i can sulk if i want to
Perhaps it isn't too ironic that I should open the paper today to a large splashy story about the condo-doom of 48 Abell St. in West Queen West. It is, after all, Remembrance Day, and it can do no harm at this point to write publicly that this building was the home of Stacy's loft, the one she shared with her own Boy. This is the first place she lived in when I was her friend, and for me it will always be the apotheosis of the downtown pad. Uneven floors like recently-cooled lava, giving way briefly to tiles in the kitchen and bathroom (the one room with a door). A power-mad cat named Wednesday, who ruled the roost with savage efficiency. Racks and drawers of clothing to costume beyond my wildest imaginings. And Stacy & her Boy themselves, whom I always admired and loved for their generosity of spirit and strange sense of humour.
I spent one night in that loft, caught in the middle of an exhausting move that nearly left me alone in a foodless apartment. Stacy & her Boy were always quick to offer succour, especially when the alternative was leaving me to snuggle with a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and a plastic knife I begged off the convenience store clerk who sold me the other two. That night was a misery of cat attacks and the harsh sodium glare of a streetlight, but none of that was the fault of my hosts.
It was in this loft that I was introduced to the idea of a blog. ("That's stupid," I said.) It was here that the Boy & I spent the Millenium Eve, watching the fireworks on the roof as other tenants shot bottle rockets in our general direction. Stacy's Boy even spirited me away from this very house in B-ton one weekend afternoon, following a bet about how long it would take him to drive down. That day I felt like a fairytale heroine, swept away to the coolest loft and the coolest couple I had ever known.
But they don't live there anymore. There was a split, a move, another move, and another. The last time I saw that Boy, I was hanging out at Paul's house, two days before I went into labour. Stacy & I have also grown apart in the last few years, only reuniting on birthdays and the occasional night out.
Is this what Remembrance Day is supposed to be about? Brooding over past times in building slated for re-development? Wondering where everything happy has gone as the physical place for Memorial is smoothed over and neutralized for rich condo buyers?
Someone else I knew in those years has come to mind again. This week at Bat Masterson we had a presentation on the use of Graphic Novels in the English curriculum (something I am tremendously excited about, btw.) That night I pulled some resources for the novel unit I'm teaching, and I came across Spookshow. I've never read the whole book, mostly because halfway through the run, my friendship with Dav cooled and then froze completely. Reading the book was painful, so I didn't. Why struggle to understand the story while the second layer of my mind was trying to understand why the author stopped liking me?
The really ironic thing is that the physical book itself was a gift from Ophelia when I visited her at the Snail shortly after Blake was born. This graphic novel is more than just a story; it's a convenient carrying-case for discarded friendships.
Speaking of which, I discharged my final duty to Hogsboro High last night at Commencement. Last night was the first and only time I have been asked to give an award, so I got to sit between Sam & Theresa & make wise-ass comments all night long. Goneril's mildly nutty speech, usually taken so seriously, washed over me like a warm salty wave of who-cares. (This graduating class has been at the school as long as I was, so their retrospective of events was exactly what I experienced. Very neat ending for me.) My English department friends were all happy to see me, and a few from other departments seemed interested in what was going on. It was a very comfortable night, because I knew everybody and no matter what was said, I wouldn't have to deal with any school politics on Monday. Plus, people who liked me even mildly were quite happy to see me again (Sir Andrew, for example, gave me a big hug. Cool.) That was nice.
My only complaint is that I managed to sit myself in the front row, so no knitting for me. I watched a lady in the audience knit away the boredom and wished I could be her. And today, with more memories of friends than actual people in my life, I am.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*