The Mystery Man and The Memories

So I’ve been wracking my noggin Mom all this week, trying to decipher who the mystery.texter is. I’ve asked various questions, not all of which have been answered, but from what have, piece by piece, I have whittled down the possibilities.

I don’t know many people, so there is a limited crew of those who had the means to contact me. I earlier in the week had scratched off my sister, and any of her friends, so that cut down the cast of accomplices significantly. With that swath gone, I then zeroed in on any other possibilities that may qualify.

Every day on my way to work, at breaks, lunch, and then all the way home, these last three days I’ve worked my way through the old memory banks to unravel this delicious mystery.

As I’m walking up the street that leads to my abode last eve, I recall the one possibility I realize I had somehow completely missed – isn’t it strange how I somehow had altogether forgot about him?.

BINGO the guy texted in response to my question …”do you know” {of course I used his real name}.

So, anyone up for a round of pass Paula round?

Yeah. Ok, so not sure how I’m suppose to take this…although the fellows intentions were perhaps sincere, I still can’t help but feel a tad offended. Did in some drunken state say…”hey, that chick you liked is available, as I’m done with her, wanna have a go“?

Sure, I highly doubt would have said that, he’s not that crass, but who blawdy knows.

Perhaps too I’m a little disappointed. I couldn’t tell you who exactly I thought it would be, but I was hoping maybe farther afield, or back, back into the days of youth maybe?

Alas now, instead its the guy who was there that night I stormed into, unannounced, all ready to verbally attack him, and he had a guest.

So, instead I just sat down, calm as can be (and drunk as a skunk), and proceeded to converse with this guest about I don’t remember what. I do remember I was impressed though by him, and that he had dark hair, but that’s about all I recall.

Yet, and I know Mom you saw this coming, and yet, my mind of late keeps returning to Tim. Cause you know, the hardest part of walking past the empty spot where once the Old Vic stood, beside it stood Thameswood, and that still makes me sad.

IF I am moving on, which I know I am, before this next part of my life happens (whenever that may be), but it is coming. Well, there are things I must work on, or they will just work against me. Like as tough as the rat fink could be, as angry and bitter as he was, as tired as I became at times, as indifferent even, I never once thought of walking away. Not even once.

It would have been so easy back at the University Hospital in the fall after his surgery. But I barely slept, I barely bathed, I barely ate, and I worried myself sick that he would die while I was gone. I swear after the surgery we almost truly lost him. So I slept next door, when we could afford it, in this old Nunnery, now a Boutique style hotel.

The Guest House on The Mount – This place stands alone as this rare gem of a place. With a communal dining hall, and an attached full functioning kitchen. It is part hostel, part chic Inn, part guest house for those involved in some way with the University of Western Ontario. Those days I was there, I met foreign students, and family and friends of those undergoing long, difficult, and life-threatening procedures next door at the Hospital. Quietly, unspoken, some of us, by looks alone often, sharing the same fears, and sorrows.

Some may say, maybe even him, that he may have been better off if he had died after his Whipple Operation, that removed this firealarm size tumour that had overtaken his Pancreas, and so they in fact tore out his guts. Tim was not large AT ALL. He was maybe 5’8? Maybe, and barely reached 140 pounds for any real length of time before he got sick.

Yet, he lived through all that horror, and he learned how to fight this, and together we did the best we could to somehow ingest this new reality.

Even at the end, even when I’d known for months and months he was going to die soon, way before he knew I knew, even when he told me I almost lost my mind in grief. The sound of his voice, it broke my heart to hear him say it, and he had no one there when they told him. Damn it all. I couldn’t get to him fast enough. He was completely shattered. It was July of 2012, we first found out at the University Hospital that previous September of 2011 he had Pancreatic Cancer. He died October 18th of 2012.

Man, what four square years together though we had. Those days with Tim where magical and terrible, sad, embarrassing, sinful, and delightfully innocent, and just as guilty, and as blessed, and as lonely, as any I have spent, and probably ever will.

Those days with him will define something inside me I know I can never loose, I will always have them, those are MY memories. I did those things, and I cherish now ever single tear, and fear, and lying cheating, bastardly, delightful, fear filled moment.

Today I looked back, and REALLY looked back, and I saw I also could have turned away at some point in the time we spent at Thameswood. Yet, again, never once did it enter my head.

I realize Mom that some may find this strange that I should even think this, but I had plenty of reason to have at any point left him high and dry, and believe me, no one would have accused me of being crass and selfish. He took things from me, and almost managed to drag me into a world I swear I would never take part in, and much much more I see no need to go into (peruse the menus below if you’re curious).

Even though we were right in London, I don’t know if in those 6 weeks we spent do I ever once recall seeing my sister. We had arrived on London’s door step, per usual on an over night stay, to three day tour. This was the last part of this journey through cancer – the radiation/chemo treatments.

I thought for that initial visit we could just stay with my sister, but we couldn’t get a hold of her, and Tim turned vapid on me. He was furious at her. And he thought I should be too.

I don’t work that way though. Something inside me just said, no.

We were alone, as we had spent so many of the days since we’d met in October of 2008.

By this time I had an idea these were possibly the last days I would spend with him, just the two of us against the world, before he began to drift away from this life. I suppose I didn’t want anyone, of my family and old family friends, I didn’t want them there, this was our time.

And I was right, they were some of the last good days he had.

As I walked past that place last Sunday afternoon, as the wet snow covered Irish and I, as I saw all these places I had been, as I lived all these memories I sometimes ignore, even hide from, as all of these snapshots came to life, as the tears fell, I knew the next time I past this way I would not carry so much grief, and the memories won’t make me as sad. And I would feel even more joy…then I did that last Sunday I strolled around that river that runs through so many of my memories.

It is time Mom. It is time. To move on. Towards what, who knows. Maybe mystery.guy is just a doorway, just as was. Who knows. Yet, maybe that old Gypsy woman was right? I guess I’ll find out.


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