Jan 3, 10:00 p.m.
This goes into the I sure as fuck did not expect this file: After yet another sojourn to York by bus to drop off still more ghastly forms, I waited in a line for a Keele bus home and wound up meeting a 20-something woman who I thought might originally have Somali roots, though I don’t know that with any certainty, and her completely adorable boy-in-stroller. They played together as she tried her best to entertain him. Turns out it had been awhile since they’d seen each other—all day, in fact. He’d been in day care while she attended class. Her joy at simply riding in his presence was a glorious thing to witness.
When we got to talk, I learned her husband had been killed in a car crash, a T-bone job straight in the driver’s door. I know from experience in racing that you won’t easily survive one of those in a passenger vehicle; that’s all there is to it. Meantime, the son wanted to play with mommy’s toque, so mommy took off her son’s toque instead and hid her face in it. He liked that. Then he looked over at me. I took off my toque and did the same thing. It seemed to crack him up that everybody was playing games with him.
Daddy wasn’t coming home either; October ninth was Daddy’s birthday, too.
Apparently, everyone’s marinating.
Once we got to Keele, they were going my way on the subway. The escalator wasn’t working, so she needed help getting the stroller up to the next level. Old man’s turn to help. No problem. All the way up those stairs I thought about what she’d had to endure, what that young boy had lost, what a future negated for nothing. Nothing of the kind should ever have happened to her.
It is impossible to make up moments like that, as it would’ve been impossible to make fiction from Lisa’s death; it was already too twisted for even my colleagues, twisted as we all are. The truth does that to you. Believe you me, sports fans, I have seen my fair share of truth. Now I look forward to irreality.
Her tragedy occurred in May. Her husband’s birthday was October ninth. I kid you not.
I’m getting back out, a little at a time. I still don’t deal well with others, and I’d still rather stay at home with the cats, watching races and trying not to write imitation Hemingway sentences. But I mean to get well. And when I say NO FUCKIN’ PRISONERS, best you take me at my word. You’ve never seen me like this.
FUCK—I’VE never seen me like this.