It is very strange waking up and not knowing where I am. It just happened for the third morning in a row. “I am at cousin Gail’s, home in Canada.” I eventually conclude and then relax. But, it scares to relax because I fear I will loose my edge, my desire to write, to create. Some degree of solitude is necessary; being in London on my own was the catalyst.
I am already getting a bit sloppy and getting bad habits. I have my new phone with its ‘super plan’ and went on a frenzy of calling my ‘North American people’. Email has been my means of communication over the past two and a half years. Having a conversation with its spontaneity and easy interaction proved rather addictive.
I am not living alone at this moment (which I have been doing since 2010.) Moreover, I am surrounded by ‘family’ – cousins, their kids, their kid’s kids and there are many plans afoot to meet up. Plans eagerly anticipated, but they do not involve solitude. Today there is lunch with three cousins and an aunt. Wow! I bought flowers and I am in the process of making a flower arrangement for my aunt. I have not done Ikebana in months. I remember telling a new acquaintance in London that I studied Ikebana for nearly twenty years. “That will come in handy in the event of war!” he quipped. Now, that was funny. It was strangely true as well, because during WWII in the internment camps the Japanese people kept their culture (and probably sanity) alive by doing Ikebana. Where did I gain that little known fact? By going to school of course- Dominican University in San Rafael. That is a school that can be named. The school I attended in London (which is the subject of my February 15th, 21st and February 24th blogs) could be named now, as I have no financial presence in the UK. It should be exposed actually, but I do not feel like doing it at the moment.
There is a conversation that I had in the lady’s locker room at Dolphin Square a couple of weeks ago, not previously mentioned. It was with a woman called Kay (Kay for ease- she had a very complicated name, but most people call her Kay for simplicity.) She was getting dressed and putting on a headdress. I had heard a podcast, an interview of a Jamaican author conducted by Terry Gross. At this moment I cannot recall the author’s name. The author was discussing her complex heritage and talked of wearing a headdress some days, when she felt like it. Bad hair days occasioned the wearing, but others as well. So, I spoke to Kay of the interview and we began a fascinating conversation. Kay was very comfortable wearing a headdress and she described something I had never heard about. She says that the wearing of it brings respect and recognition from men of all sizes, shapes and colours. (The sizes, shapes and colours are my words, not hers.) There is a universal respect by men; she is no longer considered a sexual object. Kay is a very attractive woman, but she does not want to be seen as a sexual object. Kay and I discussed that most, if not all women, do not like to be regarded as sexual objects by the ‘men in the street’. To be regarded as a sexual object by one’s lover is one thing, but even then we all want bigger and better recognition from the men we adore. We talked more. I thought it might be a good idea if all women wore headdresses to show solidarity with women of all races and colours. Once I get a little settled I am thinking of doing it. Kay says that you can go on YouTube and get ideas about how to fashion them. I am going to try it and will let everyone know. But, there are the lunches and the birthday celebrations for cousin Gail and all.
This does lead into the conversation I had with David and Greg at the Heathrow Skyline Sheraton the night before I left London. We spoke of the relationship between gay men and women. Some of my best friends are gay. Greg said that gay men accept women because they see women as people, not as a conquest or a challenge to their masculinity. I thought that was a brilliant remark and it reflects how I feel about my relations with my gay friends. They treat me as a person. I think all people like to be seen as a person. I think that is why I have decided to grow old disgracefully. Please see post of February 8, 2017, it is funny.
By the way, I have seen no examples of misogyny as of yet in Canada, but I guess that this is only Day Three. But, on Day One, Gail and I were at a Toyota car dealership. One would think it would be a bastion of chauvinism. Alas, we were treated like royalty and Cory took the time and effort to explain everything to Gail and spoke to her as if she was a person of intelligence. She is, of course a person of intelligence. She is, after all, a Dry burgh. So am I. We both have purloined names at the moment but we were Dry burghs once and will remain so.