Fruit and Karlieflower.

“My grandma owns Disneyland.” –Karlie circa 1992.

This post is not much about the Karlie I knew, but the Karlie I’m getting to know. We grew up together and tragically fell out of contact upon my completion of high school due to quintessential Teen Drama. We’d meant to get together since our chance encounter at my workplace last summer.

COVID and assorted excuses meant our reunion didn’t happen until three Saturdays ago. Our initial reunion went well enough that we re-reunited on the 25th. She had the idea to create her amusement park in the middle of Durrance Lake. With Unicorn Island as the main attraction.

Here’s the before picture:

And here’s the after picture:

Unicorn do-si-do

Yes, they’re the same picture.

Our group couldn’t muster the lung power required for inflation, nor could the electric air pump. Although we ended up rolling up the flaccid unicorn into its tote, an extra three inflatable loungers appeared in the lake, which was already teeming with other novelty floating apparatuses. Karlie, her friend Donna, and I had to use our air loungers to drift to the middle of the lake, where the park rangers couldn’t reprimand us for our cannabis use.

(I do not recommend using a pipe in the middle of the lake unless you have a flame source more reliable than a Bic lighter. I have a blister on my thumb from my fight with its child safety feature.)

The Karlie of yore was one of my loopier friends, of which I had several. You see, I was not a troublemaker as a teenager. Given my current devil-may-care attitude and zeal for buffoonery, this seems to surprise people. But, I grew up with wrathful parents who doled out punishments that never fit the crime. The appeal of having friends like Karlie was getting to witness the drama that would unfold without being an active participant. In gif form:

While we were baked and baking in the sun, I shared my judgy feelings on monkey ownership. “People who keep monkeys as pets are weird.”

Karlie: “I had a monkey! And a ring tailed lemur. And a crocodile… My ex-husband was an animal hoarder.”

That is how she knows lemurs make terrible pets. Horses, however, make excellent pets, which is why she now has one. I only learned in the past few years that “horse girls” have a reputation for being crazy. If the horseshoe fits…

Karlie and Misty.

Although neither of us are currently super involved in the deaf community, she brought me up to speed with some gossip as I floated around the lake eating not popcorn–but dried apricots from a dry bag. I assume she’ll deliver some of the tales I shared with her to the deaf community: I am fine with this. All these people had their chance to learn it directly from this blog, but the strangest pet I’ve ever owned would have to be the giant millipede, and unlike Karlie’s lemur, it never bit me.

I’m stoked to have a deaf friend in Victoria again.

The rest of my mini-vacation was spicy. I partook in the queerness that was the Big Gay Dog Walk with the roomie and his devastatingly sweet partner, Teal. I stood out as the only person dressed in all-black. I blame my job for the progressive darkening of my wardrobe as bike grease and rainbow don’t mix. However, I have polychromic flesh, so there’s that.

There was also a day trip to Jordan River with Tammy, Jordan, and Ian that had me wear a technicolour cereal mascot cape for a bit.

SISSY THAT WALK.

I made a point to tell Ian that he had beautiful hair. I kind of regret not taking a picture of him. A close-up one, anyway. Here”s a far-away photo of him lying down, covering his face (and, therefore, exquisite locks):

Background: Ian, Jordan, and Tammy. Foreground: waterfall.

If you’ve ever thought about complimenting someone: do it. I probably made his day. But it was Tammy who made my day. She has such a warm heart that it enables her to take a dip into frigid waters. I stayed ashore apprehensive about giving up my cereal cape so Tammy could dry herself off after her impromptu swim. That woman is mad as an eel.

Thanks for sharing your promotional hand sanitizer with me!

Nothing screams germ-free like Mark Wahlberg, mmm!

My mini-vacation concluded with a ride to the ferries, where I boarded a boat to Mayne Island, where my bike and I got on a raft that took us onboard a sailboat owned by the one known as Vancouver Paramour.

You wouldn’t know him, he goes to another school.

He was flattered that I rode out and caught a ferry to see him.

“How much was the ferry ticket?”

“Six dollars: you’re a cheap date.”

I couldn’t think of a better conclusion to my mini vacation than being on a sailboat with a dreamboat.

Yes, that is Soadpop at the bow.

After a wild week like that, I had to return to work… FOR THREE DAYS. Now, I am on my mega-vacation. In two days, I will be flying to London, England.

Ponyboy is already in Europe: somewhere in Germany (Ed: “Germany? That’s not quite right”) and should beat me to London.

Overview of my plan: two weeks of riding on the left side of the road, practicing my BSL, and accumulating British slang. Ideally, I won’t have the time to blog, but you should follow me on Strava. I also assume Ed will document our adventures on his Insta. Follow HIM.

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