gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letters From The Edge 3.


as i write this i feel as though i am merely a living organism, an amoeba, a slug, at most a mollusk. i've been lying in my room unable to eat much, sleeping and meditating most of the day, listening to a bit of music, playing a bit of ipad scrabble. perhaps when your world shrinks like this, or like a dying person, when you really can't look past the day, the moment, a bit of morning sunlight flooding your room, a breath or two, is experienced fully and fully appreciated. perhaps you're truly free. perhaps, as strange as this may sound, you're truly living, truly alive.

early this morning, i staggered up the hill and nearly passed out on the upper path. my friend made me drink some electrolytes, we sat for a bit before taking a look at some puppies in a nearby small cave. there are five, black and white, eyes barely open. we had saved one of them the other night during a torrential downpour when it had fallen out, yelping and hollering for all the world to hear it's ernest desire to live. there was something appropriate about playing with those new-born creatures, feeding the mother, as i struggled to get my legs to hold me up. the cycle of life. i am over-dramatizing, of course, but you get my point.

it was not less than a year ago that, sitting in my favorite wakefield cafe, i looked to my right and saw my old uncle morris. that was odd considering he was actually 'no longer with us.' upon a second glance i realized it was not him. it was me, reflected in a mirror on the wall. that was somewhat unsettling. to be directly faced with the fact that i am turning into my uncle was a wee bit of a shock.

i once helped old uncle morris out of a taxi and he handed me a dollar. when i asked what that was for, he said it was a tip and it was all i deserved because i wasn't such a great driver. i told him i was not the taxi driver but his nephew. he looked at me hard and then demanded the dollar back. later on, up in my parents' apartment, he kept looking over at me rather severely. i suspect he was wondering why the driver was still there. anyway, what was disturbing about seeing myself in him, in that wakefield cafe mirror, had less to do with all that and much more to do with his physical appearance, but that's another story.

the truth is, we're not gonna escape father time. we're not gonna escape mother nature. a guy came running up to me last week, hugged me tightly, gushed about how great it was to see me again and i had no idea who he was. not at all. it was only after he was walking back to his car that i realized it was a fellow i used to play basketball with. he had aged so much since last i saw him. i leaned into the car to tell his two kids how good a bballer their dad had been, just to reinforce the erroneous assumption that i remembered. time waits for nobody.

what i'm experiencing right now is merely an episode, a canadian body falling prey to a very different india. upon my arrival, i guess i thought i was still indian, ate and drank whatever i used to with little or no care. following twenty-three years here i kept catching the flu in canada, a few times each of those first two winters. so i shuffled on down to the wakefield clinic early that third winter and asked for a flu shot, was told i wasn't old enough, that i had to pay for it. i asked the price tag, was told it cost a whopping ten bucks. so i said: "ok, but if i get the flu this winter do i get a refund?" as usual, my attempt at sick flu-like humor was met with a blank stare.

the good news is, nadia, i have not been bitten by a monkey, head-butted by a bull or fallen down any holes, yet, not this time. and i've been really enjoying the morning sunlight flooding in through the windows today. would but that we could live each moment of each day like this, appreciating every puppy, every person, every thought, every sensation that comes our way, even as we plan for a bright future, before our world shrinks.  


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