Locking my previous post with a password makes it even more enticing, doesn’t it? It didn’t feel right to publicize the details of Saturday’s meeting with my landlord. Yet, I’d told so many friends about what was happening and figured creating a post would be easier than updating everybody individually. You may ask for the password if interested, but the tl;dr version is: I officially have four months to find a new home.
The more contacts I have, the better my chances are of finding a place. So, if a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of yours knows of a place I can rent, I need to know.
Onto merrier things: I started my mainland vacation with a winning attitude. As I was the last person to know when the plane was boarding, I was sure I was going to get the worst seat.
I was delighted to be wrong. Look at that extra legroom! I sat to the left of nobody and had access to views such as these:
I had a hair appointment to make within thirty minutes of landing. The salon was conveniently 900m away. A flight ticket is ten times the cost of a walk-on passenger ticket for the ferry. I was starting to get uncomfortable by how reasonable the fare seemed.
I’ve been seeing my hairdresser on and off for 20 years. The varying distance between us over the years is what has complicated our relationship. Whenever I am in Vancouver–and my hair is ugly–I make a point to see Martin. While he shampooed my hair, I realized he was the only hairdresser who’s ever made it pleasurable. The problem is: most hairdressers are women. Most women have small hands with pointy fingers and sometimes long nails. So, when they shampoo my hair, it feels like my scalp is getting massaged by chicken feet, and I hate it.
The following person with whom I was reunited was Alana. Five facts about Alana:
- She once owned sweet Dick Tracy hi-tops, but doesn’t even remember them.
- She’s thrown scissors at me. She probably doesn’t remember that either.
- She has a scar under her eye from when her sister stabbed her in the face with a fork. (As a kid, not understanding the damage it would cause. Either way, she’s from a family with a thing for attacking people with sharp objects.)
- I gifted her Gak for her birthday one year, and she lost it the same night. Just the Gak, too, as she still had the container. Legend has it the Gak’s still somewhere in her childhood home. Unless one of the sleepover guests pocketed the Gak?!
- We posed together for an old time photoshoot when we were seven. The photographer wanted to put us in dresses and bonnets. We said no.
I’ve known many of my friends for years, but Alana is one of the few in the 30+ year club. She knew me back when I was a rollerblader, she’s met both my siblings, and she’s seen my natural hair colour!
We did not take a photo together. There is no current evidence that we’re still friends. That often happens when you get carried away catching up with a friend. I love her, and I don’t think we’ll ever stop being friends.
There is also no evidence that I saw my birthday twin Sarah. Since we met in 2014, every birthday has been a race to be the one to wish the other a happy birthday first. She won this year.
I do, however, have evidence that I visited my opa in Surrey the following day. He’s among the rare few who have known me since I came into existence. He knew me before I became deaf, he knew me before I learned to walk, and he knew me before I knew my own name.
He’s 96. He’s the oldest person he knows. It was so good to see him, but that was a heavy visit. He insisted that I reserve items from the house that I’d like to have when he passes away. It’s a fucked-up yet logical thing to do. He has a fantastic art collection. Unfortunately, my uncle and I share the same taste in art, and he’s already got dibs on everything. I said that if I were lucky enough to have the space then, that I’d take a lot of the wooden furniture. He’s surprisingly mobile and mentally sharp but terribly lonely. His wife of 67 years–my oma–passed away at the start of the year.
Then came the time to say goodbye. Knowing that it could be our last goodbye gutted me. I boarded the bus crying and also rode the Skytrain crying. When I reached the Commerical-Broadway stop, instead of continuing my tour of tears via public transit, I decided to cool down by walking west towards my old neighbourhood of Fairview.
The next plan was to beat Marianne at Scrabble. I confessed that I’d made flashcards with all the two-letter words to give myself a better shot at winning when we played regularly years ago. It paid off during our recent showdown, as it cost her two turns when I challenged her twice. But even with two missed turns, she BEAT ME ANYWAY. BY A LOT. Shannon had joined us and was also beat handily by Marianne.
Shannon beat me by a single point. That is what happens when you move away to Montréal and can’t play Scrabble anymore because the French version assigns different point values to each letter, and your bilingual friends don’t want to use your board. Then even when you move back to BC, you discover that island people don’t play Scrabble: I know more people here who play D&D than I do Scrabble. Where are my Victorian word nerds at?!
For dinner, we ordered takeout za from Zaccary’s Pizza. Za, according to the Scrabble player’s dictionary, is shorthand for pizza. I agree that it’s bullshit, but for a minimum possible score of 11, I can pretend.
Before going to Marianne’s, because I had time to eat up, I visited El Mirador.
Had I never left Vancouver, Marianne and I would have been neighbours. El Mirador is Spanish for “The Lookout”. While the building doesn’t hold a special place in my heart like my first home in Victoria, I lived at El Mirador for long enough to have several sentimental memories of the place.
I remember P-O tolerating the ambulance and helicopter noises yet never getting used to the loud children that lived in the housing co-op that our balcony overlooked. We lived in El Mirador, and our view was the co-op’s courtyard. In the summer, the adults would bring a tv outside as a sneaky way to get their children to get fresh air. The volume would be cranked up loud enough for P-O to hear the entire movie from inside our suite. Also, there was once a bouncy castle in the courtyard for about three days. Kids don’t tire of bouncy castles easily. Or screaming.
Evidently, P-O forgot about his El Mirador days as he went on to have two kids of his own. I don’t believe he lives next to a hospital anymore, though.
Anyway, El Mirador was also the building where a friend once uttered, “This place has the biggest silverfish I’ve ever seen!”
The final friend I visited was the venerable Zoée. Even though I’ve known her for about fifteen years, I’d still like her to tell me five fascinating facts about herself because every time I see her, I learn something new about her that makes me go, “What the fuck?” I only just learned that her grandma baptized her with stolen holy water.
The most surprising thing she learned about me was when she furrowed her eyebrows and went, “You like moustaches?”
I never identified myself as someone who was into moustaches on guys, but I guess so.
Zoée and I first met through LiveJournal, and I rarely change my avatars anywhere. My LiveJournal icon was–and still is–a diagram of a dapper gent with a moustache.
The clues were there early on.
There were Seinfleld moments like this:
“Are you okay with double-dipping?”
In addition to:
“He could drape himself in velvet for all I care.”
In between my two nights at chez Montpetit, I got a new tattoo, and an old tattoo touched up. I look better than ever! I looked so good that the pilot (who, sadly, did not have a mustache) chose me to sit in the co-pilot’s seat. Maybe it was because he knew I wouldn’t try making small talk with him while he flew the plane. Smart.