Hi historian, friend, mentor, hobbyist or archaeologist, son and or daughter:
You have no doubt been looking for this time capsule for many years. I left this here many, many years ago. I left it here before I fell in love, before I did anything of any consequence. These were simpler times where my only worries were figuring out how I was going to eat my next meal. Now life has become a mix-up of sorts with more layers than a painted window sill in a one hundred year old home on Main Street. I want to share this with you because I love you.
Storybooks are fun. Mine will introduce you to the friends I had (and still have) from this time, to the places I went to, the food I ate, the drinks I drank, the trials I had, the thrills I sought, the tears I shed, the smiles I smiled and the love that I gave and received. And yes, did I ever receive love, more than I could have ever imagined. When you grow old like I am now many years after having written this you will realize that life is beautiful and so are the people who will weave in and out of it. Your memories will scatter across your soul like the stars in the night sky. Some will shine brighter than others, some will glow warm and some will be cold, even blue. You will have moments of brilliance like a shooting star across the canvass that is galaxy.
The last year of my life, the year this time capsule chronicles, has had moments of brilliance, many memories, moments of consequence and instances of frustration.
This is my goodbye to a city and to the people that added colour to every waking moment:
One midnight greyhound ticket from Peterborough to Ottawa, soon after that a mended heart. A voucher for the Arbuckle inn. Late night Metro receipts, napkins stained with purple with the familiar smell of garlic sauce encrusted with hummus. A roll of quarters and a pick up time at Browns. A pint glass from the Manx a reminder of the jokes and plans that started three pints in. Pictures of the girls I’ve kissed, the ones I didn’t and the ones I liked. A transpo ticket to get to ‘burbs (life really is different there), and movie ticket stubs. Guides to theatres that were more beautiful than the movies themselves, at times. Photos of converted city streets made into walkways at night. A pair of worn out running shoes which ran the half, explored the canal, the ottawa, rideau and whatamacallit rivers, iPhone shots of Pink Lake, Christmas trees, happy times and sad times. Tattered and torn coasters with the stains of despair, hope and mischievousness. Bowls of stale cheetos and the playlists from free jukeboxes. A framed degree and a paystub, and student loan statements. Cards from staffers who were more partisan than their bosses and cards from bosses who were less knowledgable than their staffers. Late night scribbles in a notepad, the thoughts of an insomniac. A headrest slip and broken dreams. Balance statements in the red, in the black and in the red again. IOU’s and thank you’s for friends and family, prayer cards and church bulletins. A soul lost and a soul discovered. A new school pin, an old school pin. Directions to a new friend’s house, blindfolded journeys to the old ones. Boat rides and dingy bells with candle light sandwiches. Ford Escorts made king size sofa and early mornings stretched into afternoons. Love at first sight found on Christmas eve, love that fades and love that was. Turkeys and impromptu parties. Silly sweaters and stories of years gone by. Risk and the Cave, into the woods only we didn’t starve. Bowties and gin, manliness and sushi. Rama Lotus and hyperventilation, Ed Hum and special mind spots. Plastic bags as socks and late night walks. Restaurants without windows and a parliament without a Prime Minister. Homemade meals from friends who cared and lipstick stains from the nights I dared. Cakes baked and cottage mornings by the lake. Crosswords and buzzwords, shawarma and free salsa. A termination and a congratulation(s). Chat logs and early morning skype talks, a change of heart and a brand new start. Festivals, ghost walks, rainy Fridays, Shakespeare in the Park, and spicy eggplant please. Red wine in carpets, two days later PBR in Brooklyn. Broken hearts, smelly farts and even better freshly baked tarts. Nutella and Sriracha sandwiches. Enjoy them said Mr. Zevon, and enjoy them I did.
I love you all, more than you could possibly imagine.
Living a life full of love,