Wednesday, Feb. 01, 2006
Dear Diary:

The words "Let's go sway on slippery planks several hundred feet above a river gorge so we can contemplate how it might feel to plunge to our death on the rocks below" were not mentioned.

I am too young to die.Because, you know, if the words "sway" "gorge" and "plunge to our death on the rocks below" had come up in the conversation, I would have remembered.

And so when my hosts Freddie and Dave suggested that we go see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and do the treetop walk I was all gung ho, being oblivious to the fact that this would involve swaying, gorges, and possibly plunging to death on the rocks below.

The nice thing about a picture like this? I can mark myself with a red arrow to actually prove that yes, yes I did walk across the gorge on the slippery, swaying suspension bridge.

This being a picture and all, you can't hear my screaming. I can pretend that I was cool and nonchalant about it. I can pretend that I was not obsessing over the fact that I was swaying several hundred feet above a river gorge, a river gorge peppered with large, sharp rocks.

Photography is a wonderful thing.

Oh, and when we got to the tree top walk and found ourselves dangling way, way up in the top of a west coast rain forest on even more flimsy catwalks?

Piece of cake.Piece of cake.



I mean it.

I hardly whimpered at all.

Speaking of cake (feel free to bow down before the wonder of my segues), I promised a birthday party picture. So here is the birthday boy and his sweetie during the big cutting the cake moment.

I believe he must have a portrait in an attic somewhere aging away on his behalf because I think we can all agree that Queerscribe doesn't look anywhere near his years.

Who amongst us has not been in the position of being confronted by a friend or co-worker who has just come back from a big trip and has a stack of pictures about six inches thick? We've all felt that moment of dread when the person comes up and says, "Want to see my vacation pictures?"

These snapshots mostly don't mean anything to us because, well, they're someone else's mementos, someone else's memories. But we're all polite and when asked, nod, glance at the pictures and feign enthusiasm.

Do you want to see my vacation pictures?


Well, for me Vancouver will always be painted in shades of green and gray, since I spent time there in its rainy season:

Green and Gray.

It was about reconnecting with Queerscribe.

Oh, the things that have happened on this couch.

It was about finally meeting Freddie (on the left) after five years of reading about his life on-line. It was about his partner Dave agreeing to let some freak from the internet a total stranger into their home for four days and making me feel welcome in the deepest sense of that word.

They are so well matched.

Oh, and I got to meet Brent who has known Freddie and QS forever. Hearing all their stories had me in stitches and the way they treated each other was exactly the way sisters treat each other. When I told them that Brent immediately said, "I'm the pretty sister" which pretty much sums up the vibe of the weekend.

Sorry, Brent, but Freddie is the pretty sister.

The night before I left on this trip I had a hard time sleeping. I worried about how hard it would be to walk in to that most intimate of gatherings, a special birthday party, only having met one person in the room, the birthday boy.

His friends and family were so very, very wonderful and accepting of me, a total stranger. Queerscribe is extraordinarily blessed to have this kind of love in his life.

Monday, my last day in town, was a jewel of a day. It was warm and sunny and I got to see why the people who live in Vancouver adore it so. It is a gorgeous city in a spectacular setting.

With the pressure of the birthday celebrations off, Monday morning the gang of us kicked back at a diner in the gay village and enjoyed a ribald brunch as the guys boy watched. Many of QS's friends are his ex-lovers, a fact I still can't get over (my break-ups usually involved me wanting to napalm the former object of my affections), so there was much reminiscing along with the deep appreciation of the passing flesh.

That afternoon at my behest the gang of us went thrifting. Every flat surface and every wall in QS's apartment contains books so he, of course, bought more books. The rest of us scoured the clothing racks and scored something tasty in every store. I bought so many clothes that Freddie had to give me another carry on.

Don't think I'm joking, because I'm not.

I flew out on the Monday night red eye. I told Freddie to drop me at the airport gate and not to bother to go in with me. It wasn't about me showing him consideration for his time or the expense of parking. It was because I knew I would break into big, wracking sobs if I had to go through a good-bye, but I had enough stamina to hold it together through a quick good-bye hug at the curb. As it was, my eyes were suspiciously red when I boarded my flight.

And here I sit back in my tiny log cabin the woods, surrounded once again by winter, far from Vancouver's spring. Truth be told, it all happened so quickly that the big birthday party and Vancouver feel almost like a hallucination.

Just to the right of my monitor sits a framed photo collage of my trip, a parting gift made by Dave, Freddie's partner, who is a very gifted photographer. Whenever I want to reassure myself that yes, it all really happened, I glance to my right and there it is.

You know, I'm not sure how much of a birthday gift this was for Queerscribe, but I can tell you that it was a fabulous gift for me.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 146.32 miles. 10 per cent rubber duckDuckage! There was a time I ate my stress. Now I burn it off in motion.

Goal for 2005: 1,250 miles - 2000 kilometers

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