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Purgatory - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
Wednesday, Oct. 04, 2017 @ 7:55 pm
I mop the floors. Polish the table. Adjust the plant on the side table. With a burst of extra energy, I flourish the duster around in every room. Standing in the bedroom, I look at the headboard and all of its slats. What the heck. I spend ten minutes dusting it thoroughly.
I leave early Sunday to catch a flight to Prince Rupert. The open houses will continue without me. Instead, I will relax in the hotel, messing the room up with abandon, relieved to not have to clean up after myself.
When I arrive at the hotel, I draw the blinds and sleep for two hours. I'm exhausted. Everything. The long days at work. The emotional drain of moving. I just need to sleep.
Later, I go down to the hot tub. I have it to myself. Laying in the water for an hour, watching the harbour and the cruise ship tied up in front of the hotel. Blue sky and blazing sun. I'm disappointed that there's no rain or fog. A crow roosts above me. I look up at him and say Hi. He looks down on me, his head angling to the left, and then he flips a mussel shell from the roof, which lands with a plop in the middle of the steaming froth.
After sunset, I go out for a walk. Towns like this are interesting at night. A group loiters behind the legion. Tim Horton's is full and lively. A Vietnamese place has one couple sitting in the front, the rest of the tables empty and forlorn. I stand in line in the grocery store behind a man who is buying a rotisserie chicken, a bag of chips, and a carton of chocolate milk.
My phone rings.
"We've had three offers come in tonight."
She reads out the details of each offer as I traverse the sleeping town. She has to pause as the firetruck blares past me.
Later, in the hotel room, I call Daniel and we celebrate the best we can, him in Revy and me in Rupert. Neither of us at the place that we just sold.
The realtor calls back.
"They want the headboard," she laments.
I burst out laughing.
In the morning, I fly into Hartley Bay.
A day of work. I inspect each of the drainage projects and am surprised by my confidence in pointing out the deficiencies. I relish the moment of contentment, of achievement. And the humpbacks blow puffs of steam offshore.
My hosts serve me honey garlic deer ribs for supper. The meat is tender and fatty, the bones slender like balsa wood model pieces. I asked where it came from. He gestures towards the front door. "Right out there. It gave itself to us."
I walk up the boardwalks alongside the river at night. It's not very smart. Salmon are spawning and everyone's talking about the bears that are hanging around town. I don't care - the balm of the forest is exactly what I need right now to restore, to calm.
At night, I dream intensely of Chris. We are together in a dark room. He pushes against me, and then our mouths touch and we are kissing. Our teeth hit and he bites my lip. I remember each of these details. Because the room is dark, it's OK. Nobody will know. And we can pretend that it never happened.
The boardwalks are frosty in the morning. Bear prints stamped through the frost; the rumours are true.
Back in Prince Rupert now, waiting for the evening flight back to Vancouver. Realizing that I can only call it home for another 28 days.
Realizing that right now, I am happy. I'm sitting on the foreshore in Rupert, the light turned wintery, a seal swimming along down below. The trains clattering around behind me. Bundled in a down jacket, ball cap to keep the sun from my eyes. The smiles and firm handshakes when I left Hartley Bay this morning. The man at the coffee shop who brought me my Americanowhile I was setting up my laptop to do some work.
I recall yesterday on the boardwalk, I stopped to talk with an older man in a motorized wheelchair. He was flirting with me in a joking way, and at first all I could think about was how to get away from him and onto my task at hand, but then realized that *this* is the most important thing. That I spend so much time hopping from one thing to the next, never pausing. Never trusting the moment. Never believing or trusting in my own happiness.
I set a goal: to be calm, to flow through life, to always have time to pause for a chat. To connect with life, with people, with the world around me. To drink it in, to eat up life. I want to flow with easy energy, with grace. To shed the stress and anxiety of living my life in 15 minute increments of billable time.
Gulls calling and puffing out their chests. A locomotive idling. Fishing boats coming in from sea. Velvet forest carpeting the islands beyond.
I don't know when I'll ever be back here.
And I miss it already.