17184: Watching the Jets Land

It so happens I live in a high-rise building in Toronto. Here it’s called “vertical living,” and to be honest I like it for the most part. OK, the elevators are under renovation, but there are very wonderful dogs who live on this floor and for the most part, they’re happy with me. That’s something I innately love.

My apartment faces north; therefore, I have a clear view of the skyline. I watch the flights land at Pearson with a catlike joy. There’s something out there. I know what it means. In every assigned seat there’s a story. Trust me.

These days, because of this whole 17184 thing, I’ve been watching those planes in an entirely different way. Now, one of them could be headed where I’ll have to go. I’d say it’s 50/50 at best. Still, if I should wake up here Wednesday morning (because on Tuesday night I am going to the Swan and Firkin and buying a round for everyone lucky enough to be seated at the bar, and I invite Janice to come as well if she would like, even just for one drink), I will know how blessed I am. I love this place. I love this town. And believe it or not I love this country. Torontonians, you do not know how blessed you are to live here. Tolerance is a gift given to relatively few places on this planet, yet I can easily go to places where tolerance is the watchword, not mere suggestion. Those places I prefer to, say, a location where the local euphemism for gay men starts with the letter f. And that doesn’t mean forte.

And, to paraphrase Ike Willis, I’ve been there.

So I watch the jets land. All I want, sitting here tonight, is to continue watching them until I can figure out what I need to do. I want to stay here; that’s the goal for me, for the cats, for Lisa’s memory, and as a proper place from which to start rebuilding.

But you have to know when to fold ’em, so if the news on Tuesday turns bad, I’m happy to say I have a contact in L.A. I like her already. She gave me a contact for a new rental agency out there. Now, look: I am in no way prepared to do this, but if on Tuesday I’m forced, then….that becomes an option. I don’t want it like that—believe you me, I would far rather think of California as a vacation destination, but the fact is Toronto has become home to me, purely and simply. That’s how it is with immigrants. We become tied to the country that takes us in.

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About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in Culture/Politics, Life "After", Notes on Living and Dealing with Illness, On Lisa's Death: Trying to Survive the Unsurvivable. Bookmark the permalink.

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