On Why I'm an Activist for Women in Engineering - Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 @ 11:55 am
A week passes. Another week passes.
We go to the art gallery in the evening, and after it closes we run across the street in the rain to drink cocktails in a hotel bar. Cycling home in the rain.
We go climbing in the gym regularly, the rocks outside too wet to grip.
We travel to an island with friends and walk around the lake, through a forest scattered with mushrooms and thick with shoulder-high ferns. I throw a stick into the ocean over and over for their large dog.
I work. I go into the office. I work from home.
I hike with my dad up and down the canyon. We watch huge salmon jump up the fish ladder at the hatchery. Rain soaks my pants and runs down my neck.
Rain and fallen leaves and shortened days.
My mother passes me a stuffed toy from my childhood. I tuck it into my bag. My heart hurts to look at it.
One evening, I cycle around the city with Chris and his girlfriend. Dry, broken leaves blow across the paths ahead of us. The sun sets in a series of dramatic colours. Oddly, I feel no jealousy. I’m happy to see him happy. I feel released, in a way, from having to define our relationship. I enjoy being the old friend.
I meet my sister and her partner for a late dinner. Small plates of exquisite olives, mushrooms, and dumplings. A grey and white striped linen napkin on my lap.
Russell and I paddle up a creek. Salmon swim beneath us, their bodies scarred and tattered. A bear sits on the shore stripping a tree of autumn fruits.
On a rainy day, he offers to go with me bouldering, which he did regularly long before he learned to rope climb. I am less nervous than I’d expected to be. I learn to fall, and then we begin to alternate up the wall on progressively harder routes. I solve a problem before him, on a moderately difficult route. He is encouraging, and I am proud of myself. We rest on a bench, and I lean my head on his shoulder. I have grown alongside him in many ways. I feel freedom in being with him.
“I love you,” I say to him, through my chalk-marked mask.
“I love you too,” he says, as he kisses my face through all of the layers of fabric.
I’m beginning to consider the idea of us living together. There is more to our story. This chapter has been written, and I want to move onto the next one.