On-Going Moving Preps

Cleopatrick and I have two full days left to finish the packing. It’s going very well and it will be done in time. I find it hard to believe that in 48 hours, this apartment I’ve called home for 3 years will be empty and this building I’ve called home for 13 years will no longer be my home. My last two days in Halifax will be possible courtesy of the Queen of Sheba, with Saturday remaining the scheduled long-travel day. So far, the weather for Saturday is supposed to be ideal for travelling: sunny and slightly above zero.

The only glitches so far have had to do with getting rid of a few pieces of furniture I don’t intend to move with me. In the worse case, I’ll get the movers to put a desk by the trash bins and hopefully someone will scoop it up. Ideally, I’d like the super to store it somewhere so that it can be picked up later. But we’ll see.

Organizing phone and power hookups from a distance is a bit of a challenge. And insurance! Things are very different in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada. A true société distincte.

And I was thinking last night: While I don’t intend to change the name of this blog, the tag line and banner image will have to change. But, as you can imagine, that’s not my highest priority right now.

One Week to Blastoff

If all goes as planned — that is, if the winter that won’t end lets up a little — I’ll be on the highway to Montréal in exactly one week from today. Cleopatrick arrived yesterday evening to give me a hand with the move. His train was more than 2 hours late arriving in Halifax because it had to go through the latest brutal snowstorm that struck Québec and northern New Brunswick. In addition to driving shotgun with me to Montréal, he will help me pack and unpack, which is something he’s done more times than he cares to count in the last 14 years, making him a begrudging pro at it.

Fortunately, everybody from the movers to Cleopatrick have declared that this move won’t be such a big deal because I don’t really have that much stuff. For me, though, it’s a huge deal because I don’t move often and tend to take roots wherever I end up living. And with projects like moving, I’m the impatient type who wants it done before I’ve even started.

I will miss the magnificent windows in my Halifax apartment. The proximity of my friends here. The beach. But that’s about it. Montréal will be better on all other fronts, not to mention that I fear Esposo would pull out his abundant hair were he forced to live in quaint little Halifax. And it’s good that we’ll be starting our life together in a city we both know but that is still essentially new to us.

The Unexpected Visit

I finally went to bed around 4:30 after that bout of insomnia the other night. I knew I would be a mess in the morning, especially since my first appointment was at 9:00 and I had a total of three training-by-phone appointments in addition to my usual duties as Mr. Message Man. But what could I do…

I did fall asleep quite quickly, but was awaken by a dream. Some dreams I remember; most, I don’t. This one I will never forget.

I dreamt of my father. He was walking around in a room where some family friends and relatives were gathered, and talking away about me — all in French, of course — right in front of me. “That’s it!” kept declaring one of my uncles who was present. “He’s totally losing his mind!” Dressed shockingly badly in what I’d call “flood pants” and looking a bit buffoon-like, my father was saying stuff like, “You know, that’s my son Maurice over there. He’s very nice. And he’s homosexual, you know…”

I remember feeling mortified — not because he was outing me to everybody who’d listen, but because of the way he was ambling about and talking was just plain silly. But then he turned towards me, his shoulders bent forward and rounded, and he winked at me as if to say, “You DO know, of course, that I know I’m sounding silly.”

And I woke up.

Initially I felt icky about this vision of him. Icky, with some lingering vestiges of embarrassment. Still half asleep, my mind started to compute …to orient where I was, what time it was… And that’s when it hit me.

It was March 12. The fourth anniversary of his death. Then I looked at the alarm clock. I always set it an odd number of minutes ahead to force myself into some mental gymnastics to galvanize myself into getting up. Seeing the time, I did some additional gymastics: back in 2004, we didn’t observe Daylight Saving Time as early; so I subtracted one hour and some minutes, and my heart sank. It was 5:45.

Yes, my father came to me at the EXACT anniversary of his death. And then, recalling that the tone of his “strange” talk was how he spoke to us kids when he playing with us, and remembering how he essentially was such a worry wart who didn’t smile much, let alone laugh and joke much, I didn’t feel icky or embarrassed anymore.

He’s free now to be silly and playful. He can be a dad without paying any attention to the age of his kids. He can tap into those memories of when he was happiest. And he can come to me and finally tell me that he’s always known about me, his youngest son, and all’s fine.

Merci Pa. Je ne t’oublie pas non plus…

Mirror in the Mirror

Ever since I heard this in the brilliant made-for-TV movie Wit, starring Emma Thompson, I have never been able to forget this haunting melody by the Estonian composer, Avro Pärt.

Not for the faint of heart. Or, perhaps, for the faint of heart.

I heard it again tonight in what I deem an inconsequential Canadian film, but it was Wit that came back to mind. This time, I researched it thoroughly and bought it from iTunes.

[Removed YouTube link that no longer exists, a passage from Wit]