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Macca forever!

A quick update from the Monteal bus station. Here’s what’s happening: I am sick, my phone isn’t charging properly, and the bus to Ottawa I came to get is full, there’s another in an hour and a half. My aunt fell out of bed last night, went to hospital by ambulance for the third time in the last week, and has been sent back. My brother and I have found out there’s no DNR, so the poor soul will keep being brought back from the brink. There’s a torrential downpour outside here, and probably in Ottawa too.

Otherwise, everything’s hunky dory.

The weather changed the moment I got on the plane from Toronto to Montreal. It was hot when I packed, and the report said it’d be about 20 and up in Montreal except for rain on Friday, so I brought sleeveless dresses, short sleeved t-shirts, one pair of light pants and a sweater for the hell of it. By the time the plane landed, it was freezing, and it has not warmed up. So first, I got sick – which Lynn thought was also perhaps the stress of my aunt’s disintegration and the beginning of teaching – who knows? In any case, suddenly my throat was raw, my head ached, my nose was running, it was a nightmare – I wasn’t sick once all winter, and now this.

Luckily Lynn and I had some shopping to do, so I bought long warm socks, a hoodie, a pair of warm pants, all useful for winter but needed right now. It is so much fun to shop with as savvy a shopper as my friend, who’s had a lifetime of shopping in France; she’s extremely thrifty and has a fierce and trained eye for exactly the right thing at the right price. Usually I dither, but not with her.

We had two meetings with old friends – a visit with Sherry, a university professor and translator who’s interested in Lynn’s work as Lynn is in hers, and the next day, with Michael Climan, who was the best friend and roommate of our beloved friend and mentor Bob Handforth in the late sixties. We hadn’t seen Michael since then, at least as I recall. He is unchanged, a bit greyer, but as funny, sweet, and lively as ever, a wonderful person, long married and a father of two. We got caught up on the last decades of our lives, but we talked a lot about Bob, who was brilliant and creative and prescient. He died of AIDS in 1987 or 88 and haunts many of those who knew him. Robert Handforth has a Facebook page.

But I spent a lot of time in bed at our lovely auberge b and b, trying to get better before the Macca concert, filling myself with Advil and throat lozenges. I’d rented the place because it was only 5 minutes from the Bell Centre, where the concert took place. Lynn liked the Beatles but is sane, not a madwoman about Paul like I am, so she was lukewarm about going to this concert. First, the number of people floored her – the place was packed, perhaps 20,000, and such a diversity, all ages, two, three generations there together, many young people. We were at the back, and behind us, a row of people in wheelchairs. The excitement building, and then the roof-raising roar when he came out – unforgettable. And there he is, slender and handsome and 76 years old, rocking like no one can rock with his incredible band, lots of film and amazing lights and of course the flashpots during Live and Let Die – he never stops, doesn’t even take a drink of water, going from screaming rock to tender ballads and the song he wrote with Kanye West, old Beatles, Wings stuff, and everything in between, for three hours. Just extraordinary.

This was the ninth time I’ve seen him, the sixth time for him solo, and it was the best show yet. But the extra-special treat was seeing my friend singing at the top of her lungs, beaming, laughing, swaying – it did, of course, make me cry. She said it was the best show she’s ever seen.

Or maybe my tears were just my raw throat. It’s the first time I didn’t make a sound during his concert – could not sing or shout, just appreciated silently. Adored from afar, as always. Along with 20,000 or so others.

So – sitting here in the Montreal bus station, coughing, watching the rain outside, on my way to visit my aunt who is dying but not letting go. I am sucking a lozenge and have water and made myself a peanut butter sandwich at breakfast at the b and b this morning, so I’ll be fine. I’d rather be home in bed, yes. But – onward.



2 Responses to “Macca forever!”

  1. theresa says:

    Hot bath and warm bed…no fun to be stuck at a bus station. Take care, Beth, and good thoughts for your aunt.

  2. beth says:

    Thank you for your thoughts, Theresa. Am just home, will walk in the garden and recuperate from this very emotional 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.

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