I’ve been having my lunch with Suzanne for almost a week. As a commissioner she’s not allow to leave her building. I walk a couple of minutes to join her since our building are farm from each other and last week she wasn’t feeling that well.
In one of our conversations she was shaking, showing her hand, with shy tears in her eyes she was telling me all the fights she was having with her husband. I didn’t know she was paying for a big truck, another little car, the mortgage, food and clothes for her 2 kids. The situation at home became a bit dramatic the day one teacher of her boys call her asking if there were any problems at home. Matthew was throwing things to her teacher and some classmates. Suzanne told me children have been watching all the fights between them. Every moment at lunch time there is a new little history how his “idiot” as she refers to her own husband has been treating her. The idiot said she needed to find another job as a cleaner (her old job) in order to pay the invoices. She was telling me he was more than furious when she heard that, she was almost crying. Sometimes she cleans all the house main floor, basement and second floor alone and the idiot will show up with dirty boots in the kitchen, a sacred zone for every mother in the world. Or when she asked him to pass the dirty clothes bag he answered “I’m tired” but he was playing video games and then he said “do you want the bag? here is your freaking bag” and he threw all the clothes from one floor to another (just for the record he didn’t say “freaking” but another word). I was trying to comfort her but for somebody who also suffered from an abusive relationship words don’t help. What helps? leaving that hell called house. So far, she has packed her and kids’ stuff. Suzanne told the idiot she’s planning to leave him. The idiot responded “ha, ha, ha, you won’t do that, you said that all the time and you never leave”. This time is different, she already signed a lease, she’ll move in July.
The girl’s night out (camouflage dyke included) is organizing a escape plan. The plan Suzanne will call us that day, Fatima, Anne and me with our respective cars, will wait outside the house. A big fight is expected and since the idiot has a guns (hunting toys) we fear the worst, then Suzanne’s father or brother will intervene. We repeat that idea over and over every time we meet. So far, fights continuing and sometimes is too much for her than now she’s questioning herself as a mother. “I explained to the kids is wrong to throw things to people. What mom and dad is just between us, you shouldn’t repeat that. You shouldn’t hurt each other.” and one of her kids said “so to who we can throw things?” , “to the person who’s throwing you things”, the kid replied “so do I throw things to dad?” and Suzanne said “yes”. After telling me that she asked me “am I a good mother?” . I just laughed and I said “of course you’re!”. She is very calm, loving and caring person, always with a big smile but I never saw her that bad emotionally and physically. She lost weight because of stress. I told her my violence relationship and how far this went. So, I’m just trying to be supportive as much as I can that’s why I told her to contact me if she needs anything for her or the kids…and then I received a call.
Nobody calls me, that’s why my monthly invoice is just $35 tax included. That’s not true, my doctor calls, spams call from a company telling me a won a cruise to Jamaica and…sometimes my physiotherapist ..and that’s it, the phone never rings and I got troubles to remind my voice mail password because since nobody calls I don’t use it and keeping forgetting it all the time. Rarely people text me, well, again, I have no friends, nobody tries to reach me. But last Friday Suzanne phoned. She seemed a bit “electrical” that means hyperactive, frantic and speedy. We agreed to meet at the office at 8pm. I was in a farewell reception at church, my buddy Scott is moving to California. He thought of me when he realized he had to leave his home, family and friends, everything to the unknown. He was scared and nervous. Everybody was hugging him telling him “this is exciting”. He didn’t look quite convinced about it. I didn’t say that stupid phrase. People told me the same when I moved to Gatineau. Excitement? adventure? Are you retards or what? Moving to another country is very hard. There are people in Ottawa that told me they’re alone despite they have family or they can feel alone having family. Listen mentally challenged, listen idiot, realize one thing retard. The day you leave a country, you try to communicate with somebody, you got fooled or screwed, you try to be polite and the other understands the opposite, you try to get closer and you got rejected, when you try to go to point A to point B, when you need to do paper work, tell me blind genius…is that excitement? is that an adventure?. You, you got a mother or father or siblings or children, you think with all that you’re alone…go to another country and write me back about it!!!! You won’t have anybody to turn to talk or cry or just ask for explanation, nobody will take care of you when you’ll be sick, no phone calls or messages on your phone, yu feel alone eh? wait….adventure? You have to be totally crazy or in an urgent need to change your life for good to do that move.I wanted to tell to Scott that the experience would be very very and absolutely hard even if US speak English like him but I couldn’t and the reception/party wasn’t the place either. He already sold his house and his wife will stay here in town…I wouldn’t like to walk on his shoes. With that happening in his life…I’d feel my life is tearing apart. At that moment my phone rang….what? my phone rang? yes, it was Suzanne, she arrived to work early and she asked me when I’d leave. Well, she was early but I didn’t feel quite well leaving her at the parking with Daniel, his son of 5 years old. I had time to talk to Ellen, her partner passed away 2 months ago. She’s doing fine, the funeral service will be tomorrow, I don’t know if I’ll be able to go. Anyways, everybody was eating, chatting and so I left to meet her.
I met her at the parking and I met Daniel. He was my first encounter with a human being with a biological small brain. So, that means, a real kid. I don’t like kids, I got a smartphone, I don’t need more. I had some friends in Peru with kids and they were pests. So, leaving in Montreal were nobody has kids because they’re afraid to commit or to get married was a child baby-free experience. Here in Ottawa/Gatineau all conversations end with diapers or “what kid did this or that”…aghhhh, that’s my Spring allergy!!! But I didn’t know how could it be with Daniel and Suzanne. So I went into her car and I said hi to him, he was a bit shy and quiet. (Yes, I said quiet, apparently this phenomena is not common among brats). Suzanne was super happy to see me and still electrical, she drove to the ice cream shop…I forgot to tell she bought this car for her, it’s the first time in her slave relationship she bought something for her…but she is still learning how to drive…with my crashed English I was trying to explain her where the shop was and what road to take…we seemed like multicultural drama queens…her background is Portuguese. If communication is a hard task in every couple, a young driver, a dyke instructor and a kid in the back seat is not the best picture or frame for that.
I said hi to Daniel and we shake hands at the ice cream shop. I told him I’d invite him a chocolate one. (I hate chocolate) and I bought another to Suzanne. In the line up she was talking to me the idiot stayed home with the other kid, despite he wanted to come with us. The idiot is real control freak. They ate the ice cream and I realize Daniel was a real pro to make a mess of himself with a little ice cream. I put a napkin around his cup and I put him in his special chair. I attached the belt seat and I sat with Suzanne and we chat…Daniel was in ecstasy with his ice cream and Iron Man in silence. I talked and I was surprised Daniel was that quiet …probably he was starving. After that we went to a play ground near the office.
There, I released his seat belt, cleaned his mess in his jacket and hold his dirty hand to lead him to the playground There were swingers, slides and pirate boat. Daniel jump into the boat saying “I’m the captain of the pirate boat”. He was in total abstraction in his universe. I was there contemplating and still doing anthropology. He was the most interesting object of study in these 2 years I’ve been in this region. He was laughing, smiling, talking to other kids of his edge. I was surprised of that experience with a kid. Me and Suzanne we were to slides…geeez…has been decades I haven’t tried one. We tried all the toys at the playground. I told Suzanne, this is my first time experience as a father, she said “is this your first experience as a mother?” Suzanne doesn’t realize I’m gay, and to be honest I haven’t told her yet. Her Portuguese Catholic background scares me, but I can’t believe how people can be that blind or see only what they want to see. I can wear a tuxedo and she will never think I’m gay. Just like my father when I was younger, he taught I was a crazy radical feminist…and let’s be honest, the polite way to call a lesbian in those days were to call her feminist.
We ended the day drinking some water at Starbucks when her phone rang….it was the idiot checking. Suzanne only said “I’m on my way” with a very resigned voice. We had such a great time but this had to end…not her decision but idiot’s one.
Days later Suzanne told me Daniel likes me, that he said to his little brother they had fun and he wanted to see me again. Suzanne was laughing at me because apparently when I was trying to take care of him I had a funny face. She said “you were in front of Daniel saying OMG, OMG, OMG, not knowing what to do…” she was laughing and laughing. She added “you asked me if I had a bottle of water to clean the kid…and you said <you should have one all the time at your car>”. That was hilarious…yeah…first time with a kid, and I didn’t know how to approach, how to hold him or hold hands….a real antisocial.
I was thinking of that all weekend…on Monday was my birthday and I called home in Peru, I wanted to skip this year but I knew my dad wanted to talk to me. I called him…he was so happy…I talked about little things, he was asking for my health and work. I didn’t say that much. I said “I love you” and he said that twice, with a broken voice…me, in silent tears…unable to reach him…physically or just in memory…his losing his memory that fast but he didn’t forget it was my birthday. After I hang up I was still in tears…even now that I’m typing that…there are evasive tears…
I became a father of my own father…trying to take care of him, to make things work in the distance…impossible since my brother is not that smart and my mother is that tyrannic with everybody. I had nice experience with Daniel….I gave up to meet a woman, I gave up that a lesbian relationship could work…not many women with brains available in the market. My kid experience it was fine…for 3 hours…I don’t think I’d like to be full time as my father did…and he stills does…I know he loves more than anything in the world…I keep him alive…I miss him…damn it, I miss him…I miss love in general…I gave up that too.