Moving back to Victoria that September was the first time I’d been excited to move back after a summer at home. I think I moved back on a Monday, and David was too busy with family stuff (his mum’s birthday and sisters returning from their vacation abroad) to see me until Wednesday. After my parents left town I aimlessly wandered around downtown Victoria, hoping to bump into David. No such luck. By Tuesday I’d had enough. After five months apart it was torture to be in the same city as him and still unable to spend time together. I decided to surprise him at work. I dressed up a little (which at the time in my life meant wearing a skirt over my jeans) and went downtown to Vinnie’s. I know love must have crept into my face because a random stranger tried to pick me up on the bus. Aside from that, I made it downtown without incident and walked into the store where I was happy to see that David was working the front till. So I leaned on the counter and waited for him to turn around. And when he turned around he literally did a double take because he couldn’t believe that after a summer of thinking he was seeing me around town but knowing he wasn’t I’d actually materialize before his eyes. We hung out for a bit after work that day, and then he had to rush home. I came over the next day and we spent the whole day together, our last free day before school started. He had saved an unopened LP of “Autumn Leaves” in honour of the occasion and we spent the day listening to records and hanging out. It was so lovely.
The school year began. I remember having numerous grass fights with David on the UVic lawns where we’d eat lunch. We started a new tradition of reviewing our Latin translations together each morning before class. And, I don’t know exactly how it happened, but over the first few weeks of school we became nearly inseparable. I have many beautiful memories from this time.
As we were finally together we had the chance to do things! And thus began various happy adventures. In October we celebrated our first gift-giving occasion together, namely my birthday, where David surprised me with a beautiful gold & peridot fleur-de-lis necklace. A week later we went to see the opera “Norma”, beginning our love of opera and questing after season tickets year after year. That weekend I also took David over to Vancouver to meet some of my extended family. They seemed to approve. We also started going on day trips to explore the Gulf Islands. Before we moved away we had made it to Mayne, Pender, and Salt Spring.
That was also the year that I got to finally experience a much fuller life than what I’d been living. I began hanging out with David’s friends and going to the club Evolution, where we spent many a Monday and Wednesday night dancing like crazy and having a blast. We went to a bunch of parties (including one with people sword fighting. That was awesome) and concerts (Gwar, Blue Oyster Cult, April Wine, Bob Dylan to name a few). I know some of my friends do not understand the appeal of say, Gwar, but David notes that concert as a real turning point in our relationship. He knew that I was a good Catholic girl, which he thought was awesome, but wasn’t sure how I’d respond to more secular activities. Apparently my reaction of utter glee at a concert where I was sprayed with fake blood, watched intergalactic warriors attack various dummies on stage, and saw way more man-butt-in-leather-codpiece than I normally do settled it for him. It also settled things for me. Although I take my spirituality very seriously, I am not one who likes to be very serious. I had known for a long time that if I wanted to be happy in a relationship I would need to find someone who could love me for who I am—be it me meditating and praying in church, or me cursing like a sailor and slamming back rum & cokes. I wanted to be with someone who could help me realize my full potential in becoming a well-rounded person, and I knew this wouldn’t happen with anyone other than someone who could love me without trying to control one side or the other. I am lucky.
All this said, it was not the easiest of years. I was having a really hard time in school and I wasn’t handling my stress well. I also had yet to realize that I cannot drink very often without becoming depressed. Although we’re not the type to have a huge blow-up, we had some very tense times…all corrected by good conversation, but still. It was not always easy.
As summer approached I knew I didn’t want to move back to Port. David was planning to spend all of August in Spain, and I wanted every minute I could have with him before he left. I had thought that five months apart was hard, but at least then we could communicate. I knew Spain meant a month of being unable to contact him at all. It was looming in my mind as the scariest relationship thing I had to face yet. So I took a horrible job at Value Village, sorting donated clothing for 40 hours a week, and I lived in a horrible fire-trap apartment for the cheap rent I could afford, and I tried to squeeze as much fun as possible into the summer while dreading each day that drew us closer to August. I was an emotional basket case. Then August came, and the next thing I knew David was on a bus heading to the airport and I was, yet again, standing alone on Douglas with a kiss burning on my lips and a heart full of sorrow.
More Evo. This is for "aww" effect. I think my cousin took it...
Dressed up to go to the opera. I don't know which one.
In the Japanese Garden on Mayne Island