it’s going to be a long winter
I leave him at the gate. There are tears. There are always tears. Big, sloppy tears that feel like they may never end. But they do, somewhere past security. I take off, I touch down. “Welcome back to Canada, Miss“. I grunt. I pay far too much for an express bus ticket that is meant to take me downtown in a jiffy. It is not a jiffy. It is $24 worth of traffic and the bus breaks down miles from Dundas street and the driver says: “Can everyone please get off the bus NOW. Not sure if I blew a hose or if the bus is on fire.” I do not like the sound of that. I disembark. The bus is not on fire but the blown hose has rendered it useless. I grab my 25 kg bag and wheel it all the way to the bus station. The streets are so wide here, the buildings so tall. It should feel liberating, this expanse. It does not. There’s too much space between me and everything. It’s 10pm in London. I still have miles to go before I get home. I sleep on the bus from Toronto to Montreal. First on one side, then on the other, then with my feet up the window and back to one side. It smells of upholstery and the dim light is blinding. I recognize an old friend from Nova Scotia around midnight, sitting kitty corner from me. The world is small and I am tired. I’ve been traveling for nearly forever. It is 5am in London. It is cold in Montreal. She waits for me at the station — the friend I need who also needs me. She booked a hotel room for the occasion. We hop in a cab and stop au coin de Sherbrooke et de Bleury and I carry my bag up a long flight of stairs. 25 kg of stuff and 24 hours of fatigue. She has a bottle of Jameson. She opens it and pours generously. We sit under blankets on the couch, occasionally breaking for smokes outside on the fire escape. It’s a night that calls for Jameson and cigarettes. We drink, smoke, talk, eat pizza by the slice until 3am. It is 8am London time. He’s getting ready to go to work. I’m going to bed.
It’s only been a week since that night and from the blur, things are beginning to come into sharp focus. Sleep is slow but I’ll find my Montreal beat again soon. In my jet lagged state, I’ve considered on more than one occasion getting married in Las Vegas. In some white chapel off the main strip. By Elvis. And in my jet lagged state, I imagine that Elvis miraculously presents me with a spousal visa and I skip this long, cold winter — fly out of limbo and back to London. This, naturally, is unrealistic. The reality is that I am here for a good 6 months. So it goes. Call me melodramatic. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. Characteristic of melodrama: exaggerated, sensationalized, or overemotional — which are the very characteristics of this post. But it’s ok, you see, because we’re all entitled to it once in a while and you and I both know that I’ll bounce back soon. I always do.
The dog whines to be let out each morning at 6am. Sometimes, her patience stretches to 6:30. The whining sounds like an old squeaky bicycle wheel. Squeak. Squeak. Squeeeeeak. I let her out. It snowed last night. A thin layer sits on the patio. It crunches like granulated sugar beneath my bare feet. It’s the full moon and I miss you.