For Christmas vacation, Heather and I decided to head to her hometown for a few days with her family. Every holiday is uniquely difficult in its own way; this year I could tell it was hitting her harder than usual. She’s been my foundation since I met her, but under the strain of travel and the pressures of the parents, she began to crumble. It didn’t help that her brother — who suffers from schizophrenia — went missing in November.
One of the highlights was seeing old family photos, especially Heather at various stages of her life.
To be helpless in the face of such hardship made me feel like a burden, perhaps cause I’ve been struggling to regain my sense of self-worth. The most I could do was be present and extra attentive to her needs as she sat in her chair each night and chewed the inside of her cheeks for comfort.
Continue reading “don’t add me to the weight you carry”…
We left on a Thursday, travelling by train with tickets my uncle bought us. My younger self would have enjoyed making a mix to go with the undulating patter of tracks and the passing of seasonal landscapes in my window. I could let songs and albums measure my time spent traveling. Now I measure time in hunger and pills.
But even as I age and the skyline grows less recognizable, the old stomping grounds remain comfortingly familiar. They say everyone’s an exile in New York. Well, in Toronto — where each municipality is a world unto itself, separated by miles of twisting highways and hours of traffic — everybody’s home.
Continue reading “ecstasy but not happiness”…
The Cuban sun burned especially bright on the day Katie and Seth got married, but the wind kept everyone comfortable while unlimited drinks made sure sobriety was never an issue. There’s something to be said about the exclusivity of destination weddings, cause they leave little room for strangers or acquaintances. Only the closest people will commit to plane tickets and accommodations. The celebrations are all the more intimate for it, and I’m always glad when I have a chance to be part of the that.
You never need to make a special effort to find the wildlife in Varadero; even on the resorts, birds will bravely snatch food at your feet, while stray cats toy with lizards and mice alike before eating them. And being surrounded by other people on their own holidays, whether they’re tanning on the beach or letting pretty girls cheat at limbo, brings a warmth to the atmosphere that even the sun can’t provide.
Somewhere, I have notes on family and names, the infamy of Cuban fare, being alone together, breaking the seal, passing Damian on the way to Havana, salty hair from salty air, rum and brown, threaded fingers, not enough euchre, every life-guard trying to sell me lobster meals, patterns on palms, plus 20 minutes Cuba time, finding out how deep my scars run, blushing through my sunburn, sand everywhere and in everything.
Continue reading “this must be the place”…
It’s good to have something to write about again. To have friends who are comforting and kind in my most sensitive moments, and just as importantly, things to confide in them. Good hair days. Reasons to wear something nice. Dreams without desire. Feelings without fear.
I never realized how much I needed a get away until I came home and got more done in a week than in the month before I left. Without a guitar or a workload or an internet connection or a routine or any of my decks, detaching from life as I knew it was a simple matter. Maybe that’s why it felt like I was gone for so long, even though time passed so quickly. The only real consideration I ever had was how I’d like to spend each particular moment, and presented with that kind of freedom, I learned to truly let go of everything else.