Closing Time: farewell Blake, it’s time to go

December 14th 2020 would have been Blake’s 86th birthday. He passed Mar. 18, 2018. His real name as many of you knew was Rick Dermont. His sailboat was Gecko. This piece was originally posted in the summer of 2018. You missed so much fun, fella.Tomorrow I go to sign the papers that close the sale of Blake’s house in Toronto’s Cabbage Town. The lawyer’s office is near there on Parliament St., but I think I will not go back to the place itself. I am told that it smells like any closed up house, which is good news because I spent several thousand dollars getting it not to smell like dying dog and master and incontinent cats and hoarder/not housekeeper girl friend.

The only trouble is by signing those papers, I am killing him all over again. Prostate cancer took him out, long, slow and painful, but there have been steps along the way that made him deader. The day the house was finally emptied of all the detritus of twenty years of living and never throwing anything away or cleaning anything for that matter. The day we got the unconditional offer for the asking price. The day that I could no longer feel him there beyond the veil. He had walked away. Gone on to higher education. Oblivious to the weeks of juggling figures, filing late tax returns, paying utility bills, house insurance, all that day-to-day stuff that I still had to do.

For years, when I glimpsed the blue of Lake Ontario from my 14-floor window, I thought Blake’s lake, Sirocco is down there waiting him to climb on board, his house is down there. Now it is not Blake’s lake.

Blake was my great love. Explaining that is like explaining sex to a child, impossible.The only one who expressed it was Leonard Cohen in Hallelujujah.

Blake betrayed me. The only one who apologized was Leonard Cohen. I understood from him that Blake had tried in his way to be free.

Blake knew though what Cohen had said about “children waiting to be born.”, although he wouldn’t have put it in those words. Apparently, he and I had a contract to produce and nurture two children, He fulfilled it.  They are greater than we ever imagined

Why he forsook us for those who seemed to care less for him than we did, we can only surmise. It was his life.

He left me a dragon’s trail of slime. Little by little his son and his step-daughter and my sister and my niece have helped me clear the material dross, and I have wrestled the numbers into some semblance of order. Our daughter lent me courage from afar.

I know you’re busy, Blake, learning some advanced other worldly physics, but, just saying, I miss you, Love.

The Reality Hotel: latter days

balcony hotelA snail climbed on the back of a turtle.
What did it say?

The house sale is moving at the same speed. When it finally closes, Clara and I can bust out of the Reality Hotel. Today it inches forward as the money from the sale of the Vegas house finally hits the bank account of the vendor of the house in Pine Mountain. Meanwhile Clara and I have been living in the second floor of this three roomed hotel since early July.

We have large airy rooms with excellent showers and a kitchenette in Clara’s room, but no phones or internet, no stove or hot plate, only a microwave and a toaster oven, in a town where restaurants keep mountain hours and Wednesdays they all close. Of course there is a general store next door where you can buy almost anything, including good French champagne, which I bought to celebrate getting the keys. Trouble was we trooped over to see the house that was almost Clara’s and the keys didn’t work. Turns out the key which over-rides the code was in the house and we didn’t have the code. We drank the champagne to make us feel better.

Now that little problem is solved. All we have to wait for is the house to be cleaned and the pod with the furniture to arrive from Las Vegas. Possibly not next week, say the pod people. Not to worry. There is a storage unit at the foot of the mountain with furniture in it, including the mats that Clara slept on in the last days in Vegas. I long to lie my ancient bones down on the floor. I dreamed last night that I was going from house to house looking for a bed to sleep on. I was still looking when I woke up.

But life here in the old Reality Hotel (Realty really, but it is all so surreal ) got better by the addition of two items.

hot potA $13 Proctor Silas plastic hot pot, which boils water for tea and cooks porridge.

hot wireNo not the Mac Air book, the gizmo beside it, a hot wire that magically allows me to get the WiFi signal from the house in the pines. It had been lying in a drawer in that house, completely unrecognized for the miracle it is.

Now I can get on-line of course and that is good for a blogger, but the best thing, the very best thing, is that I can use Skype to make phone calls. Out-going at least. I haven’t convinced others to sign up for Skype so they can call me. Except my Brussels brother.

Previously I have had to rouse Clara and borrow her cell phone. (My phone is AT&T and gets no service at all on the mountain.) Because Clara’s hearing seems to be worse up here at altitude, getting her phone can be trying. Up to now, on occasion, I have just jumped on the golf cart and gone to knock on a door.

But here I am with a morning off so far as I know. The sun is shining in the balcony door. The breeze is swelling the curtain. The Stellars jays are calling. The ventilator over the store is humming away. No, no, Joyce, positive stuff. The mountains are embracing the village on every side. And the possibility of living in a home is inching ever closer.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills/ from whence cometh my help”

view from hotel