Turn the Page - Chapter 7

Perhaps the tensions of the moment are making me over-dramatic. My journal may prove completely worthless and a waste of time. Yet, as a historian, I must satisfy the impulse to record what is happening around me" - Leon Uris, 1961

This is the SEVENTH chapter in the "Turn the Page" series, where I keep an online diary of my daily activities, thoughts, and notable events. When I started writing this journal, it was meant as an easy way for my family, and loved ones, to keep track of what was happening in my life. I now have friends from all over the planet, who enjoy reading my journey; from homelessness, to finding my family. The story doesn't end, rather, it's merely begun!

If you haven't yet read the first six chapters, I encourage you to take the time, to do so. After all, it's best to start from the beginning.

Chapter One: May 4th - May 14th
Chapter Two: May 15th - June 30th
Chapter Three: July 1st - July 27th
Chapter Four: July 29th - August 31st
Chapter Five: September 1st - September 22nd
Chapter Six: September 24th - October 17th

It's been a long road. 

This spring, when I started writing my online diary, who would have guessed I would have accomplished so much! When I left Fort Frances in May, it was because I knew I had to make changes in my life. I followed my heart, and trusted in good friends. I've lived my dreams, and worked hard to get what I want. During the span of six months, my life has taken a complete 180 degree turn, and I'm happy for the chance to share my adventures with you.

I thoroughly enjoy feedback! Some of my supporters write letters and such, asking questions, or even merely providing words of wisdom or encouragement. If you wish to write to me, I would welcome and encourage you to do so. My addy is at the top of the webpage, and includes my phone number for those who would prefer to text, or call. It would be great to hear from you!


October 18th
The media blackout is over; I'm in Fort Frances. It's generally a good idea when you travel to not divulge too many details for safety reasons. Not really a big deal for me, however, I've refrained from plastering my plans over social media regardless.

As the plane roared off the tarmac at 11 am EST yesterday, I left London. It's hard to describe the feelings I had when that plane took to the sky; excited, nervous, happy, and sad. I've come so far in such a short time, and met so many wonderful people! I've had opportunities to partake in historical moments, such as "Harvards and Hero's", and traveled all over Southern Ontario!

Before long, I was back in Toronto, with a a short layover for my next flight. I walked around the airport, waiting for my next leg of the journey. Soon, I was boarding the next flight, and thundered into the Southern Ontario skies.

The plane hit some turbulence when we began our descent into the Thunder Bay airport. I kept thinking to myself, "How horrid it would be to come so far, only to crash land". No worries, the pilot expertly righted the aircraft, and we touched down.

The moment we walked into the terminal, I started to scan the crowd looking for her; the red-headed, freckled, woman-of-my-dreams. Brandis. Suddenly, there she was!

Time stood still, and everyone else disappeared. We were laughing and crying, holding on to each other for dear life. I could feel her tremble, and she kept repeating, "I can't believe you're here!" We didn't want to let go, but, we were not home yet and still had a few hours of driving ahead of us. We grabbed my suitcases, and hopped in the car.

I couldn't take my eyes off her! As we drove out of Thunder Bay, and headed towards Fort Frances, we talked, and laughed. Even road construction was enjoyable, as it provided the time for a good makeout session. It still seemed so surreal, and I jokingly pinched myself a couple times.

Before long (it felt like the trip was a blur) we were in Fort Frances and picking up the children from the babysitters. It was wonderful to see the kidlets again!! They've grown so much since I last saw them, and it's awesome to see how their personalities have developed. We all exchanged big hugs, and the four of us, happily drove home.

We piled on the couch to watch a couple of movies, and in the blink of an eye, it was time for bed. There are no words to describe the emotions we all shared; it's like pulling on a fuzzy, comfortable blanket in a cold winter night.

I probably woke up a dozen times! I'm so not used to sharing a bed with someone, and every-time I felt Brandis stir, it woke me up. The power of attraction the two of us share, is akin to magnets; bring two powerfully charged people together, and Zzzzzaaaaapp!! Stuck like glue.

I've had the most wonderful day! As we sat around the breakfast table, the fact that I have my family back, started to sink in! All day, the four of us have quietly enjoyed the moment; there are no hesitations! I believe the kidlets in their joy and happiness, have accepted things faster than Brandis and I! By noon, I started unpacking my clothes, and sorting through my carry-on luggage.

Not sure what we are doing tonight, but it really doesn't matter...... I'm home.

Talk soon.

October 19th
I'll admit, my writing has slowed down. Who could blame me? Between playing tag at the park last night, reading, watching movies, and playing tickle monster, I've been busy ..... BRB..... :)

5 pm
What a wonderful Sunday!  Brandis and I took the children to the park again, where we relaxed in the sun, and the kids played on the equipment. I have to admit I'm impressed by the improvements in the Lions Park! We took a short walk over to the fountain, and found my Grandma's memorial paving stone. When we got home, we enjoyed several games of Jenga, which then morphed into a fun game of "Angry Birds" by building towers with the wooden blocks and knocking them over. (Sometimes the improv games are the best)

I had to chuckle; even the middle of a Safeway isle is a chance to share a kiss. Doesn't matter who's watching or where we are, Brandis and I are affectionate. Hand in hand, we strolled down the sidewalk, the kids happily chirping beside us. My cheeks actually hurt from smiling so much!!

I haven't done any writing in at least four days. I'm certain things will calm down shortly, and I will get back to a normal routine. I'm still submitting my availability to my agent, and expect to be called in a couple months.

There is a major difference in climate from Southern Ontario. The air is drier, and much colder. The leaves are fully turned colour, and most are already losing their leaves. I imagine it'll be snowing soon, but, I hope it at least holds out for Hallowe'en! (I always feel bad for the kids in the Rainy River District, who have to design their costumes to fit over a snowsuit)

Lots to do, and I have to go. Talk soon......

October 20th
I'm so happy! My jaw muscles actually ache from smiling, and laughing!

The kidlets are off to school, and it's back to the grindstone for me. Time to get some writing done today; you know, crack that whip, tote that barge, lift the bale, kinda thing.  I've been told to start writing more children stories, and stay away from the gore and violence for a bit. In truth, I should write a story for Sarah, as I did make a promise about her and her passion for horses.

I bring the matter of Children Stories up, because I was informed this morning that my book "FRITZ THE FROG", will be read in the Kindergarten classroom in London today!! I'm told, that the one-and-a-half meter stuffed frog called Fritz (that the book is based on) will be also going to school to visit the children.

There are a few things I would like to do in the next couple weeks; go fishing, check out the new meat-packing facility my mom started, and visit with as many family and friends as I can! I visited the Point Park yesterday, and witnessed the massive damage caused by the flooding they had in early summer. We drove past the FIRE BOMBED hotel that I used to live in; it doesn't look like they have done much, if anything to repair the building. It feels good to have closure on so many negative aspects of my life, and to be able to walk down the street with pride. Being back in Fort Frances, still stirs a plethora of emotions within me, but, I don't feel heart ache, and disdain anymore....... and that's a good thing.

Off to write. Who knows where my adventures will take me. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!

October 21st
Good morning! Not much time today to pen some really long entry, as there are quite a few things I need to do.

I just got a text from my mom; apparently she is meeting Brandis and I for coffee just before lunch. Which means, I have about two hours to write a bit, shower, and get ready. After that, Brandis and I are picking up some arts and crafts materials to build Hallowe'en decorations for tonight. It's FAMILY NIGHT!! A time we purposely set aside, to simply do things together with just the four of us. It sounds wonderful!

Better get to writing. Talk soon.

October 22nd
Family night was great!! We put on Disney music and did paper mache Hallowe'en decorations. It was cute to see the kidlets squirming from the gooey mess, as they dipped the paper into the corn starch paste, and decorated their balloons. In a couple days, we'll put on another coat, and paint our creations. Before long it was bedtime fo the kids, and snuggle time for Brandis and I.

Today, I've been crunching along on my short story. It feels good to be writing again.

Tonight includes a trip to a local store to participate in the yearly Hallowe'en scavenger hunt. The children are excited, and I guess there will be a few friends coming over to play. Talk soon.

October 24th
It's a long weekend - Why? I'm not sure. Some sort of teacher paid vacation. It doesn't make sense, for the children to be home on a Friday BEFORE a holiday, such as Hallowe'en; it WOULD make sense, to give the children NEXT Friday off, if the teacher did indeed warrant some sort of paid vacation.....

...Oh, well. Can't solve all the world problems, can we? I just look at it, as a chance to spend more time with my family, and enjoy the remaining warm days of fall (because, we all know that cold, ice and snow is quickly on its way) There's a trip to the park planned for this afternoon.

We made homemade pizza for supper last night! The kids had a blast! After supper, it was cuddle time on the couch to watch one of the newest Pixar movies.

I finished writing the brief short story about one of the characters in my book - Ta'Anar MaQuesti; the sorceress Princess, driven from her homelands, and struggling to survive in a hostile, cruel world. It's not merely an exercise for my writing, but, a background story that I can draw from, and build upon.

Next up? A children's story....... Talk soon.

October 25th
Minor growing pains; which is to be expected. Brandis and I received the news that I am now being promoted in Toronto, and the result was a deep conversation about our future; where we will have to live, and the concerns of such choices. Truth is, I still need to be in Hollywood North to pursue my career.  No worries though, as this was something we both knew would be happening eventually. It just shocked both of us, when the reality of such implications was brought to the forefront. It's a good thing; it means we are both serious about our future together, and the opportunities that living in Southern Ontario will bring. Brandis has to move if she wants to further her career as well, although, it doesn't matter as much for her where she digs in roots, as there will always be a need for social workers and child psychologists wherever she goes. I know in my heart, that she will exceed in a larger urban setting, as opposed to the stagnant oppression of North-Western Ontario. As I said, small growing pains.

We are going to be baking cookies and cupcakes this afternoon!! A couple cousins are coming over, for a Hallowe'en party, complete with movies, cookies, cake, and milkshakes, followed up by a sleep-over for the kids. Sounds like a great weekend! I can't wait to help make cookies, and decorate them. Other plans for this weekend, include painting our decorations we made on Tuesday. I love Hallowe'en!!

So............ I broke my reading glasses. I was tickling my daughter, and she accidentally kicked me in the head. No fault but my own; I should have not been wearing them at the time. Regardless, I now have to get my left arm soldered back on. At least I can still wear them, so I can read. I guess if anything has to go with age, it's the ol' eyesight, right? So, come Monday, I'll have to find an eye doctor, and see what we can do.

Well, gotta jet. Lots to do, and less time to do it in. Talk soon.

October 26th

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

The children had a sleepover, and Brandis and I spent the day making cupcakes, and cookies with the kids! Everyone had quite a lot of fun, decorating with homemade icing. The theme of the day was Hallowe'en, and it was fun to craft spooky treats. After a dance party, where I put the webcam on the big screen for the children to see themselves dancing, it was bedtime.

Not much writing this weekend, but the time I've spent with my family, is priceless!

October 27th
Monday morning. The children are off to school, and for the first time in a few days, the house is quiet. It seems a little weird, because, I've been so busy dealing with little people, and helping around the house, that the silence is almost foreign.

I'd like to say that it means a chance at writing, but, it's already afternoon as I pen this, and have done very little in the way of creativity. I will admit, however, that it gave my luvvy and I a chance to sit on the couch and talk; which was a good thing for us. Sometimes you need to sit and talk.

I've started a new children's story. I'm quite pleased with the result, and will have it ready for publication in a couple days. I can't wait to see the reaction from a certain young lady, that the book is based on; her love and respect of animals, being the focal point.

Well, I should get something done. Best wishes for a great week!! Talk soon.

October 29th
I awoke to another gloomy day in the Rainy River District. I firmly believe the sun doesn't know how to shine in this part of the world. Cold and wet is the forecast, and it chills me in more ways than one; it weighs on my soul.

On to happy matters....

........Brandis and I carved pumpkins last night with the kids. We had a wonderful time! It's been a long time since I partook in Hallowe'en, and it feels really good to celebrate one of my favourite holidays. The plan for Friday, includes a small party after we take the children out for "Trick or Treating" around the town. Other plans, involve going to meet the kids at school, dressed up as King and Queen. We already have the costumes, but, we haven't told the children yet. I can't wait to see their faces, when we walk into the school to pick them up, dressed to the nines.

October 30th
 Another gloomy day in the Rainy River District. It feels like the land of Mordor; an oppressive cloud that hangs over the citizens, and affects their mood. In related news, the town council elections are over, and the results are in; more of the same wishy-washy status quo. The stagnancy of Fort Frances is prevalent in not only the energy levels, but, the ideology of the people that live in the border town. Same mayor, same council. It's really unfortunate! No fresh blood to jump start the stalling vehicle that is driving off the road. It's sad.

I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday. To be honest, I'm a bit homesick. Fort feels so alien now, and I can see the bullshit for what it is. I miss energetic Southern Ontario, and all my friends. I'm coming up on two weeks in Fort, and have only seen my mom and one other friend, regardless of the fact that everyone knows I'm here. Meanwhile, all my friends down South keep asking when I'm coming back. I miss the energy, the events, and the overwhelming can-do attitude of those that call London home.

Things with my family are remarkable! Everyone is getting very relaxed, and we are falling into little habits, of hugs, and games. It feels so natural to spend time with Brandis and the children. (notice I don't say "her" children?) It makes me so happy to have such a wonderful, loving, family!

We ARE moving. That is not decided; where is the next question, although, I'm 90% certain it's going to be London for so many reasons. The children already have made friends with Diane and Greg's two children, and since all four are almost the same age, it would be an easy adaptation to have them grow up together. When you factor in ALL the things to do and see in the city, it makes for an obvious choice.

Well, off to write. The children's story, where Sarah rescues a young horse, is skipping along nicely. Can't wait finish, and post the long-awaited story. Talk soon.

November 2nd
My appologies to all;  I'm not writing as often as I should. There's a few reasons for this, mostly because, I don't have a dedicated work station, but, it's also due to the fact tht I'm busy with my family. Playing with the children, and spending time with my luvvy, takes away from my writing. To be expected, right?  Eventually, I'll get myself a computer desk, where I can set up my computer, and actually get down to work. Each time I need to write, I have to set up my computer, which detracts from my ability to simply sit and work.

Hallowe'en was a BLAST!! It's the first time in years, that I can honestly say that I was able to partake in my favourite holiday. The weather even co-operated. No snow!! You can't imagine my joy for the little children, who didn't have to trudge over mounds of snow to enjoy Hallowe'en.

No mention yet from my agent if I have work. To be expected, although, I keep getting told that I should focus on my writing. I couldn't agree more......

November 4th
Not much to report, as things have slowed down. Family life is wonderful, and everyone is getting comfortable.

I finished my short story I promised in July. I hope the young girl I wrote it for, enjoys the tale.

I'm working on another piece, this time on how Fort Frances needs to address the very real, growing concern of lack of an industry. My goal is to see if the local paper wants to publish it.

I had a disturbing dream last night; in my usual fare, I do not wish to write about it, as it is something I really do not wish to come true.....Let's just say, the sheep are heading to the slaughter, happily chiming "freedom" the whole while.

I hope everyone is safe, happy, and well. Talk soon.

November 5th
I got the call yesterday. Had I been in Southern Ontario, I would have had a photo shoot in Toronto this weekend. I really bugged me to have to decline for such a low paying role, but, it would have have been a definite opportunity for me, had I been remotely close. I need to go back.

Brandis and I have talked, and the obvious choice is for me to head back to southern Ontario and pursue my modelling / acting career. It's not an easy choice, as it means having to leave my family.

I have many things to do; repack, and try and see as many of my friends as possible before I go. There are arrangements to make, and papers to sign. This was not just a visit, but a chance to tie up lose ends.

When am I going? It's not decided at this time, but I'm sure things will finalize in a short time. I know in my heart I need to be where the action is, and Fort Frances is not it.

I've started a new piece. This time I'm going to pen a screen play, rather than descriptive narrative. I'm writing about the disturbingly vivid dream I had, and it's something that makes Stephen King look like a children's author....

.....talk soon.

November 6th
The ticket booked. I leave for Southern Ontario in a few days.

This was a very hard choice to make. I know in my heart that it's the right one, but it creates hardship for my Brandis and I; suddenly pressed into a long-distance relationship. The future is unwritten, and if we want something bad enough, it will happen.

Turns out, I'm in for a bit of an adventure; plane ride to Toronto, board the island ferry, find my way to Union station, subway to Greyhound, and a bus ride to London. Back to riding the public transportation. Once again, I'll have to pack in such a manner, where I am watching weights on my suitcase and carry-on luggage. It makes for a chance to write at least.

I'm making arrangements to meet with a few friends before I go. Time always seems to be speeding by lately, and my departure date is fast approaching. Not much time to make any real plans.

The screen-play is coming along. It is going to take a couple months before I have any definitive, however, I'm enjoying the break from narrative. Better get to work, as I have lots to do....

November 7th
I finished a piece of work, where I outline how to create industry in Fort Frances. When done, I sent a copy to Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis, and Coochiching Cheif Sarah Mainville, Sarah Campbell, as well as, The Fort Frances Times, The Westend Weekly, and The Thunder Bay Tribunal. Who knows what will happen, but I have at least planted a seed. It's not my fault if the ground is barren, and will produce no fruit. With so much attention paid to one industry, as is the case with the paper mill, the town has developed blinders to any other opportunity. 

READ THE ARTICLE: Put THE FORT Back in Fort Frances

I have started writing the story board for THE ANSWER. Not sure how long this will take, but I'm in for the long haul! It looks to be a great opportunity to spread my wings with my writing.

Gotta jet! Talk soon.

November 8th
I had a bit of an adventure last night. I decided it would be silly of me, to not go out at least once, and see who is still hanging around. Now granted, I knew it was the weekend after Hallowe'en, and many people are broke, myself included. So, the plan wasn't to really do anything extravagant, but merely go for a drink at Gartch's Pub. To make the statement that, the town is really dead, would be an understatement! Friday night, downtown, and there wasn't enough people to fill a car. I had one drink at Gartch's and decided to go visit the Local Legion. It too was slow, but there was at least ten people in the room. I bought a drink, and started talking some of the regulars, when I suddenly realized my ex-girlfriend was setting up karaoke; hiding and ducking behind speakers, and the TV. So I figured it would be best if I just left. I didn't want any awkwardness, and my presence seemed to be throwing her off. I headed back to Gartch's Pub, and ordered a draught, when another one of my ex's walked in. This time, it was different; she was happy to see me, and we even shot a game of pool. The moral of the story here, is that when you no longer have those feelings that make things awkward, is when you are truly over the loss of a lover.

I also decided to take a walk down to "Club 88" to see how things were. Now, granted I'm not allowed in the building, as per the owner's request, and all the staff know it too, but I walked right through the front door, and realized I was the only customer in the club. So, they served me. I even met with the owner, and was granted a one night pass. This too is a story with a moral, and much like the first one, has to do with loss. Except in this matter, I was betrayed by people I was loyal to, and the heartache and loss that came with my job. To make a long story short, it felt good to see my old boss again, and I wished him luck with sincerity.

So I basically achieved everything I set out to do; passed out a bunch of business cards, and confirm everything I know about the Fort Frances entertainment industry. Bumping into a couple of my ex's was just an bonus. I feel nothing for this town anymore, or the people in my past. The entire experience was a good one, and I actually kicked up my heels as much as possibly, in the town where I grew up.

November 9th
Sunday morning. The kids and Brandis are sleeping in. I couldn't, and even though all I wanted to do this morning was wake her up for a little kiss fest, I let her sleep, and climbed out of bed.

Two days left in Fort. I've got things to sort through. and items to pack. Not sure how I'm going to accomplish this, as I am going back with one less suitcase, as per my ticket. The return flight is gouging me for fees! I'm putting together one box I can mail to myself, but, I'm worried that I won't be able to get all my things in one suitcase.

I've got mixed feelings about leaving. I'm happy to be heading home. I'm sad that Brandis and the kids are remaining behind. I'm excited to see all my friends again, and the busy activities that comes with living in a place filled with energy and drive. I'm disgusted with the way Fort Frances is spiralling downhill, and what it's doing to those who cannot leave. I'm torn between doing what's right, and what feels right......

...but I cannot stay. It's hard to describe to anyone who doesn't know better, but I now see the caustic levels of abuse that is rampant in North-Western Ontario for what they really are. Drama is commonplace. Heavy drinking, and drug-use are all that awaits children growing up in the Rainy River District; there is nothing else for kids to do.

The ideology that a small community is a good place to raise children, is a farce.

The programs available to help children, are limited or non-existent in such small communities. Diversity is limited, and creates an unrealistic view of Canada, actually promoting racism, and segregation. Small communities cripple people's abilities to succeed in Canada, and in International  matters. They are sheltered, and remain sheltered; happily accepting the horse blinders that pervade small communities and the people that live in it.

It's crippling, and in two short weeks, I have witnessed enough of the degradation to last me a lifetime; friendship is a word that the North-Western Ontario residents use incorrectly, and it merely tops the list of many things, or concepts that doesn't coincide with healthy relationships for those living in small communities.

But, enough of how destructive the community of North-Western Ontario is. It's a dead horse, and refuses to stand up, regardless how how many times I whip it. It's unfortunate, but at least my eyes have been opened, and I see the ugly, fetid truth for what it is.  It's just too bad, that those remaining in the small community of Fort Frances, cannot see it...... Talk soon.

November 10th
Today, is the last day I spend in Fort Frances. One last day with my family, and head back to Southern Ontario.

It leaves me with emotions on both ends of the spectrum. I'm very sad, and upset that I'm leaving Brandis and the children behind in this backwater wasteland. I'm excited to be pushing forward with my goals. The fact remains, I am in a situation that many people are forced to contend with; there's no work in the Rainy River district, and  have to go elsewhere to make a life for myself.

Realizing these details doesn't make things any easier......

3 pm
I saw my mom and said one last good bye. She looks good. She wished me well, and I was off again. 

November 11th
I fly into Toronto at 6 pm. Everything is packed, and I'm ready to go.
 
10 am CST
I'm sitting in the backseat of a truck, and heading to Thunder Bay. From there I board the plane, and fly to Toronto. It's going to be an emotionally charged, labour intensive, day.

I know why I'm doing this; I have to.

It's more than working hard, and dreaming big, or, as many of my friends say; “Why would you give up when you've come so far?

Sitting here, as we wind down the highway, past massive, broken, granite that thrusts out of the Earth amidst the brilliant green of the mixed coniferous trees, and the shades of brown from the deciduous cousins who have cast aside their summer foliage; I'm struggling with the choices I've made. I believe in myself, so much so,I'm willing to forge into the unknown, and leave Brandis back in Fort Frances! I had the woman in my arms that I've sought after for so many years, and I'm choosing to leave that behind in search of a chance at a better life.

Let's make that very clear; I do not have a guarantee that anything will happen. A man could spend a life-time trying to achieve his dream, and yet, still die before getting what he wants. It's a risk. A gamble. My future is unwritten, much like the blank pages of my journal. It will be the choices made, and opportunities afforded, that will determine the outcome.

So, here I sit in the backseat of the truck as we slip over the icy road. I see my choice as a a finality to a chapter in my life, and one that will never come again. I came back to Fort Frances, to see family and friends. There was the possibility of choosing to take roots in the Rainy River District. The fatal flaw in those plans, however, was the overlying truth that it no longer felt like home in Fort. In that, there is closure. It brings a sense of fulfillment to realize I have moved on.

1 pm EST
I'm now in the Eastern Time Zone again, or as I call, I've come back to the future. The time change is another little nuance in the fabric of reality; I've come forward. In retrospect, it feels like I have left the past, and jumped into the future. (Which really isn't that far off the proverbial mark) Perhaps, I'm the only one that finds that phunny......

SNOW! The windchill is -17 degrees, and there's black ice on the highway! I hear the weather in Toronto is +16 degrees. I'm a little overdressed for the weather.

It's hard to describe how I feel right now. I'm scared, anxious, and very sad. Scared of the many hoops I have to jump through to get back home to London, and I'm scared of airport security; worried I might be on some sort of list. At the same time, I'm anxious; chomping at the bit to get back to a world I understand, and anxious to get back at the career I worked so hard to get. And through all this, I'm sad about leaving Brandis. I'm openly weeping about having to leave her!!! The fact that we planned this, doesn't make it easier.

I'm worried about having to drag my luggage around Toronto. Not really nervous or anything, as the subway, and buses are no problem; it's the fact that I'm carrying almost 45 Kilograms! I haven't eaten today, due to my intestinal problem, which ensures there will be little to no problems on that end, (see, a fart joke) but I'm weak, and tired. I know I'll get through anything I put my mind to, but, there is always that nagging little voice in my head, telling me bad things could happen.

3 pm EST
I'm at the Thunder Bay airport. It's really sinking in now. I've managed to make it across security, and now sit, waiting to board my plane. One thing that keeps rolling through my mind; I was just here. THREE WEEKS ago, I walked through the airport terminal in a daze, looking to find Brandis in a sea of people. Today, I push past people without barely glancing up, tears welling up in my eyes, as I leave. I was so happy three weeks ago. So happy! My feet barely touched the floor, as I walked off that plane. Now, my feet feel as if made of lead; each step is heavy, and clumsy. I'm broken inside, and the only thing pushing me forward is sheer will.

I'm not going back. The lump in my throat is more than merely missing my family. It's there, because of the finality of the situation. I may come for a visit, but I will never again call the Rainy River District, home.

Once again, I am convinced of the power of a suit and tie. I stepped up to security, and had tons of things to remove; computer, belt, tie clip, etc, etc. I was greeted by a smile, and patiently waited on by airport security. I fully expected some sort of scanner, or baton, but was met by the final security officer with a smile, and "Enjoy your flight, sir!" Meanwhile, the guy in front of me was pulled aside for a pat down, and the three people behind me were made to go through the airport security screening. EVERYONE was being swabbed for "something", except me.

As I'm sitting here writing this entry, an older man walked up and sat beside me. Next thing I know, we are talking, and time is speeding by. I have to get ready for my flight, so I'll talk to you later.

9 pm EST
I'm aboard the Greyhound bus, and heading to London. The leg work is over, and I'm resting. I'm frikken tired; barely slept last night, as I held on tight to Brandis. She would stir, and I would wake up, wrap my arms around her, and cry myself back to sleep. Dragging my luggage through downtown Toronto was a struggle, although that was partly my fault, as I went the wrong way on Bay street, and was three blocks down, before I realized my mistake. I arrived at the bus terminal at 8, with barely any time to relax.

They weighed my luggage at the bus station, and I was forced to throw away some of my clothes. I was shocked at the announcement that my gear was too heavy, and was going to be forced to pay extra to carry what the airport deemed "carry on". Quickly, I sorted through my stuff and with determination, tossed a few articles in the garbage. I didn't even look back; merely stuck out my chin and forged ahead. No choice but forward, right? It's this reason, I worry every time I have to pack a suitcase. The weight restrictions are oppressive, and totally unreasonable. Under 50 lbs? Who carries less than that amount of equipment on a trip? Each time I pack, I'm conscience of the demands placed on me, which is why I pack and repack, and repack......

........when the plane lifted above the clouds, I was bathed in sunlight. I took this as an omen, where my choice to move forward with my life and rise above the dreary clouds, becomes a physical manifestation. From gloomy dark skies, to floating above the clouds. How prophetic!

I'm getting tired, and my computer is running on low batteries. Time to call it a night.

November 12th
I awoke to the two kidlets happily clamouring on me. "Good morning", they excitedly chimed. Groggily, I forced myself to smile, and promptly tickled the both of them. They are so excited to see me! It's great to see the Lawrence family again!

Today is to be a busy day. I have so much to do; get my glasses fixed, call my agent, wash clothes, and assess my belongings.

It's bittersweet.

I'm happy, and yet feel as though my heart is broken. I miss Brandis and my kids so much!! This is so hard, and yet I have to remind myself, that this is what we planned. This is what we wanted. I feel good about my choice to pursue my chosen career, and yet, so pissed off about the sacrifice I've made. I'll get through this.......

.....I have to.

November 13th
Bit of a rough start to my day; I woke up alone, and emotionally exhausted. Forcing myself to smile, I headed upstairs; no use in dragging others down in my misery. It's not their fault that I soaked my pillow with tears last night, and that my dreams were haunting images.

I went shopping and picked up a few things I had lost along the way. We even bought the kit to make pizza, and I know that the kidlets will enjoy that. It's always fun to make things from scratch with children; takes a little longer, and it's a bit more clean up, but you should see their faces when they dig into their meal, and eagerly devour what they worked so hard to create. Kinda like arts and crafts, except, that you get to eat your results.

Time to buckle down and start writing. Not much else to report today, so I'll let you go.

November 14th
This. Is. Hard. I barely slept last night for the haunting images in my head. Take your pick of theme; somehow my mind is turning every dream into a nightmare, mostly because I'm choosing not to lucid dream. I'm allowing the sequences of images to pass unfiltered; no levitation spells, or fireballs that consume those that seek to oppress me. I woke more than 5 times from the painful thoughts that swirl inside my head, leaving me exhausted after what should have been 9 hours of sleep. Gotta hurt if you want to heal, right?

My focus needs to change; from a negative aspect of apprehension, to believing that do anything. Power of Attraction; what you think about becomes a physical manifestation. It's more than just hoping bad things won't come your way, as that in itself, is still dwelling on the negative, and bad things will occur. I need to focus, and remind myself why I'm here.

I've let my agent know that I'm back in town. It's now a waiting game, and one that may take a while. I've heard it can take a long time to get anywhere sometimes, and it's only luck that could lead to a big break. I hope it's soon! I need to get my life on track!

Anyway, back to the grindstone. Get some of this screen play worked on, so I can start looking up a way to get it made into some sort of film. Not sure who to talk to about that yet, but I will be looking up the necessary steps it will take.....

November 15th
Brandis has dropped off the radar. There's no response to my texts, or Facebook messages. [sigh] This is hard; you can lead a horse to water, but cannot make them drink. I'm hoping that it's just ...well, something explainable. Unfortunately, I already dreamt about this when I was back in Fort Frances. I was hoping that she would prove me wrong and rewrite the ending, but so far, events are occurring exactly as my premonitions indicated. Certainly makes things difficult for a man to be positive, when there are so many negative connotations. Is that the Law of Attraction at work? Or, is it just my deep understanding of how she thinks and acts? I'm hoping it's merely a misunderstanding of some sort.

The Lawrence family is heading out for the weekend, and I'll have the house to myself. The goal for me is to get as much writing accomplished as possible.

Last night, we went out to "Tony Romas" for supper to celebrate Diane's upcoming birthday. She's 29 and holding. I am once again impressed with the quality of service in Southern Ontario! The main denominator in all this, is the simplistic reason, that they HAVE TO. Service industries greet their customers with a smile, and really go out of their way to impress people. It feels good to see that high level of competency present in the service industry, and merely validates my choice to come back.

Time to work.

November 16th
I got an answer from Brandis. Last night we had a skype call where she explained her absenteeism. She had to think, and spent a good 24 hours struggling with some really tough choices; with or without me, move or not move, and what's best for her and the children. It's not easy. After 14 years, neither of us wants to let go or lose each other, but staying together means making some really tough decisions. There's no future in the Rainy River district; not for me, not for her, and certainly not for children. With or without me, Brandis has to move forward. In her attempt to find a solution, she quietly ignored my text messages, and wept as the surging waves of truth washed over her. It's more than just letting go of someone you care about; it's giving up forever. As she wrestled with her emotions, and the fear of the unknown, she finally came to a decision.

Wait for it.......

.......she's moving to be with me!!! No more doubts, no more speculation. Only a bright future, far away from the degradation of North-Western Ontario! As we stared at each other through a computer screen last night, I could still see the fear in her eyes about having to leave the only place she's ever known, but I also saw hope. I saw relief from finally making a choice. A short while later, she was smiling, and even laughed for the first time in days.

"Sleep on it, dear", I told her. "Go to bed, and you'll wake up feeling right as rain about the fact that you've made a choice". This truism is based on the fact that as humans, the uncertainty of a situation can cause stress, and anxiety. Once you make a choice, however, it feels good. You are no longer drowning in overwhelming uncertainty, but can now lift your head up, smile, and push forward. There is still going to be some fear, as the unknown is filled with speculation, but the hard part is over when you admit what you want, and go through the necessary steps to make your desires a reality. There will still be tears, as we both miss each other dearly, but that gnawing agony in the pit of her stomach over the uncertainty of our relationship is over.

It feels good to know that our future is so damn bright, we're going to need shades!

November 17th
It's snowing. The weather is still warm, with the temperature sitting at only -4 Celsius, but we've received at least 5 CM of snow already. It's pretty, but the radio is warning motorists to be careful. This is an aspect of Southern Ontario that makes me giggle; people from the North see this as a mild dusting, whereas people from the South are acting like there's some sort of disaster in the making. I get it; more vehicles, and more roads, afford more opportunity for vehicle accidents. I just hope everyone drives safely today!

More skype calls with my love, have proven one thing; having made a choice, has seriously made a difference. Gone are the worry lines around her eyes, and now that twinkle I love so much, shines clear as a neon light! Her smile, and laughter has returned. We're happy; it's only a matter of time now, before we are back in each other's arms. I can't wait to see her again!! Even the children are excited now, and look forward to the opportunities that await our little family.

On another note, my ex-wife is back to causing me grief. I've done my utmost to try and settle the loose ends, only to be met by bitterness, and vengeance. I really can't understand how someone can be so vindictive and cruel! It really bothers me that people like this exist; any attempts to find resolution are met by sheer stubborn eagerness to see another human fail. For someone like me, who harbours no such ill intentions, it makes no sense to cling to such negativity. I really don't understand what she hopes to accomplish in life, by clinging to such shallow values as revenge. All this means, is that I now have to go back to court, and have blood-sucking parasites decide the fate of my life. I'm taking the proactive approach, and being forced to document everything, which really sucks, because I have much better things I could be working on, instead off trying to get this caustic woman off my back. I can't stress enough, how utterly disappointed I am in all this.

So, with that in mind, I haven't accomplished much writing as of late. Today was a total waste of my talents, as I'm forced to sit on hold, and research family law. Hopefully, I can move past this ugly part of my life, and move forward soon. Perhaps, I should take some time, and focus on my writing, and hopefully clear my head of the nonsense that plagues me, even from so far away.

November 18th
I'm a huge fan of George Takei. I enjoy seeing his brilliant posts, and there was one today that really caught my eye. Someone had photshopped a newspaper, where the headline reads "Man arrested for everything". It was funny, but as I looked closer, I realized that the paper had also photshopped the first line to read, "possession of a cured vehicle".  I thought this was extremely amazing, so I had to make a photoshop of my own.

In much the same way, things in life can be taken out of context.  What one person receives from a conversation or any situation, can be interpreted more than one way. I had a moment this morning where such an occurrence set the tone for most of the day. As humans, we can miscommunicate or ere so easily, and when you factor in written communication which is rife with misinterpretation, the results can be disastrous! And it really doesn't help when I'm half asleep to start the whole chain reaction.

I had a bad dream.

I had three bad dreams, actually last night. I did some research on the possible interpretation to psychology and such, and was pretty much spot on when it comes to my understanding of not only my dreams, but the current situation I'm living at the moment.

One involved a fire, one had me being attacked by a couple of ex girlfriends, and the last one was where I had my heart broken.

It shook me. The main problem with me occasionally seeing glimpses of the events that haven't occurred, is that I cannot distinguish between those that are a dream, and those that are premonitions. 

So, without saying, I slept like garbage last night, and found myself wrestling with my pillow twice.

Regardless, I tried to express my concern, and now realize I may have said or did the wrong thing. The moment will pass, but it really did throw me off today.

On the subject of good news, I have managed to get some work done on my screen -play. Go me!

November 19th
What came first? The dream or the dreamer?

Think about it. Anyone making claims of fate, or destiny, have already recognized a pattern in events, and occasionally realize their own potential. In that case, which came first, fate, or the individual? There are some that say there is no such thing as fate, or the divining ability to see glimpses of future events. Some parts of society praise such individuals, while other persecute them, with cries of "witchcraft", and "bad magic". While it may not affect the average individual, most people on the planet have some opinion about things like oracles, fortune tellers, and mystics. So in my initial question I posed the concept, that if reality for the rest of the world is affected by some major event, and someone able to see into the future foresaw such an event; which came first?

The dream or the dreamer?

The other interesting thing I've noticed, that if someone who could see events before they happened, TRIED to tell others about it, the event still occurs. It's never quite the same; there is always some variable that has been altered, but it still occurs. In this manner, I have learned that anyone who tries to change the future, can only do so for themselves. You cannot change the future for other people, but you can certainly make your own fate.

Can a dream exist, without a dreamer? I ask this for a very simple reason; I believe it can. Things happen all the time, that can be predicted. If I have a dream, and it foreshadows some aspect of my life, or that of friends and family, it would naturally invoke some desire to talk to them about it. For example, I had a dream were a good friend would experience flooding in her house. I asked her if her house could flood, to which she replied, "It's never happened before, and we have very good drainage". Two months later, her basement ended up with 16 CM of sewer water, because of a flash storm that dumped more rain in an hour and a half, than two months put together!! Had my friend examined the moment, and took note of the irreplaceable keepsakes sitting on the floor, and put them in water proof containers, or at least on shelving, she would not have had to throw some of her memories away. What would have happened if I hadn't told my friend about the impending flood? Would it still have occurred?

There is another twist to telling someone about your dreams. If you do tell them, and THEN it occurs, was it you that created the future in the first place? This poses the question, what if you are the catalyst that starts events in motion. If you remained quiet, would that event have even come to pass?

But, the main problem with dreams, is the pseudo-reality of our thought patterns. We create dreams based on our desires, and fears. This bias creates an unrealistic result. We dream what we want to, because we can. Imagery during dreams, will be different in real life, only because of natural ambition. For example; two years ago, I had a dream about a blue vehicle, getting into an accident on Scott Street in Fort Frances. Just before Christmas, I was side swiped by a blue car, while I was in the turning lane. There was minimal damage, so the incident was not reported. (His car got a decent dent, while mine was fine) I did not dream about being IN the accident, only that it happened. Right in front of the post office. Sliding on ice. (sigh) Could I have prevented that? Nope. It happened so fast, and it was really no one's fault. Black ice on the busy street caused his tires to slid, and he simply slid into my vehicle. I didn't see the accident in my dream, because no one really wants to be involved in a vehicle accident. If I hadn't dreamed about  it, would the accident still have occur ed?

There's a story that keeps coming to mind as I sit here writing. I can't remember who wrote it, or where I heard the tale, but it relates to what I'm trying to say. Telling your dreams to others, is like making a wish; the possibility for mistake is vast, and the adage of "Be careful what you wish for" definitely applies. Miscommunication can have disastrous results. For example.......

...........ONE MORNING, a Princess awoke to a glorious day. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing just out her window. With fresh resolve, and a song in her heart, she dressed quickly, and after a brief breakfast, the Princess happily went for a walk.

Her long soft red-hair bounced in the fresh summer breeze, and the flowers danced at her feet. The sand on the path crunched under her bare toes as she basked in the summer sun. It was a glorious day.

SUDDENLY, she spied a glimmer of gold at the side of the road. Hastily, she picked up what she thought was a gravy boat, but quickly reallied was an old lantern.

"It's like the one you see in Arabian Nights", she announced, her voice catching in her throat. "I wonder", she mused, as she held the dirt-covered antique.

Furiously she started to rub the lamp. As the crust of years of neglect fell from the golden lantern, a giant pop was heard, and smoke poured from the lamp. POW! The smoke gathered into a humanoid shape, and took the form of a young, attractive man. He was dressed in white exotic silks, and his eyes seemed to mesmerize the Princess. He stretched, and looked around, finally turning his gaze to stare at the Princess.

He smiled, "I cannot thank you enough, my dear, for rescuing me. I am the genie of the lamp, and would be more than gracious to grant you three magical wishes".

Well, naturally the Princess was excited, "This is so awesome!" she squealed. "What can I wish for?", she asked the genie.

The genie smiled. "You can have anything you wish for, but remember, you only get three, so make them count!"

The Princess thought hard. She HAD money, and no doubt there would be many handsome young suitors. She WAS a Princess after all. Suddenly, a thought went through her mind. "I know what I want", she blurted.

"I await your command", the genie replied.

"The Princess took a deep breath, ad answered, "I want to be live a long time, have many children, and always be beautiful!"

"Your wish, is my command".

POOF!!!

A blood curdling scream was heard from the courtyard, and both the King and Queen rushed to the inner garden to see what was going on. "I thought I heard our daughter screaming", the Queen blurted to her husband.

"So did I", replied the King. "Oh, have a look there dear. Is that tree new?"

"What tree, sweetie", the Queen replied, peering into the garden to see.

"That one with the red leaves. Over there. Has that always been there?" the King squinted, staring at the tree in the middle of the courtyard.

"I've never seen that tree before", the Queen stated dryly. "Did someone just plant it?" she asked in confusion. She sighed, "It's so beautiful".

"I've heard of them.", the King declared, slipping his hand into his wife's, and starting to walk down the path toward the tree. "It's called a Red Oak. They are strong, solid trees", the King puffed. He pointed up at the branches, "See all those little acorns? That kind of tree drops thousands each year, and their roots go deep. It's a very prolific tree"

"The Queen stared wistfully up into the branches, at the bright red leaves, and lime green acorns. The pale bark was perfect, without a single blemish to be seen. "It's very pretty", she shrugged.

"It's in the middle of the courtyard", answered the King."And it's a weed for all intents and purposes". The King looked over at the gardener, who was standing close by.

The gardener nodded, and agreed, "Cut it down. Aye, your Majesty"............

November 21st
I realize what I say and write can be taken out of context. One of my famous quotes, Reality, is simply one's interpretation of a given set of occurrences. Everyone shares a common reality, yet not everyone shares the same interpretation of the occurrence.  - Zzorhn Carlson, 2006, is based on that concept. 

Interestingly enough, I seem to forget that other people don't really think the way I do; with fireworks, dragons, and epic battles of good vs evil... On top of all the other stuff going on in my mind. Not sure why that is, but I seem to talk and write like others can see the flaming sword of truth coming their way. I'm left confused, and performing some rebuttal, or attempting damage control from a situation, or article I write. Don't get me wrong, I love that people can take what I write seriously, and get upset when they read something they don't like, but while I base much of what I write about what I know, it doesn't necessarily mean it's about me.

Let me add to all that, that long distance relationships are hard.


Not going into details, but the last few days seem strained. I can understand the range of emotions in our current situation, but we are heading into the holiday season. I'll be spending Christmas this year away from my family. It hurts! I can't imagine what it means to the kids and Brandis! I can see the pain in her eyes when we talk on skype, and I just ache to hold her, and just let her know it will be fine. "We'll get through this", I tell her, but it's really hard on both of us. I honestly just can't wait for Christmas to come and go, and at least get all that out of the way. "2015", is our year, she told me. I'm looking forward to that! I should get back to work....

November 22nd
I had a decent day yesterday. The house was quiet because Diane took the kidlets shopping until suppertime. To my credit, I took full advantage of the peace, and did some serous work on my screen play. After the kids were in bed, Greg sat down to watch TV, and Diane and I went out to shoot pool and sing Karaoke for a couple hours. It was a really great time. I got to do something with Diane I've been wanting to, since I laid foot in this city; check out the Karaoke scene.

After that I phoned my love. We haven't been talking much lately, as she's busy with school and kids. I just really miss her. I wish it wasn't like this, and can't wait for us to get our lives together, and get on track for a bright future.


I should go. Lots of things to do. There's talk of finally getting my exercise equipment today.....


November 23rd
I awoke to a rainy morning. We built a snowfort in the backyard, and it is completely in ruins from the warm Southern Ontario weather. I'm told, that it's actually colder than normal, and given the fact it's above freezing (+2 Celsius) it makes me wonder what kind of winter I have in store. I take comfort knowing that back where I came from, it's cold; the mercury dipped below zero a month back, and won't be approaching the melting point until May.

No call to Brandis yesterday. She's gone distant again. In an attempt to solidify her own ideals, she's surrounding herself with superfluous situations, and rallying friends; having sleep overs for the kids, and hanging around people. It creates the illusion of being comfortable in a small town, and bolsters her thoughts of clinging to old friends and old ideals. What she doesn't see, is that it's counterproductive to making a better life for her children and herself, by remaining in a dead-end situation. It pushes me away in the process. The choice she declared only a few short days ago, to move and be with me, is being intentionally destroyed, and it leaves me with a gut-wrenching pain from the sheer fallacy. What's a man in love to do? Abandon everything, and go back and live in a place that has no future for me or my family, or keep pushing and hope she one day realizes the opportunity for us in a place that actually has a future. 

We both know, that this is the last chance for us. It kills me to see her throwing her life away by refusing to let go of dead ideals, but it hurts me to know, that I may lose her forever. I just wish there was something I could say or do, that would make her wake up to the harsh reality, that she if she gives up on us, she gives up on everything, and her life will never again be the same; there will always be that nagging little voice that asks, "What if you HAD taken that chance?" I only pray to God, and hope that she will reach out for me, and take what is rightfully hers, while giving her children the very best future possible by walking away from a dying town. I guess time will tell. I just miss her and the children so much!!

I. Got My. Rowing. Machine!! Woot!! [Does a happy dance] I did a little maintenance on a used piece of exercise equipment yesterday, [Thanks to Diane's help] and it works great!! Diane helped me pick it up in St Thomas, and I've already put a few Kilometers on it. (No meter, but a guess as to how far I went based on the fact I rowed for over an hour) I simply set up the computer, and watched a couple episodes of Sons of Anarchy. Felt really good to burn like that, and I look forward to many more times spent toning my body.

Bacon and eggs to start the day, and I'm already off like a terd of hurtles. Probably get more writing done, but I know something that has to happen soon; I need a new keyboard..... I'm wearing yet another one out. Talk soon.

5 pm
That's it then. Brandis is gone.

I've sent her a couple friendly texts this morning, "Hope your weekend is going well", and "Good morning sweets", and received no reply. A bit later I noticed she was online Facebook, so I shot a quick hello. Again I was ignored. A short while later, I happened tp notice my changed relationship status. I checked, and lo and behold, I'm blocked on Facebook.  I eventually noticed that I received an email from her. It wasn't pretty. I've been told to not contact her again.

So, there goes all my plans. Not just my immediate goals, but any future I might have had with her. You have to understand, that for the last Fourteen years, I have been writing about this woman. She's in my dreams. This wasn't just some random fling with an ex-girlfriend; this was a plan that she and I made twelve years ago. It was working too! Everything was doing well, until, well....that's where I have a hard time finishing the story. Mostly, because I knew it was coming, but some part of the blame was the changes between us. It's easy to say that we have both been through some hellish relationships, and each time there was pain and misery, some little part in us broke somehow. The truth, however, is that I actually did see this coming.

Humans, are extensive creatures of habit. We base our lives on constant structure and order. When our lives fall from the routine, we panic. When you combine that simple fact, with, knowing everyone will make choices based on personal experience, the conclusion becomes obvious. It's that line of thinking that bolsters my claim, that you can trust everyone. You can trust a thief to be a thief, or a cheater to be a cheat. An honest man by that token, can be trusted to be an honest man. Everyone can be trusted to be who they are. In that manner, you can usually tell how someone you know, is going to react to a given set of circumstances. 

So, to recap, people of habit instinctively make choices based on what they know. That doesn't make things any easier. The part that really bugs me, is that she did everything she said she wouldn't do!!

This has to be the last time. There are many things that need to happen for me, I mean, it's not like there's some switch I just flick and everything resets itself; but I need to move beyond the youthful fantasy world, to the reality of possibilities. I need to look after myself, and refocus my goals. This is a good thing! It's a final answer to many questions.

This is not only the end of a chapter in my life, but the ending of this chapter in the "Turn the Page" series. Like the blank pages of a book, my future looks promising; anything can happen.

Comments

Anonymous said…
What a difference in a month. You sound so happy at the start and now I read pain in what you write. You really have a way with words. I'm proud of you for following your dreams. Remember to listen to your heart when times get tough because that will never lead you wrong.

best of luck. Please keep writing

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