Ford Mercury pickup truck

19 July 2015 – The things you hear sometimes. Twice in the last week I overheard young women say that someone they know has Asperger’s. Both times the someone was a he. The first diagnosed by the declaration that ‘all he ever talks about is himself’; the second with, ‘He never listens.’

Another woman. This one a fully fledged medical professional. In the hospital foodcourt. Telling a male colleague, who’s all eyes and ears with her, about her ‘depauperate lovelife’. That it’s hard to find someone who isn’t either stoned all the time or wanting to be.

Man on phone in hallway. ‘You aints lissnin is you? I said I gots me pho room on me nome. Capiche?’ The last word said, ‘cap-ee-chay’.

A patient’s mother stating with absolute certainty that her boy has ADHD. Because he never sits down and won’t ever listen.

‘Whoever they are,’ says one intern to another. ‘The owners of the world lord it over us like silent kings and queens.’

Speaking of queens. Walking to grocery store last night passed two older ladies who’d stopped to pet and talk to a cat laying about stretching on a shady lawn. On the way back I saw the same ladies stopped out front of a house across the street. They were smelling white flowers and without batting an eye each snapped off three or four of the flower heads. As they started to walk away, slowly, I noticed they both used canes. I kept watching and saw them stop again. One of them passed her flowers to the other and pulled something from her pocket. She put a joint in her mouth and lit it. Blew smoke. Pocketed lighter. Took another drag. Blew smoke. Took flowers from the other and passed the joint. I stopped watching.

Aggravated insults and designated sitters.

Chasing visions.

Talking visioning exercises with Clara the other day. She laughed at her devotion to the practise. Having found that her sessions are more like a hobby these days. She’s so used to doing them it’s like daydreaming. I said I did them as a kid. Cut out pictures of things I wanted from magazines and posted them everywhere. In my mind’s eye I walked through spaces I wished to inhabit. Envisioned my future husband. Saw what I’d be doing for a living and saw my older self riding horses and hiking in mountainous places and driving up to my own private hideaway.

Wasn’t til after Marcus died I took visioning more seriously. As means to setting goals and planning my future. The first Sunday of every month I’d sit down, clear the head for wandering, then write everything out. It seemed to work wonders. Gave me a chance to stop thinking about Marcus. Kept me focused. Got me to going to school, got me through school, got me to working and even got me to moving out west.

But I never foresaw G—the man my projections summoned had a darker complexion and more penetrating eyes. And visioning didn’t prepare me for how I’d feel. About him, about the time it would take for us to happen, about the flood of insecurities that came with opening myself up. I didn’t imagine the house, living together, Liz, his dad. None of it fit the scenarios I’d envisaged. It was so much better.

And I miss it. All of it. But mostly my G.

Who tells me he loves me at least twice a day.

I have to shake my head.

Was a time there thought about ending us. Because it seemed sensible—why postpone the inevitable. But then he came out for Christmas. Was so caring and supportive. Stayed two weeks. Took him out to see mom. Hoping he might bring her out of her stupor. They got on fine but mom has made her blinders permanent. He tried though. And didn’t put up a fuss. So I got to thinking maybe we just might make it through however long.

And now that however long is looking like it has an end. We talk about me going back. Maybe as soon as my trip in August—return ticket be damned.

Just off phone with G. I read to him the above. He listened without interruption and said he loves it. Especially the ‘aggravated insults’ bit. Because it sounds like me.

He told me about work and the drought and taking his dad to the Avengers and seeing an old red and white Ford Mercury pick up truck in the parking lot. And then he told me about his morning with the rat. How he’d gone out to water the plants and from between pots on the back porch saw the long tail of a rat. He jumped back. The rat moved but only slightly. He looked more closely. The rat was small and appeared to be labouring. He moved a pot. The rat underwent a kind of instant seizure, screeched terribly and went onto its side, paws up in defensive posture. It was badly injured somehow, its eyes pleading to be left alone. Maybe it was waiting to die peacefully. G didn’t know what to do with it. Decided to leave it be and went about watering. He checked on it a few times. Still there, in the same position he’d left it, its eyes seeming to acknowledge G as a kindred spirit. He went out front to water. At one point he heard a squabble of crows but didn’t think anything of it. When he next checked the rat was gone.

He’s been thinking of the rat all day. Wondering what its final moments were like. Perhaps a feeling of being lifted into the air, sighting the house and the street and the trees and now higher the sky and at last the sun blinding those dying eyes.

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