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Calgary 2:40am - Friday, Oct. 07, 2022
Monday, Aug. 08, 2022 @ 2:15 pm
On the stairs up from Wreck, I am labouring with my weak lungs. Sand and salt on my skin.
A hand on my arm. “Hey Shannon.”
I look up to see Joel, a former coworker, coming down the stairs. We talk for a moment, and then I continue my slow progress. Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe.
Again a male voice. “I think I know you. Did you work at Urban?”
I look up. It’s Raj. I haven’t seen him in eight years, and he recognizes me. My hair messy and tangled in a braid, dripping with seawater. My face flushed with sun.
We talk for a long time. People stream around us; we are blocking traffic.
At the end of the conversation, he says, “Well, you may see me at the City someday soon. I have often considered making the move.”
He heads off down to the beach, and then I continue my slow progress.
Running into coworkers at Wreck Beach* is a terrifying experience. At least it was on the stairs; at least it was when I was wearing clothes.
And at the same time, I find myself appreciating having community. Having connections and relationships and people wanting to reach out to say hi when they see me.
I am home.
I am still having terrible dreams about Daniel.
In one of the dreams, Russell and I sneak into his backyard to use his hot tub. And then Daniel comes home to discover us there, and I see the anger in his face and in his body language, and I wake up feeling shivery and hollow inside, afraid of what was about to come next.
I did a fair amount of therapy, and I don’t feel a measurable change. I don’t believe that any of it worked.
The only thing that I can think of to do is to try to stop thinking about him. To try to change my thought patterns when he pops into my mind, instead of allowing my mind to wander down into memories constantly. So far, there is a small amount of relief in this, in allowing myself to let go of thoughts and memories. In shifting focus away from the negative.
I don’t know what else to do.