Incredible Coincidence Tribunal Story

 Like 3 years  ago (and I wrote it in another entry in my blog) I was working in Montreal in a tribunal, as temporary help. That means, for a short period of time and bad paid. My duties there were classified files and type reasons of decisions. There was on  in particular I will never forget. A lesbian deserter from USA. She was claiming refugee status because in the US Army, as you know, life can be short if you say openly  you’re gay. At the time I was one of few people able to type in English. This file was opened in Ottawa but assistants there were overwhelmed with transcriptions and they sent us this case. The file was huge if you compare with an average refugee file. Nobody in the office wanted to touch the file because of the language obstacle.

I was having a kind of hard time living with roommates, working as a temporary help and suddenly this file came to my hands. The Commissioner recorded the reasons of decisions and I was in shock every time he spoke about this particular case. I saw many confidential things in that tribunal…really Hollywood stories…amazing and incredible, also fake ones…which were more incredible than the real ones.

When I just finished to type the first draft of her reasons of decisions my contract was over…and I did my coming out to my manager…a very grumpy woman but nice deep inside of her (really deep inside). I was very surprised of my first experience of synchronicity in my life…this decision was very crucial for me. It was like a jab on my jaw. I realized that my gayness and my process of immigration were soft …if you compare it with that girl’s profile.

Today, now working in another boring tribunal…I was walking down the street in Ottawa, bored to death, not wanting to go to work…since a week I wanted to pick a gay newspaper up…and I did it…and guess what?…I opened and I read the story of this girl who is trying to collect money in order to pay lawyers..she’s asking her case to be revised again for another Commissioner.

The girl changed her name, looks more happy than her refugee form picture and says her life is better here than in USA where she is from. You cannot imagine my happiness to know she’s doing well, she’s happy among us and I’m very happy she is not going back to USA for a while.  I was so surprised that I called to Germany to one of my best friends to tell her this crazy coincidence. As usual, she didn’t find it as a coincidence at all. I will try to contact her and give her my support in all this long process of refugee status.

Please…Destiny exists…things happens for a reason

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Bisexual French Fries With Gravy

The national Quebecer fast food is called Poutine, a bunch of french fries with a hot sauce and cheese on the top. The sauce is hot and the cheese is almost melting over the fries…if you think it looks and sounds gross…it is. But in my humble opinion, as a good potato eater from the country  gave that as a the best contribution to manhood …Poutine is delicious.

Last year I met a girl, very good dyke looking. Of course, my gay dart told me she was lesbian. I always saw her holding her coffee cup, in the elevator, outside the building, in her cubicle, I was trying to talk to her, to make conversation, break the ice…but as silly and antisocial I am, it was very difficult until….the day I needed to send some reports to Finance and I didn’t know how to do it. It was funny because this girl worked with the British woman I adore. When I sent the email explaining my problem someone told me to write the slim, shaved, blond and white girl…I re-named as Blondie. In fact, when I left the office I sent her an email asking her if she was a real blond…no, she isn’t, box blond.

She gave me a private training for this financial problem, I mean, to generate reports. I was making jokes all the time and she enjoyed my sense of humour. We sent emails all the time just for fun. She was invited to the British’s grandson party but she couldn’t make it. When I left Correctional Services I gave her chocolates in a friendly way to thank her for her help. It was sad say bye to all the Finance Team there. Before leaving she told me to sent her an email to keep in touch. When I arrived to the Tribunal  I told her my drama and we scheduled for a lunch: Poutine, around 10 000 calories of passion for fries.

It was so cool eat that Poutine because she told me for the price I paid (6.50$ large one) I could get a huge one at Gatineau side…she promised to show me that paradise place. She is a junk food lover, especially burgers, she doesn’t like cooking but cooks tofu and rice, enough to survive. Of course, her lunch is just Subway sandwiches.

Finally we met, we talk a lot about dilemma, my country, violence in Peru, her condo, her ex boyfriend…boyfriend? Blondie with a man? Well, she looks like Sinead O’Connor in her good times, I couldn’t imagine her with a man. Anyway, I hid my scandal and we continue to talk. She said she lived with him for a couple of years but it didn’t work. They had a personal project together: to have a retirement house. Well, I talked about my ex, the pain, the suffering, the fear to start a new relationship. She is more pessimistic than I am. She believes the perfect or the soul mate doesn’t exist. It was funny because I was trying to convince her she was wrong…but at the end she convinced me she was right…well, at least I tried.

Just at the end of our conversion, just before leaving to our respective offices she told me she liked boys and girls, more boys, but she was still confused because she still liked women, she said the only problem to be with women is she can’t have babies…I mean, you cannot share 50% of your genes like heterosexual do. And adoption is not an option for her. Besides, she doesn’t like kids…another reason to be confused.  And she add just before say bye…”nobody at the office knows about this”….Wooow, you look more masculine than I and you’re telling me nobody knows it?

Well, Poutine and a bisexual girl, what a combination for a Friday lunch. I really enjoyed talk to her, laugh, share similar experiences and love for Poutine.

A British Coffee Time

I met last year a lovely and delightful lady from England. She was responsible for finance training that my old manager asked me to follow to be able to commit funds and pay invoices. Thanks to that lady, thanks to that software my passion for finance started. I was always scared to disturb her, in fact, I spent more of my time at finance department than in my own office.  She keeps her strong British accent as a cultural resistance, her accent cuts words like a knife. Listening to her is like go back 15 yearsgo  when I was learning English at the British Institute, it’s like listening the BBC cassettes with all lessons and learning cultural background from UK.

When I got the position at the Tribunal I sent her an email to meet for a coffee. She doesn’t drink tea so often as the British estereotype says. She loves chocolates and his addiction of good caffeine likes me a lot. We got a spot called Café Délice. The first coffee meeting we had she talked to me about her life. She came to Canada in 1997, at that time she had a sister here. She lived in Alberta, Vancouver to finally settle down in Ottawa. She comes from Fordinbridge, South England. She had a relationship with somebody there and had a daughter named Verity. Now she has another man in his life and she is happy with him. Varety has a boy, a little black kid name Drake and I went to his birthday party.

I remember the day I gave her chocolates when I left Correctional Services. I told her that day thanks to her I discovered my real vocation: finance…she was happily surprised. Everybody loves her, I do too.

When I went to Drake’s party I went to her beautiful place, full of people and love. I met her husband, relatives, old colleagues but over all, I realized that kid is the luckiest kid in the wolrd, everybody takes care of him, it’s surrounded by love and when I left I felt miserable. Love is so important in life….so healthy when is given with kindness and discipline…not like me. I wish some day have a family. Having parties at home, inviting people, caressing my wife and my future kids….I dream of happiness because I deserved it.

She was the only person who dared to ask me personal questions about my family, the reasons I came to Canada etc. I even dared to tell her I was gay and I explained her about the problems I had with my ex bitch, with my mom, who is the main reason I cannot go back to Peru. When I told her my mom gave me her back as response to my homosexuality she put her arm around my shoulder and she said “I’m so sorry” and she meant it….she was so open minded…I felt glad.

Definitely Ottawa is the best to live …as a human, as a professional and as a lesbian.

 

A Balance

 

Let’s start from the very beginning. When you arrive you must take the elevators, there are  6, and all of them drive you crazy. The way you discover you’re in the Capital is taking these elevators. There is a recorded voice that says “going up, nous montons, going down, nous decendons”. Yes, everything is bilingual in Ottawa. The first time you hear that voice is ok….after a month you want to be deaf.

15 floors to reach the International Boredom Office. I start at 8.30 am, my boss, the registrar starts at….eh…well, if he comes at 9.30 am is a miracle, most of the time arrives after that or simply, doesn’t come to the office like today, and he wasn’t sick yesterday. If you arrive late that means your day finishes day…but nobody stays so late to confirm if the registrar leaves late.

It’s pandemic in the federal government not to come on Fridays or Mondays. Something happens those days. A pollen epidemic? sometimes. Sickness? Impossible, but that happens suddenly and very often in all offices I worked before. It’s curious, in those offices the managers never were sick, but in this tribunal, that guy is just a case. He laughs all the time, when he walks is like he’s trying to shake and get ride of ants  from his pants. He’s beard, a short one but shaves giving a funny space behind his chin and cheeks. He wears glasses and looks kind of handsome. In fact, it’s like old big boy. He’s dream is to hunt a bear and going fishing. Yes, a real Cro-magnon. He told me at the very beginning he had 2 projects on mind to make work on it. The problem is already finished. Conclusion: I got nothing to do.

There’s a nice girl, mother and devoted housewife from Hungary. She’s nice and her voice drives me nuts. It’s like somebody is pinching her nose. She’s short, shorter than me, wears glasses and despite she have had a daughter, her body looks perfect. She’s very nice to me and explained me a bit about how the tribunal works. As an immigrant we get along very well.

There two officers quite estrange. One, is a big woman, big in all senses, obese, everything she does is in slow motion. It seems she’s taking antidepressants. She has an immigrant boyfriend and is very close to the Hungarian girl. Once she said ” when I met my boyfriend and his son my they gave a meaning to my life”. Looking outside for that meaning is not a good sign. Her neighbour is a chubby a rare woman. She looks nice but has a kind of sad aura around her. Rarely smiles, I’m sure she is with a man with kids from another compromise. She makes jokes and is super friend with the big woman, maybe because they were born in the same region.

A woman who is such a case is Sarah. She wears always on black. She is younger than me. I guess she’s 25 but her vertebral spine looks like a menopause elderly woman. She has a pretty face but her way of talking is just weird and funny. It’s like she feels she was born in the royalty and waves her hand like her words were leaving her mouth in a harmonic way that her hand needs to show its way out.  She talks a lot to the manager.

Madame Potatoes, she is one of the best officers in the tribunal. She’s feed up with her Potatoes file, boxes and copies are ready to go to the hearing in Vancouver. You cannot imagine how guilty I felt the day I made photocopies for her. I felt as if I had a chainsaw and I was cutting down 250 trees with the photocopy machine. I made copies for 7 members, I stamped the seal “protected” and I made boxes and boxes. It was so horrible.

The happy girl beside me…with 24 years on her body, her slob body, her pneumatic belly, she looks like Flubber. She reads all the time when there’s nothing to do. That happens very often.

The last one, the pearl of all those women is the other clerk. She looks at me as if I were a parasite. Younger, impatient and bossy…unbearable and hypocrite…I wish to leave this office before my mental health gets compromised.

It’s written on my cards I will have another job, related to finance, something I will love…but when!!!