Cloud 9

I’m so happy. I have no reason to be so happy, and every reason to be so happy. 3 sleeps (one of which is almost upon me!) until I see my best friend again, and snuggle myself to sleep against him. A thirtieth birthday (death of youth, beginning of the best decade of life) to celebrate. It’s my birthday, too. We’ve decided birthdays are fun, so we both get two per year now, almost exactly six months apart. (Never forget, darling, you may have learned to read at two years old, but that was in 1984. I learned to read in 1983.)

I was spooning rice into a bowl, a bed upon which to lay my delicious broccoli beef concoction, when my doorbell rang tonight. My doorbell has rung only once before when it was unexpected. I carried my rice bowl and my ladle (not yet full of delicious broccoli and beef) to the door as I hustled to answer the unexpected summons. It was two older Quebecois men. One of whom had a bell, which he rang when I opened the door. I smiled and when they started to talk quickly in french, I gave them my spiel, en français, “I’m sorry, I’m American, I understand only a little French. Please speak slowly?” And they did. And held up the knitted sock they were carrying, telling me they were collecting for the poor.

I don’t know if THEY were the poor, out of booze for the night, or if this was a more organized charity collection. But they complimented my broken french as I invited them to step into the entryway, out of the cold. And I went to my wallet and grabbed five of my husband’s hard-earned Canadian dollars. It was an unexpected chance to interact once again, to try to fit in here in this strange land where I don’t speak or hear well. It was worth the $5 to me.

And then I ate my delicious dinner, with a smile upon my face.

I’ve no right to be this happy. But I am. And I’ll not apologize. The smallest things leave me smiling for days. Just understanding, “Do you need a bag?” when I go to the store for just a bit of broccoli is a victory. And while the war still wages, I am the victor in many battles now.

It’s been a bit cold here, warming up today enough to rain. And I think I felt Ginny’s 4-wheel-drive kick in for the first time tonight. I feel like Quebec is a test that’s been thrown in front of me, and despite my failure to have ever studied in preparation, I feel like I’m passing. Not just passing, perhaps. Maybe pissing off classmates and setting the curve.

I plan to fly through another test tomorrow. My french class final. I’ve had some great study sessions with my classmates, and I feel READY. One test standing between me and the final preparations for my trip to celebrate with my best friend before bringing him home.

Okay, so maybe I have reason to be on cloud 9. I feel really, really good. Life fits well. I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. I wouldn’t even make it two sleeps, instead of three. It’s been so long, I rather like the anticipation now. Soon, my dearest, soon. I finally feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be. That’s a paraphrase of a Fun. song. But that doesn’t make it less true. I talked to my mom today, spanning thousands of kilometres for free. I talk to my sister often, and get heytells and messages from friends from all over. I AM where I’m supposed to be. I’m thriving where I’m planted. And soon. Soon, things will be even better. Viva le Quebec! And viva le Canada! Life is very, very good.

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