Heather G made reser­va­tions for us (and Sergey) at the Back Lane Café last week. We had­n’t seen each oth­er since the sum­mer, before they were home­less 1 and I start­ed recov­er­ing. Last time I saw her, she left me with a take­out Hintonburger and a med­i­ta­tion audio­book that she hoped would help me feel bet­ter. It was so sweet that she did­n’t under­stand at all what I was going through, but tried so hard to help with very thought­ful gifts any­way.

This time, she would­n’t let me pay, even though she treat­ed me last time as well, and she said please with such heart­felt intent that I knew she’d be hurt if I did­n’t give her the hon­our. We’d been play­ing phone tag for weeks up to that point, and between their careers and camp­ing, they could only spare them­selves for a meal sans tea or dessert. It made me real­ize how pre­cious their time is nowa­days, and the fact that they made the time to see me meant so much more than the two hours we spent catch­ing up over a great food and con­ver­sa­tion.

poached shrimp salad

Poached shrimp sal­ad, with Niagara nec­tarines, bibb let­tuce (for it’s ten­der tex­ture), endive, lime, and hazel­nut dress­ing. An appe­tiz­er good enough for a main.

Earlier this week, I had Chris over for a short vis­it. He flew out east for a wed­ding, and took two days out of his week-long trip in Toronto to come to Ottawa. Much to my delight, I dis­cov­ered he was an old Magic play­er, so we spent the night fac­ing off with my decks and doing shots of Jäger2.

We had­n’t seen each oth­er since last win­ter, and it felt strange to fill him in on the time in between. To be so far removed from every­thing that’s hap­pened, and sum it all up so mat­ter-of-fact­ly, when it was such pro­found mis­ery while I was liv­ing it. We bare­ly had time to catch up before he was on the Greyhound back to Toronto, but he still took the time to vis­it. That’s how I know I’m impor­tant to him. Even though we haven’t had much oppor­tu­ni­ty to know each oth­er in our lives, we still share the bond that makes us the lost chil­dren of the Chinese cul­ture.

loot bags

At Tiana’s house­warm­ing, we were giv­en loot­bags filled with assort­ed items, and tasked with steal­ing oth­er peo­ple’s loot while main­tain­ing a sense of dig­ni­ty. This is much hard­er than it seems when you’re eye­ing some­one else’s bling.

Nowadays, I hang out with Tiana as much as pos­si­ble, cause she’s been the one to fix me when I’ve need­ed it most. Lisa and I are try­ing to be pro­duc­tive togeth­er when we can’t seem to be pro­duc­tive by our­selves. I still do my week­ly din­ners with Aaron, although we’ve start­ed alter­nat­ing between his place and mine, so we get both our own time and time with his kids. And with the nights I have left out of these reg­u­lar plans, I’ve been try­ing to main­tain rela­tion­ships with the peo­ple I rarely get a chance to see, but who are impor­tant nonethe­less.

I’ve had to sac­ri­fice parts of my life (not least of which is time to myself), and it’s helped me real­ize how valu­able my time is too. That’s why I’m in the process of sim­pli­fy­ing. Avoiding the peo­ple who cause more dra­ma than the rela­tion­ship is worth. Investing in the peo­ple who keep me as a pri­or­i­ty, instead of the dead-end rela­tion­ships that nev­er go any­where, so I can build on the rela­tion­ships that mat­ter.

  1. They got evict­ed due to an unsym­pa­thet­ic land­lord, could­n’t find a suit­able place to stay, and end­ed up putting as many of their pos­ses­sions as pos­si­ble in stor­age and sell­ing the rest. Luckily, one of their friends need­ed a house-sit­ter, and it gave them enough time to find a place. []
  2. My first taste of alco­hol in about 10 months, cause I was giv­en very stern warn­ings about mix­ing booze and anti-depres­sants. It only made me feel nau­seous and sleepy. []


  1. Yesterday I was think­ing that you are one of the top few peo­ple I spend my free time with in a con­sis­tent way. I like that.

    • I like that more than you do! Hah! I win!!

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