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the shape of water, the sequel

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m a sunoholic. I will locate the sun beside windows in restaurants and busses and planes, in my house, and follow it around, like a sundial.

Right now, I’m lying in Bruce’s sofa bed in his living room with no desire to get up. The sky is thick grey, the day is dark grey, the rain is teeming down, just as yesterday, when it poured all day without stopping once. Today will be the same.

However. I am with loving friends, I am warm and dry, at least for now, so move right along sister, nothing to do about the weather. Or the hideous political landscape. When I grow up, I want to be Emma Gonzales.

Sunday morning, Margaret and I went to Jane Ellison’s dance/movement class BoingBoing, which she has been running for years out of the Western Front, an artist’s cooperative on the east side. Jane is a force of nature – slender and vital in her seventies, she leads her group through yoga stretches and then, be still my beating heart, she puts on fabulous music and we dance – just any way, anywhere, dance dance dance. Three songs at least, different kinds of music, Afrobeat, jazz, rock, modern – all with a beat. And then a cool down. It’s the best exercise class I’ve ever been to. I’d fly out to this godforsaken wet zone just for Jane.

The sun actually emerged briefly and Margie and I walked to Commercial Drive to shop for supper – such a great street, like Roncesvalles, very busy and local and hip. At home, it was actually possible to see the view from Margie’s kitchen window – the looming mass.

Can you see them? Above the trees – not cloud, but snow-topped mountains stretching across the horizon. Just after we got home, it started not to rain, but to hail, pellets bouncing off the windows.

We watched much of the Juno awards, taking place not far away in Vancouver this year, and a terrific production it was too. How Canadian, the moving tribute to Gord Downie, the self-deprecating humour of Michael Buble, the reunion of the terrific Barenaked Ladies. And all those young singers in weird clothes – one in a white one-piece like long underwear, another with long fuschia hair – making us feel old and staid. Which is of course the point.

Then the two-hour season opener of Call the Midwife, one of my favourite shows, and then a few horrifying minutes watching Stormy Daniels tell about having sex with the President of the United States, too disgusting to stay with.

Monday, Margie drove me to Bruce’s tiny apartment in the West End, right on the water, where I used to stay while he was in Italy. Just after our time together in Nice last year, my dear friend had a stroke, luckily while he was staying with an Italian friend near Ravenna. His friend got him to hospital quickly, where he stayed for weeks; his sister and brother-in-law came to look after him, and eventually another brother and a Vancouver doctor came to bring him home. He was in hospital here for weeks, then in a rehab hospital, and is now home and looking terrific. You wouldn’t know anything had happened to him, though he has little movement on the right side of his face, still has blurry vision in that eye, and can’t feel his mouth at all. But he is trim and cheerful, and – miracles for a thrifty man – has bought a new chair and a sofa bed, upon which I am ensconced. He made me go out three times in the downpour, for lunch, to shop, and again for dinner. Because he is from Vancouver, and thus covered with scales. They should have shot The Shape of Water here rather than in Toronto; here, everyone is a fish.

Lunch with Brucie at the Cactus Club, right on the beach …

The beach. Through the restaurant window. Fifty shades of grey. This is what my computer said to me last night:

Good evening Beth!
Rain is in the forecast tomorrow for Vancouver. Stay dry!

Brucie and I watched a documentary on Netflix about – yes – the Beatles. Is there anything I didn’t know? Yes, always more to learn. We both fiddled on our computers while we watched and are doing so again today, fingers tapping, checking websites, gossiping and laughing. In the early afternoon, we’re going to meet Chris. The three of us went to India together in 2007. Now that’s a story.

As Chris has written on HIS blog: Can Miss I-Have-Fifteen-Things-To-Do-Today from Toronto find a few weeks of happiness with a crotchety old homosexual with C-PTSD who’s used following his muse independently? Stay tuned. I told her we’ll be living a Reality Show: “Two anxious neurotics lock themselves in a cabin. See what happens next.”

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2 Responses to “the shape of water, the sequel”

  1. theresa says:

    I'm so glad good stuff is still happening at the Western Front! And I hope the sun is coming (though we're on our way to Edmonton for five days, gulp, speaking of cold…). And when the good weather comes, it always seems that it's worth the wait.

  2. beth says:

    You're right, Theresa – as I will soon attest here, the sun did come out and it was gorgeous. Have a wonderful trip.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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