiful stock of other affordable New Westminster buildings that just could use superficial sprucing up. These companies are not asking tenants to leave for a few months so we can come back at the same affordable rents. They could do renos around us, for us, but they don’t want low income tenants. They want tenants who will gladly pay the seemingly cheap “market” rents of New Westminster. Rents that have been pushed up into the stratospheric thanks to a real estate market allowed to spiral out of control. There is absolutely no calculation of the human cost nor thought given to the fact that low income tenants are being displaced so companies may profit in this way. 

How is it that in a city where change occurs at a much slower and considered pace that a solid building of 54 and truly affordable suites of rental stock are allowed to become unaffordable for the average resident of New West? 

With other developments it would appear the intent has to be clearly indicated to the community but for some reason this protocol is ignored in the case of a renoviction. It’s the dirty little secret that no one discovers until it can’t be hidden any longer; almost as if the aim of it is to catch the residents off guard. It smacks of an almost punitive nature. This practice was clearly on the City’s radar. After all this is a prescient and very real threat to the vulnerable in our city. It was only in 2016 a resolution was made to specifically address this issue and yet here it is, happening just like that. And back here at 322 it didn’t take long from the time of the sale for the first eviction notices to be issued. ABC,123 and easy peazy just like that it was done. 

When necessity is the mother of…

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I am being pushed into activism. I’m OK with it, but I confess it’s never been a “me” thing. I have always thought the little guy needed more of a voice but I only used to watch in chagrin when yet again as Goliath put the screws to David. There seemed to be a torpor within our government and a social collective that seemed to stand idly by time and time again. There’d be that “treehugger” that would literally stick neck and limb out to voice what no one else would. Government would use their political might to shut that voice up but didn’t seem to do anything to protect the rights of those and that. 

It seems it all comes to the bottom line. Whatever happened to building a citizenry and society that included all of those and treated all of those equally? We’re not even going to break it down into particular issues. We all know what they are. Rights are being clawed away or denied outright still and always and nothing ever gets done. Do it the right and polite way and no one even notices. Make a stink and people dismiss you. So dear citizenry, how do you suggest a person proceeds. There is so much riding on everything, our heads our swivelling trying to keep up, but that’s because it was allowed to devolve into a society where the almighty buck really does rule the day.

I can’t sit idly by anymore. I am going to pick up the mantle and run as fast as I can with what I have. It may not be much. I’m a follower not a leader. I don’t even know how activism is done. Is that ridiculous or what? I’ve grown a bit of a voice lately. Sure, it’s mostly beaking off on #twitter or a strongly worded email trying to get a product replaced but so what, that’s a start right? Call me a shit disturber, call me a harpy, call me what you will. I am not going away. 


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He always had something interesting to say, my neighbor. When I say interesting I mean it was something that never would have occured to me, but I found interesting nevertheless.  I don’t knew how the thread some of these conversations began and truly they were more like monologues that verged on haranguing, but I never cut him off. I would always stay on for the ride on every occasion though usually I was late leaving to get somewhere or arriving laden with groceries or worse dizzy having just made it in the door after a torturous journey to get home. And I never knew his name. We didn’t do that hey nice to meet ya neighbour thing. It could have been Ralph or it could have been William and I didn’t ask out of some overwrought sense of politesse. It seemed we’d hardly known each other for too long to begin making introductions to one another. 

My neighbour (let’s call him Mr. 102) lived below me on the ground floor. He never opened his curtains for the morning sun, nor did he open the sliding door for air and didn’t place even a lone chair on his patio. He had told me it would be an invitation to the raccoons and anyway the soil from the garden splashed up on his cement slab every time it rained. It created a mess and wasn’t all that inviting. There was no reason to acknowledge it existed much less make it homey. Still every time I arrived back home I would look to his suite in the hopes of seeing him out reading a book, or perhaps standing at the patio door looking out, as I often do at mine.

The last time I saw him i was aghast, it took my breath away. He was a mere shell of a person hardly resembling the hale man he had once been. It seemed as if he had shrunk in size perhaps because his body was stooped into itself. He took carefully minced steps with his eyes cast to the ground. On the rare occasion I passed him I found that if I tried to engage him he had nothing to say, and didn’t seem to want a conversation of any kind; no more long chats about any myriad of topic. My first reflex was an offer to help to him, so I did. I knew he seemed a proud man so I wasn’t surprised when he politely declined anything and he demurred even a mere dinner invitation. I saw him less and less until I didn’t see him at all.

Today the curtains were pulled fully back to reveal an emptiness that was once his home. Thirty-one years he lived in that small space. For some reason I first noted the awful shade of carpet. And then it hit me. I just knew but I had to confirm my suspicion. I walked down to my manager’s suite and knocked on the door. I felt it an awful imposition but I asked anyway and she answered affirming what I already knew. I won’t be seeing that neighbour ever again. He had just passed away. I’m almost sure I know when. An ambulance had quietly arrived and left the building 2 days ago. I went back to mine and cried for a man I scarcely knew.

02.15.17 Memory is imagination 

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I remember that night, or at least parts of it. A friend posted a photo on Facebook today and I remember that evening. It made me smile. I remember a lot of that time and those memories sustain me. My memory now is not nearly so reliable. There’s four of us in the photo. My friend Jay and I are pointing at the camera with the wide smiles. You can see the unbridled joy in our faces the other two not so much. Perhaps they were reluctant to go. Probably. It was very late, going on 3am. I probably chose to ignore their reluctance being that one of them was my boyfriend of the time. Even though there was a lot of wine involved a part of my brain recalls it as if it were–well not yesterday–but part of my very recent future. I can tell you I’ve not had a night like this in recent history. That evening was a bit of a blur but when I saw that picture it was as if I was transported back to that time. A good deal of some of my best social memories were forged in my 5 years in Toronto. I know they can’t be replicated and I know that much has changed. People have moved away and moved on but still I am wistful for those times. I tend to the sentimental. I can’t help myself.

We arrived at the party very late; in the wee hours after having attended a couple other parties. As people are wont to say, we were well lubricated. The cab arrived to the address and we spilled out, laughing and carrying on fresh with memories of the gatherings we had just left. It had been a fantastic evening. It could have ended there but none of us were ready for bed just yet. We had left the previous party before we intended so we could get to this address, thinking that party might end before we got there. We were on a mission.  It was destination number 4. Regular social butterflies we were.  The address had been given to us verbally so we questioned that we had arrived at the right place; none of us were entirely sure especially since the home the cab pulled up to was shrouded in darkness.  Undeterred we strode up to the door and rang a bell hoping it was the right one. It was. The party was in the upper rear of the house explaining the why of the darkness. We joined it in apparent full swing. The small loft was packed with people and I confess the names of any of them I was introduced to didn’t stick including the vague bit of memory of the host. I was in a little bit of heaven when I saw there was a karaoke machine, but I couldn’t get my hands on the bloody thing. After a some serious merrymaking and laughs, the two less than enthusiastic compadres called it a night so we piled back into a cab to ferry us home. I’m sure I fell into bed and asleep in moments. Yes, those were the days.

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Small House Society

Supporting the Small House Movement

Embellish This and That

Embellish every day moments and every day things to make Life spectacular!


La Natura Fine Foods Blog

Oh yes

DIY, home inspiration and stuff

Barefoot Lovey's Blog

A travelogue and personal journey...

At Home Organic

Our journey to a clean and organic lifestyle and why you should switch too!

Denise Bush's Photo Blog

photos and thoughts for sharing

My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

The Backwords Writer

Author Rosa Sophia

The Random Rant

Whatever I Feel Like Bloviating About, Whenever I Get Amped....