Two Months Later

Posted: October 18, 2011 in Best of file 23

Two months ago I was packing a suitcase and getting ready to leave town for nineteen days. Over eight months of planning had gone into making those nineteen days happen. For nineteen days I tossed my usual life aside and lived like a whole different person. I walked into restaurants wearing a tie, stayed in four-star bed-and-breakfast resorts, sailed on the open seas amongst Orcas big enough to take a bite out of the boat I was in. For nineteen days I left my cares behind lived a much simpler life; breaking my routine once in a while is much more than a good thing, it’s a great thing.

Eight months of planning, nineteen days and nights and then I went from driving roads carved into snow-capped mountains back to Texas overnight. The differences between the US and Canada hit me hard from the nineteen days of not talking to or having anything else to do with one solitary policeman in Canada to being hassled by the LAPD in the LAX airport for the heinous crime of taking photos. LA- a city with a multi-billion dollar porn industry where warthogs like Ron Jeremy can become millionaires for doing it with 18-year-old girls wearing braces but if I pull out my Canon at the airport I’M causing problems? Screw you LA: I’ll be back to spend my precious tourist dollars there real soon.

Left the grocery store the other day without my safety belt on and got about two blocks out of the parking lot when here came the red and blue flashing lights accompanied by a siren. And don’t even get me started on those damn red light cameras; I didn’t miss seeing those things one little bit. But the differences between the US and Canada hardly end there.

There’s the trash everywhere here; that one’s really getting to me since I came back. When I go for a walk around my neighborhood I can fill up a plastic grocery sack with aluminum cans in mere minutes. Mind you it’s not like I would eat off the streets of Vancouver but when I go for a walk here I am utterly appalled at how people here fling beer, energy drink and soft drink cans around like it’s their God-given right. And those at least I can sell by the pound; what really disgusts me are the tons of plastic bottles, and other litter I see all over the place. Despite any criticism I have of America it’s still my home and I take more pride in it than to drive down the street tossing trash out the window; is locating a trash can or open dumpster THAT difficult? What little trash I saw on the sides of the road in Canada I would wager was tossed there by tourists and not the people who live there.
And it would be really nice to walk through a parking lot without seeing a used diaper wadded up into a stinky ball and left for someone else to pick up, especially if its within visual sight of a trash can or dumpster (which they usually are) I didn’t see that sort of thing once the entire nineteen days I was in Canada.

When I left Texas August 19th the state was in the grip of a record-breaking heat wave. While I was gone 90% of the state was in flames; wild-fires were burning out of control and being fought by volunteer fire departments (as if they had nothing else to do) Meanwhile our Governor was flying around the country campaigning for President.


When asked about what he was doing about the fires his response was: “Texas can burn without me” All he had to do to make the yokels forget about that arrogant remark was crack a stupid joke about gun control and using both hands (“Hyuk!”) Gawd forbid our Governor should put together some kind of socialist state fire department but then again they paint those fire engines red for a reason…
If your typical Texas wasn’t such a slack-jawed, slope-browed knuckle-dragging Troglodyte they would have been organized a recall campaign and gotten rid of this useless, self-serving piece of office furniture; this is just another reason I don’t want to live here anymore.

The night I flew back in a fierce wind was blowing from the south; my yard was full of trash and dead leaves, and both of my cats were visibly pregnant. But no one had broken in and cleaned out my house for me while I was gone so things could have been worse. I had ONE day to relax then it was back to my menial job. The next day I had to cough up my rent as well as the cash for four utility bills.
When I am standing in front of one of my machines at work, I daydream and hard. I think of sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean and drinking a cup of tea. I think of watching a whale breach the surface of the ocean, or watching a bald eagle fly over me. I think about sinking my teeth into a Tim Hortons BLT breakfast bagel. I think about waking up next to Someone Special and putting my arm around her. And I’m working over-time so I can make these things happen again.

Two months ago today I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get ready to leave the country for two weeks. Packing and re-packing my suitcase, rounding up my passport, shoving books into a back-pack etc. It was a hundred degrees in the shade, I was running the air conditioning non-stop. Two months later the trip has been taken and I am right back in the same rut I was before I left.
Get up, brew coffee, make a sandwich, go to work…get off work, cash my check, pay the bills, eat dinner, go to bed. God what a routine.

The only difference between now and two months ago is the temperature has gone down a bit and it’s rained a couple of times.  Sometimes my life seems like those repeating backgrounds in old Hanna-Barbera cartoons.  I just want the background behind me to turn into Canada and keep it that way….

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