The New Me

I’ve been very busy lately and also tired. Basically tired because I’ve been clubbing or just out out until 2am. But let’s back in time…like 3 weeks ago.

It’s a humid and wet Summer…in other words, it sucks! If you don’t have air conditioner you will react like my cat…losing hair everywhere. I’m losing hair but at least my hair is growing and now I’m facing the problem to go to a hairstylist. And here I’m. At Second Cup near a big avenue in Ottawa..I bought a cheesecake and a coffee…and now that I’m comfortable with free AC, I will write better.

Since I hung up more and more with my gay friend Jeff, but old bad coffee habits are back, thing I don’t regret that much as I should. There are no girls night out in July, reason why I feel the moral duty to hang out in the Ottawa gay microscopic universe. Jeffrey organized a gay Man of Steel night with half of male gay community. In the same raw I sat with Seamus, also know as Shameless, Eric, Kevin and many other I have no idea. The only thing I will say about the movie is…I didn’t like, I didn’t fine the actor hot as Christopher Reeve and….it was mix of an alien invasion and some other crap…it’s been years since I don’t go to the movie to watch something so….pop…I just watch Cannes or festival films nomination…call me snob but I got little hamster on my brain rolling a wheel of knowledge. I found this event good because now I’m becoming more flexible with myself and with others who don’t have the same movie preferences as me.  Jeff just came from a pool party where Shameless, a tiny skinny gay sold many desserts…the left over were consumed during the movie…he said “Oh come on, this is Ottawa, you can bring your food at the cinema!”.    When the movie finished it was almost midnight, we made a standing circle asking about the movie…everybody said it was ok (geezzz I felt the moral pression and I said the same…but the movie sucks), then, all the guys were saying what they’ll go for vacations, some inside Canada, others around Europe renting some aparts there, living la vida loca…Jeff and me we went for a coffee and long walk at Elgin St, were now became our Head Quarters (you’ll know soon why). We went to Center Pub, also known as CP. I was with Jeff and we went to dance, music wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t good either. The population there is masculine and majority old, you’ll see some twiks but few. There I met Glen, a nice guy gay, Jeff’s friend since a while. After this little party time, we went for a walk. While walking around there Jeff met another gay voleyball man guy, they talked for a while, then he told me all the places he used to work on Elgin St., the flower shop (that looked more like a plant shop, no flowers on exhibition, a little restaurant, a video store (yes, Netflix didn’t kill all video stores in town), resisting miraculously to the power streaming of internet, resisting to die…and with an incredible international movie selection…I felt like fish on the most flamboyant sushi dish. Jeff was telling me all his experiences with his lover at the time and talking about his personal life.

The next day, that means, just hours later my outing with Jeff, I had dinner with my “foster mother”. In fact, she is my ex therapist which I keep in touch and I trying to develop not a friendship but a mother-daughter relationship, since mother role never was the best, well, the model of a mother for me is somebody despotic, manipulative, passive-aggressive. But just before my therapy finished I asked if she could “adopt me” thing she was pleased. Since then, every time I needed to be lifted I called her and she was very supportive or other times she was just listening to me on the phone. Because she is like healthy mother to me I invited a dinner for mother’s day, the problem was she was too busy, I was at school some nights, when she was available, also, her birthday was coming and she took vacations ….anyways, our dinner took like 2 months to be set up. I suggested the College International Restaurant where I studied. I picked her up and I drove her there. My ex therapist got some issues with cars, so I asked her to feel free if she had any problem the way I drive. She said it was ok, as long as she doesn’t take the wheel. The dinner started at 5.30pm and finished at 7pm. I was very open about my feelings…and what was going on with me. I said basically “I changed my life and because of you, you helped me to get out of the hole.You’re like a mother to me, even if you don’t noticed it, with you I’m doing the things  should have done or said to my real mother”. She was very happy, she is a person who really gets happy with simple things, you should see her face when I give her flowers. I added “It isn’t me who gives you the flowers but a kid of 5 years old looking for mommy”, of course I love her but it’s an innocent and pure kid’s love. I’m 39…and yes..somehow, mommy’s research is over with her. Well, not over, I’m learning, thing that I told her “as long as I don’t built that healthy mother-daughter relationship I won’t be able to build or to have a good relationship with any woman”. This is true, my real mom’s and ex’s behavior are pathologically the same…I need to change that pattern…in fact, I’ve already started. After all those personal revelations she started talking more about her personal life. While dinning I offered a glass of wine…but she asked to the waitress for a full bottle…I got a bit nervous, since I don’t drink that much I had to pay attention to my driving but also…I was scared for the invoice!. Her mom and mine’s got issues, the issue of not being behind the wheel was revealed here. Her father drove reckless (now the guy has Alzheimer and lives in a retirement home with assistance), her mother used to tell her to wear nice underwear in case they had an accident and needed to go to a hospital!!! She used to spend her Summer at her grandparents’ farm. She learn how to drive the tractor…but the very first day she drove the machine, something jammed, another farmer try to fix it and put his arm inside….suddenly the machine started and….he lost his arm. She was like 10 and this was a very traumatic event and apparently, there were many others that she didn’t mention it. She talked to her vacations in Bahamas…and she was telling me she started to drink when she was 8. So, 1 bottle was pretty much being under control. At this point I was wondering if she had a problem with alcohol or if alcohol got a problem with her. Me, with one glass I was already happy but not feeling that freedom to talk about my underwear preferences. Around 7 the invoice arrived….93$, I asked her to leave tip…but wooow, the food was good…but never again I will invite her wine.

The week later, I told Jeff, there was a guy gathering in a gay bar downtown. We met there, all people were public servants, Jeff knew most of them, some of the volley group or  friends of his friends. Also, Eric was going and his birthday was just a day ago. Jeff bought him a big chocolate and a card…Eric, who is more effeminate than me was almost on tears…so sensitive guy. Jeff went to say hi to other people and me and Eric were there with our drinks when Eric asked me….”so, are you gay?”….well, I was perplexed and I said “yes, I’m, doesn’t look like?”…he said “well, you never know”. I wasn’t upset but I don’t think I look feminine either, so, until know I don’t know if I should take it as compliment or insult. After being like less than 2 hours, we left and Jeff told me it was Shameless birthday party that night. So, after a little home break, we met again at Elgin st to going to the party. Seamus or Shameless was just turning 50. His background is Scottish but he is such an old lady!!!!. All the stereotypes of a gay guy lady were available at his apartment in downtown. He made a center table with little mirrors, another square furniture also with mirrors, he bought lighting balloons all on the floor, he put candles everywhere, inside glasses, or square glasses, floating on water, in every corner of his apartment, red candles at the kitchen, he put silver fold paper as fake curtains and the music was all 70’s…well, he was 50. He cooked the most orgasmic chocolate brownies you could taste. I’m not a chocolate person, I really don’t like chocolate but I tried because I needed something sweet….it was just unreal that thing. Jeff was cooking and I helped to make potato salad. There I met Michael, originally from Jamaica, another crazy flamboyant pseudo drag queen. Michael was making the punch drink with strawberries and no alcohol. Jeff was looking for more vegetables on the fridge when he found something….Michael pulled it out and screamed like a real woman in shock….”what’s that!!! Oh my God…a sex toy”. Yes, it was a gay toy in the fridge, a kind of anal rubber tube. We were laughing and laughing, Seamus wasn’t that happy…and we were talking pictures and Jeff put some on his Facebook, in fact, he put a banana on it….Seamus had to clean it again and said…”be thankful that it was clean!!!”. That made our night….Jeff had to go and I stayed there. I met Basha, a gay from Iran, who works sometimes in USA and Canada and a Polish background lawyer, I don’t remember his name. We were talking until midnight when we sang happy birthday. The cake had a pie inside, full of chocolate…it was good but the brownie was much better. In total we were like  people and Seamus prepared food for 15. Not many people come but we had fun.

Last Friday we decided to go to a Lesbian night at Look Out bar. I knew people there were very young…but I wasn’t expecting a kindergarden either….it really was. People under 25 wearing caps and “yo” look. Geez, there were like 2 old ladies sitting in the bar and a group of hetero ladies celebrating somebody’s birthday. The music was so…yuck but I just was there for dancing, I didn’t care….Jeff wanted to see his kind of boyfriend (now he is in open relationship with him) and left for a couple of minutes…I was in the balcony and witnessing how Ottawa was so empty in a Friday night. After that, we went to Mercury Lounge…great music, people here were a bit older but still young, group of friends…but really quiet. And finally we went again to CP, nothing there, empty too…so we called Glen and Eric and we met in a patio at 1 am and at 2am we went to Elgin st for having something to eat..There, Jeff said openly to try to find a match for me. Glen said asked me what was my type…butch or femme. I said femme, and he said..I got a friend, she is gorgeous…he showed me her picture…and it was ok but she wasn’t a beauty either. I said I just wanted to meet people and to discover if I had chemistry with somebody. Eric asked “do you want kids?, because I got a femme friend with 2 kids”. Well, I think gay man don’t know much ab out what I’m looking for….they’re already marrying me!!!!. It was a bit difficult to explain at 3am int the morning in a crowed place full of partisans they I wanted to be in a lesbian group, in order to not to be isolated….it was funny.

Since a couple of months, I’m daring more and more…Jeff told me he saw me as mouse…shy, moving slowly but daring, trying new things…this is my new me…I want to explore, I want to be happy, I want to live my gayness…I want to be me.

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Drag Queens in Navarra?

I’m drinking my second Cappuccino coffee (a.k.a. French vanilla for the Tim Horton’s Canadian coffee standard). I feel hangover. In fact, I AM. Since I’ve been training, dieting and on top of that, drinking my protein shake after my workout at gym, coffee is out of question…but today is a big exception. I must say the shakes are working. Every glass contains like 60gr of pure protein, I can feel energy and improvement on the treadmill. Also, when you drink that, basically you don’t feel hungry, the liquid stays in your stomach and you got more time to do other things.

But since this week, specially at work, things aren’t going well with me. At work, I’m replacing somebody who took vacations, I’m doing other kind of “new” things . The boss of that section is a fake, chubby, square blond head. Do I hate her? Not yet, but if she dies tomorrow, I won’t cry for her. So, I can quote one of Morrissey’s song “why do I give valuable time to people who don’t care if I live or die?”. That’s my new philosophy. Last Tuesday she sent an email to me and my real boss asking to meet her. So, this is not good. I thought she wanted to complain about my work. I knew she was a bit crazy and obsessive. ok, ok, a real control freak. I work in Finance, so controls and verifications are part of my daily life, but when somebody tries to control ME, that’s different. I’m not an invoice or a fake cheque. I’m not a fishy transaction, I’m kind of transparent. She started saying “I got the impression you hate me”. What? My face was puzzled. “I know you never wanted to come here to work at Section 33, but I noticed in your emails that you don’t feel comfortable here”. OMG. Well, it was true that I never wanted to go there, but I don’t hate her. Once, I went for New Year’s party at the Casino with her. I think I wrote that in my blog like 3 years ago. She is a average Quebecquer, party, traveling to Cuba, resorts, drinking and narrow minded. I didn’t like that time being with her and listening her derogatory comments about gay people at work. Also, her opinions about people from the third world, “indians” as she says…pejorative adjective for us. So…I put big distance between her and me. A healthy distance. I didn’t know she was a boss of Section 33 at the time. But left me a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth…it’s better banning a person like that of your life…but you cannot do that at work. In her micro speech I feel more like her words reflected discomfort with not being obeyed as she liked, it means “What I said must be done the way I say…and my word is law”. Once she told me she was dating a guy who after a while he was stocking her…then she had to put cameras at her place. Also, she told me she had troubles with a big boss I get along. She told she had a grievance…the union was involved too. When I was listening her words in slow motion my mind were on those souvenirs…who was saying the true? who is the real control freak? a person who cannot control anything? a person who needs authority to feel superior? a person with no moral authority but has in fact, authority at work?…for a moment, as you who read this, you realize SHE is not right…nor in what she’s saying neither in her head. So I was there listening….she was psycho but I let it go…no choice, I’m just a clerk, immigrant clerk, so no authority for me, no power for me…no nothing…I tried to comfort her telling her when I work with somebody I took distance (with her is much better, no?) and that was her perception. But know that I’m thinking of that…after that meeting…I think I got reasonable justification to hate her…but I don’t..not yet.

I had my results of my accounting exam. I got 13 of 20, not that bad, not too good either, but is fine. After a tough week I decided a needed a gay break. So, I was thinking to go to a gay drag queen show. So, I contacted a friend of mine and I told him about this idea. He invited me to the restaurant where he works as waiter. He is over 40 and would like to go to school this Fall. He is gay and a nice person. So, I said “why not?” and around 8.30pm I showed up at Navarra restaurant in downtown Ottawa. It’s a little restaurant, cozy and of course, fancy. Prices are….bring your golden credit card. I mean, isn’t cheap but is quality and the presentation is more like painting than cooking. Art. I’m not a person who goes from restaurant from restaurant judging taste and ingredients, I eat because I need to live, I don’t live for eating. Eating for me is an obligation not a pleasure. If I went there was for a glass of wine and….Marion….a hot, afro, jazz singer….OMG, in a little space like that her diva voice was….delightful….I was drinking a glass of white wine…the more alcohol was in my veins…the more I was looking at her body…her breast…her legs…her hair…her lips…ok, ok, ok, hormones quiet, quiet…My friend found me a little red round table…I was just 43 mts away from her. I wasn’t feeling miserable but happy, I wasn’t feeling alone but alive…I was feeling love being single…I was happy with that paradox…I was enjoying that moment…looking at the table in front of me, a French couple trying main dish, desert, wine and more, I was looking another table with a family celebrating a birthday than then, 2 fashion young gays took over later…very fashion and handsome. The other table was taken by 3 Montrealers women…so, they were judging Ottawa and food in a criminal way…judging live to this death to that…it wasn’t pleasant but funny…I was in my wine universe, half here, half…elsewhere….in a  long term bracket of happiness….

It was nice to float in that cloud…must be the Spanish wine…it could have been Marion’s voice…it could have been the people around myself…all of then in their respective universes, sharing, talking, laughing and judging…there were so many people, I even saw two men in a perfect date. My waiter friend was making jokes and we were laughing…we’ll do yoga tomorrow Saturday. I asked him if Marion could sing “Fever”, she couldn’t because the pianist didn’t know that one, so I asked for “Summer time”…and when she sang it she blinked her eye at me….awwwww….my happy heart and my glass of wine were delighted with that gesture…

Since my diet has been liquid, full of proteins I decided to try the food there. So, I asked a dessert. I saw some people eating chocolate mousse…I wanted something different. In fact, I didn’t know what I chose. I couldn’t hear what my friend said about it so I asked Queso Manchego (Manchego cheese). It was a piece of Manchego cheese (that after google it I saw it was made of sheep milk, assuming it was the real thing), Quince confit, pear chutney, candied pistachios, olive oil crostini. This is very Mediterranean  well, the restaurant is a fusion of Spanish-Mexican cuisine…I thought it would cost me a fortune…after my crappy week I think I deserved a big break…my bill was 23$ but since my friend was the waiter…with tip it went to 27$ a bit expensive but…it was just a desert and wine…but full of love.

No drag queens that night, just the best performance of an afro diva, a Manchego cheese disguised for a gastronomical date with me and my beloved waiter that made that night just….full of love…a bracket of love.

There is Candy for Everyone

It has been like 2 weeks since I had my first hypnosis. I’m training at the gym too for almost 3 weeks. Also, there has been like 3 weeks since I spoke with the Medium woman about my future. Just after meeting her I went to the gym and I started to run on the treadmill thinking and thinking and rethinking in several ways, up and down, right to left, North to South… thinking about she said “you’re attracted to violent relationships”, “you got a problem of dependency” …all those ideas were on my mind when I was running and walking. I tried to do 2 km almost every day (I don’t go to the gym when I got my night classes at college). It’s already June and her words are still resounding on my ears…

Just 2 weeks I had my second “girls night out with a camouflaged dyke”. It was awesome. I went with Suzanne, Fatima 1, Fatima 2 (Suz’s cousin) and Anne to the Beer Festival in Gatineau, the weather was crappy as hell, we bought our tickets and then somebody decided to go to a restaurant for dinner….yes, dinner at 5pm, not hungry at all and after a workout at the gym…I wasn’t that happy about it but well, no choice. We went to The Green Papaya, in front of Civilization Museum. The decoration was…like going to a meditation gastronomic spa. Relaxing music, Buddhas everywhere in all the position available, Nirvana, Lotus, stand up, golden, silver, small, big, even in the bathroom there was a Buddha too, with other Indian deities. It was fancy and the food….I wasn’t expecting that much but I must say food was outstanding, service too  The new person in the group was Fatima 2. When I asked what she does for living she said “I’m a pole dancer”. I knew she was kidding but I just  followed the flow. At some point Fatima 2 was worried because I seemed to believe what she said. We had a nice chat, talking about Portuguese drama (that looks like Greek drama), about parents and of course, about my session with the Medium. Fatima 1 is still scare to call her and set up an appointment.

We left the restaurant heading the beer festival. They were selling little  glasses at $2 each. Somebody invited me a glass…awful, I don’t like beer but those are the social thing you must do it in order to fit in a group and not to be excluded.  I was taking pictures as a Chinese tourist. I took a picture even of Fatima 1 and Suz’s butties, well, they asked me to! We stayed there for 1 hour and the girls decided after this small digestion to have dessert, so we went to St Hubert. In our way we were talking non sense, making jokes and Ann was laughing about Portuguese prejudice, since most of them were married with Portuguese guys and now they’re separated or divorced (Suz is taking that path too), and Ann added “ok Diana, hold my hand and we’ll say we’re lesbians”. Suzanne didn’t say anything and I was feeling totally uncomfortable, first, because I’m gay and second because I didn’t say to anybody else about this thing…I felt bad and I don’t know when I should do my coming out with them. Then, for killing time, we went to the casino. Fatima 2 played and won like $200, she paid us our drinks. I had more time to talk to her at the bar there. She told me about her ex boyfriend, a control freak, abusive and all the profile of my ex had. She said “when you think you should be dead, you’re in position to take a decision”. So, she left him, Portuguese drama came with it. She told me about her daughter, a teenager with hyperactivity and cognitive problems. I felt sorry at this point, but she seems living her life at least for her, nothing stops her to do that. Her new boyfriend, a Quebecquer guy is a nice man, apparently, well, must be, if that man buys a Celine Dion’s concert ticket to her…it should be a nice man!.

After we went to a disco…Forum, in Gatineau to dance Salsa. Then I realized the Fatima 2’s joke about being pole dancer wasn’t exactly far from reality. Damn, she knows how to dance. Also, she knew so many people in that place. It was a delightful experience to watch her dancing….she was flying… at almost 1 am we were exhausted and decided to leave. I was very happy and almost broke, I spent like $70 that night….too much and Fatima 1 birthday’s is coming soon. Suz told me later that both Fatimas love me!

I went to see Ed, they guy who performed the first hypnosis. I told him, I just felt a kind of anxiety after my quiz at school. He explained me it was kind of normal and he performed again hypnosis on me. This time I was more relaxed….and there were some words that he pronounced that had impact on me like…love and being happy. I told him after about that. He said to not questioning being happy or feel fine, just to live it. Also, he said in a politely way to accept myself as gay. Yes, I’m almost 40 and I don’t feel comfortable or accepting myself as gay. That idea was always present even when I’m training …all those thoughts run with me on the treadmill…all the time. Ed also said “don’t be afraid to be happy,don’t be afraid to lose things,  there will be always candy for everyone”. He was talking metaphorically, he knows, he feels I’m afraid to open myself, to talk to people and of course, to love…and why not, to be loved.

I went to second hand store and I bought the Dead Cab for Cutie cd “Plans”…I’ve always heard that band was a good one…and they were right. I mean, when you drive alone, when sun is just going down, when you want to slow down your pace…that is the soundtrack of your life…I felt numb and calm when I listen to them…beautiful jewel…

I don’t remember if I said I was accepted to the Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigations program at Algonquin. I was so happy that I called my therapist..well, ex therapist, she is like a mom to me. She was more excited than me and I said “well, they just asked for a recommendation letter from my boss and my diploma from Peru..they want my money after all”, which is true, college doesn’t care about those things, they do the paper work procedure and then…money is there for them. I’ll start this Fall, I’ll take 2 courses, this program is online only. I feel things are moving in slow motion.

I’m not going to the gym today…but even if I’m not in the treadmill those ideas will following me…I’m not running away from them, I run with them….I don’t know what direction I’m taking…I know I want to be happy and I shouldn’t be afraid of.

The Day I Became A Father

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.

The Writers Group

There are some ironies in life so cruel that you prefer just keep your mouth shut. But I won’t, not because I shouldn’t but because I’m not politically correct like the rest of Ottawa.

I was going to the Grieving Group at Church. It was leaded by my American friend and Ellen, both lesbians. The American girl has a transsexual boyfriend FTM. Ellen had a special girlfriend….had? Yes; had, past time. What I remember the most of the meetings was me asking Ellen what to do, what to say, always in the Canadian standards, to somebody who lost a dear one. She was explaining me basically to say “my deepest condolences or if you’re closer to that person offering help”. I spoke to her several times. It was always pleasant to talk and exchanges ideas about this society that I never finish to understand, of course, in my Peruvian totally politically incorrect way of thinking. When I marched at the gay pride in Ottawa I saw her beside the curb with her girlfriend. Ellen is short, shorter than me, short white hair and a problem with her back but very active. She is chaplain in a hospital. I remember I sat beside her girlfriend in one of the LGBT welcoming parties. She seemed out of this world, avoiding eye contact with almost everybody, silent, non talkative. I thought she was autistic but that picture of her was smashed when I saw her in the parade. There, she was waiving her hands, shouting, moving North to South, East to West the gay flag hugging Ellen.  In one of the grieving meetings she told openly her girlfriend was under medication, apparently she had panic attacks or anxiety or both. Also, she said last year during the week of mental health awareness that many people looked or treated not very well the patients who said to the nurse in the front desk they were under medication, but her, because she was the chaplain at that particular hospital, her girlfriend had “fast and special attention”. Just last November, before Christmas, she said in the famous email for the bloody potluck I didn’t want to go, that Marlene, her girlfriend, had a mini stroke. Just in February I asked Ellen if  Marlene was ok. She said “her doctor told her not to do so much physical activity but she’s skiing, walking all the time, living her life”. I was glad to hear that. The day I decided to quit the group I sent emails to Ellen and the American girl saying I was not going, no reason in particular, that was a Friday. On Saturday at noon I received an email from the American girl that Ellen’s girlfriend, Marlene, died in her sleep. I was surprised and in shock. Also, was this the greatest bitchy irony of destiny? I mean, she was the leader of the grieving group and there she was. Like everybody else, with a dead on her shoulders. I saw her Facebook, just 3 weeks later, it was Ellen’s birthday. And just in April, it would have been Marlene’s 56 birthday. I hope their wedding anniversary won’t be in May…I found until now too heavy with all those dates and memories to remember and trying to forget them all at the same time.

We are still waiting for the funeral service. As she told me once, I sent her an email giving her my condolences and offering my help if needed, which it was really weird. Isn’t ironic? And as a chaplain, she knows literature to read about it that she suggested us for grieving. And I always complained that what people need when they grieve is not a paper with authors and titles, but good friends and people to talk to. She has 3 children…will she grieve like the others? will she grieve reading books or over reading books? Will she talk to anybody? Once I told her, talking about death or grieving was taboo in this society. Even crying. She agreed…but I don’t know if their own children will want to listen about loneliness, abandon, fear when they want just this thing goes fast without disturbing their lives.

I went to another group at Church, the writing group. It was really nice. The leader is a woman from Jamaica. At this time, there were 6 people including me. Chuck, in his 80’s, who writes interesting poems, Jocelyne, the leader, who brings books or prompts, to read and after we write freely about the text, a woman with a German background, a guy who works with inmates and an old woman from Church. What Jocelyn read was so hard, heavy, sad, and I don’t know how many adjectives can describe the text about a woman dying of cancer and her friend who was taking care of her for a couple of days when those days became endless. Just when she was reading those depressing lines I felt a wall of emotions and Ellen’s recent experience lived in a different way. The exercise was to write no matter what about the prompt. The book’s title is The Spare Room by Helen Garner And this is what I wrote:

“Is this a real spare room? Just a room and then suddenly can become an universe of pain an agony. Probably more blindness than sadness will fill the empty space in this room.

In the mornings can be expansive and stretches with every sunbeam that crashes the windows and at nights shrinks in slow motion..in the rhythm of pain, of denial . The time is measured by drops of sweating, no tear drops. Are they useful or just useless?

I just saw her eyes….with that look that wants to catch, to grab, to memorize the space in that spare room universe. There were nights, there were mornings, there pain, there were last minute hope and undeniable hopeless.

Even between friends you can develop a false mother-daughter relationship. And not necessarily being the most supportive but toxic. Like taking care of the careless, like taking care of an agony”.

Girls Night Out (With a Camouflaged Dyke)

There many things that happens in the most unexpected way. Just out of the blue, I went to renew my security card at the office. I know the security girl who always smiled at me with a big wide open smile like a mouse so happy to see a big chunk of cheese. Her name is Suzanne, not that taller than me, chubby, married with 2 kids….that’s right, a perfect desperate housewife. When I went to see her for my security pass, I told her I was feeling down, that it was difficult to meet new people or friends and only people I know are over 60’s. Her working partner said loudly “what’s the problem with people over 60?” of course, the guy was over 60. She said to me, once per month she has a girls night out and she invited me for next Saturday….I said yes, we exchanged phone numbers and that was it!!!

Saturday came and I didn’t know how to dress….I just grab standard office clothes…and I drove to downtown. There, she phoned me and told me to meet her at Hard Rock Cafe. Well, I went inside the Hard Rock Cafe when I noticed she wasn’t there I called her and she said “outside there”. And when I look through the window, she was there with 4 other girls. I barely recognized. As a security member, she has a pony tail, no make up and wears an uniform. That night, I discovered she had long curly black hair and she looked just gorgeous. I met her friends there, Fatima, a nice chubby woman, family related to Suzanne, Anne, who looked like that character Alice, in the L Word tv show and a short chubby pseudo vegan girl named…I don’t remember her name, but is not important.

We were at downtown at 7pm looking for restaurant…all places were full and we had no reservation whatsoever. Of course, since nobody decided where to eat in advance or where to go, we didn’t have any reservation. So, after verifying the menu in one restaurant because the vegan was not picky but vegan, I suggested going to a “all you can eat” restaurant, I went once at lunch time like 2 years ago. What I wasn’t expecting is these girls were really into spend money as if they were business women. Also, they were the  kind of people who like eating and do all kind of activities around food. Anne told me after this buffet they were planning to go to another restaurant for dessert and coffee. At the restaurant the waiter explained us how this buffet worked. The price was like 22$ plus taxes and tips. As pseudo vegetarian I am, the only thing I could eat was salad, pasta salad, French fries and fish. You see, vegetarians can be fat too. I just asked for water while the girls asked for margarita or juice or something funny. The drinks were over 6$. My mind was trying to calculate her invoices. I was nervous because the night was just starting and my hypothetical invoice was getting bigger. At the table I was in front of Anne, she was very nice and I interviewed her. She wasn’t married and didn’t believe on marriage as all good Quebecquer woman, she had a son of 17, she works as teacher for special kids and is 39 just like me. Fatima told me she was married with one young kid and she worked as cleaner with Suzanne. Yes, they were cleaners. I was surprised and they weren’t ashamed. The chubby vegan…I don’t remember what she does for living…it doesn’t matter.

I ate so much cold pasta and so much warm fries that my body was shaking …I was feeling cold, I had to ask for tea. The girls asked for coffee, after they complained the coffee was too strong, black as petrol.I was too full that I thought I would bounce and not walking. Another girl was supposed to join us, her name was Sarah. Anyways, we finished our meal…my final invoice was 27.66$ plus 3$ of tip, the tea wasn’t included in the buffet price. So the other girls I calculated with taxes and tips almost 40$.

Now, the girls wanted to dance…and I wanted to go home to sleep. It was not even 9.30pm and I asked Suzanne where we should go. She said Sarah told her the Velvet Room was a good discotheque…but…where’s Sarah? I asked to call her about the venue, after all, it was planned she would join us there. Suzanne phoned her and she discovered due to renovations she was doing at her place, she wouldn’t come. It was -6C, cold and windy, we were like penguins, in a circle trying to keep us warm. I was kind of furious that Sarah suggests a place and after to find out she wouldn’t come, plus, she never called to tell us that. So we decided to go to Velvet Room, and there was a line up, so, the bouncer said the disco will open in 20 minutes. We stayed there for at least 10 min, we couldn’t resist the cold and we went to another cafe for drinking something hot and wait those 20 min. I bought a tea…2.5$. After those 20 min, we went to the disco again…and the bouncer again said “open in another 10 min”. So we went again to that little cafe where Obama once bought some cookies.The tv’s inside were playing (because they recorded) when Obama arrived and all the incidents outside Parliament Hill over and over again. After the 10 min we went again to the disco. This time people who arrived later than us, were getting inside…apparently there was a list…were people could enter before anybody else. Fatima said “come on, this is Ottawa”. I don’t know what she meant with that. that Ottawa is boring and isn’t New York? or we were just a bunch of multicultural group not beautiful dreaming to go to an ordinary disco where Sarah was supposed to go with us (after all it was her idea and recommendation and never showed up). So Fatima was upset and they decided to go to….Caliente…a latino disco, that to be honest, I didn’t know that existed.

So, when we went inside, the bouncer looked Anne and said “you can go”, he looked at me and said “ID please”. What? Me? ID? Do I have baby face or what? I’m almost 39, I didn’t know if I should feel flattered or insulted. Anyways, we paid for the entrance 8$, inside I didn’t buy any drink, later I discovered a bottle of water was 4$.

You know my music taste, I like alternative, rock, punk, metal….and there I was. The DJ was playing, salsa, reggeaton, merengue etc etc. And even if I hated that music when I was in Peru, where it was so popular, I was happy too hear those melodies. My friends at the university told me I used to dance my own style…salsa punk. Anyway, there I was dancing or moving, the girls were moving too, it was cool, just the vegan chubby was kind of bored…but who cares, at this point of the night nobody cared. There were some orgies at the dance floor, couple kissing and robbing her legs against each other, no shame at all, as good latinos. Latino cougars in her 50’s trying to get somebody hot and younger and old men trying to look cool wearing their bluetooth on their ears. There was one Canadian guy who danced like a butterfly having a seizure. Later on, that guy asked to dance with him…no way, another guy who also tried to dance with Fatima without success asked me to dance….what? Doesn’t look like I’m gay? Well, for latino men, there are no lesbians, they’re so closed minded they can’t imagine that. The Vegan was getting more and more annoyed, I was tired and the dance floor smelled sweat. We left around 1 am, the girls drove to my parking spot and the night was over around 2am at my place.

I was glad to go out…but I think in a latino disco, I won’t find the love of my life….it was a bit discouraging that latino patterns repeat and repeat everywhere…I feel outsider inside my own community….but definitely I’m not and I don’t want to be like them…and all that conclusion for the price of 41.16$, my phone invoice is 34$ and my internet 47$.

How to Be Fashion Victim And Be Ugly Trying To

I had such a bad luck with my beloved black pants. The zipper broke and since I live in this part of Ottawa I didn’t know where to do some alterations. Before, when I was living in Gatineau, my landlord was a tailor, so no problems with legged pants or little holes in my clothes. But I can’t go that far for a zipper. So, near my apart there is a laundry and a Chinese tailor fixed my problem for 12$. Usually I paid like 7$ for a second hand pants, you can see it was kind of expensive.

So I decided to do some shopping this morning…in Ottawa there is a big shopping center Rideau Center, which is not like going to Sunset Boulevard or going to Montreal, it’s more third world with little stores in order…with nothing really extraordinary. I went to Le Château, very fashion if you weight like 50kg but is good for people working in big business companies, nobody at the government wear those clothes.I went to Aldo looking for some bracelets…nothing like Catholic accessories that now are fashionable since the Pope was elected. I went to Lacoste. Nothing for me, I mean, I was looking for black pants remember that. What I like about Lacoste are their bags…but this time, not even a Kindergarden student would agree to have one of them. The colors are like Fisher Price toys and for 1 ordinary bag the price was like 200$ no way.I went to other little stores without luck. I went to Old Navy, looking for some t-shirts…geeez…high school style with flashy fluorescent colors like in the 80’s. There wasn’t much left after those stores. I went to Giant Tiger, a cheap store and there I found a good pair of pants but not black, too small for me but really classy, I mean it, classy office style. And when I thought everything was lost, I went to an Italian grocery store and I found Olive extra virgin oil 3 litres for 12$, that was the deal for going to downtown.

So, I decided to go to College Square, a shopping center near my place. I went to Dynamo, I remember I bought a pair of pants from the second hand store and I really loved it. When I arrived people were able to help me but…the sizes were from 0 to 7. When I wear jeans I’m 28 or 30 but apparently I’m to fat for those sizes. There wasn’t 9 and the models had no pockets (how come??!!). I went to Guess, well, that’s more for teenager and I decided I needed some jeans…there was a special of 40% off….of jeans of 200$ and ugly. But when I looked in the men’s section the same, 40% off and jeans of 40$…something is wrong here, can you see it? I went to another Aldo, nothing, nothing, nothing nice, only shoes so colorful that a drag queen would be tempted to wear them. I went to Tommy Hilfiger…geeez….even clothes for kids and toddler are over 60$….and for women the quality is so bad. Prices are over rated. I know you pay for the brand but come on…at least if clothes were beautiful or more..I don’t know, more … more….something. I bought a blouse in the second hand store, the colors were ok but I bought it because it was brand new and I paid 6$. I went to Jacob, the pants were so stretch and 80$, the tissue very bad quality, after one wash your pants are done….I bought 5 years ago a beautiful one and after his torture in the washing machine…was useless…

And then…it happens the worst. My hair was a bit longer, so I decided just to cut some centimeters my fringe with scissors …wrong, wrong…I looked like a dyke of the 80’s, short hair in the front, long everywhere….horrible, I needed an urgent solution…the clipper. Well, I got a clipper for my cat’s hair but I tried to cut my hair (like before) just this time probabilities to make more damage were over 200%. I just cut some little hair and I decided to go out and look for a hairdresser…on Sunday…almost 4 pm…good luck. I went to where I  did my haircut,a  Russian woman did a regular job. When I arrived it was 4.22pm, I saw her through the windows cleaning and closing down the store…I jumped in to the car and I remember Walmart has a hairdresser. I arrived and parked in front to another hairdresser in the same complex where Walmart is…..it was closed….with panic I went inside Walmart expecting the worse…and not….it was open, the hairdresser was open. 2 Chinese or Asian women were there and I was the last customer because they close at 5pm. So, she asked me what I wanted, so, layers I guess and she did….a regular job. At least she didn’t ask me question and didn’t try to be social….I just didn’t want to look ugly. In fact, my face is round, so, no matter what I do with my hair, will be ugly, I think is the part of my body I hate the most….I really hate, I can’t shave it because I’ll look I got a big head….well, after taking a short shower her job looks not that bad, a bit better than the Russian did. I put some gel and it really doesn’t look that bad…

Really, to be fashion in Ottawa is another challenge…I will tell you later what happened when I tried to put another add for meeting people…more anthropology coming soon.