Scrapbook Surprises

She told me to enter through the back door. Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s the back entrance to the flat. There is no buzzer there. Oh, she’s going to come down and open the door for me. I was having weird pictures in my mind. What does she have in store for me? At this point I am tired. I’ve just spent the last day or so sorting through all of my stuff. I decided to compile a scrap book of all the little scraps. In a sense I created a treasure.

  
I had a dentists’ appointment on Friday morning. It was the last of our sessions. I had opened a letter stating that my coverage was running out at the end of the month. I am just squeezing in there for this appointment. I am glad this dentist has been my favourite ever. I know they do a good job. This last session required her to freeze the lower part of my jaw. what she was fixing was small but in a difficult position. I’ve gotten to a point where I can almost sleep through the session. Maybe it has to do with being tired from all the things that I have been doing lately. The lower left side of my face including a part of my tongue was numb. Doing anything food or mouth related was tough. I should have eaten more before having the appointment.

  
As I sat there fumbling with the ticket stub saver book thing that Barbs has given me I realized that it wasn’t big enough to put everything in there. I had a vision of the type of scrapbook that I needed. Something not outrageously big and expandable. I puttered around the house sorting stuff out putting piles of similar things together from their respective distance apart. I examined the things that I’ve kept for a while throwing some of it out while keeping others. Some things were rediscovered. I finally started to feel my face again. There was a hunger that consumed me as well. A course of action was drawn up with a visualization of the final outcome.

  
I went to an overpriced “crafts” store. It has chosen to operate in the middle of the city right downtown. I am kinda glad it’s there. It’s alright to pay for the right product too. If I am going to do this scrapbook right might as well jump in with both feet. I just never expected to dive in so deep. I had been cooped up in the flat for a while so the fresh air felt pretty good. I had some plans to meet up with some friends but that fell through. I had spent a great deal of time being out and the solitude of working on this project felt like the right thing to do. There has been so much on my mind. There has been a movement in an unexpected direction and it seems like the event horizon has been passed without much of a warning. I needed to ponder the possibilities and examine my feelings.

  
There was another stop at a shop to get some gear for the camera and then to have a dinner snack and begin my work. I captured a few photos testing out the camera to see what it can do. I am quite impressed with it’s performance so far. I didn’t take long to take shots. It was just an opportunity to play around with a new set up. Documenting the Granville strip doesn’t get boring. It is a good test to see how the camera performs in dark conditions.

  
At the flat I began compiling everything in earnest. I came upon a roadblock however. The way that I was going to attach the scraps representing my memories was not going to work. I needed to use something better. It was off to another store. There should have been a sharpness to my preparations for this. My focus however has been all over the place. First there is the leaving but then there are other deeper thoughts that occupy my mind. Those are the thoughts that represent a significant development in my relations. I’ve become numb from the shock of their implications. Yet this is a positive development but momentum is carrying me away across the ocean, away.

  
There are a number of different piles. One of them is of my concert tickets. These are the ones that I’ve managed to save to this point in time. There are many that are lost to time. Some of them I can remember vividly while others are foggy memories. There is a pile of boarding passes as well as tickets from all the different places that I’ve taken transit. Just like concert tickets this too is an incomplete set. Sorting through some of the receipts that are still in my possession there are some examples of bar tabs that I have managed to still hang on to. The big ones are significant and I remember the times I’ve had consuming those drinks. The hangover has long since passed and what I have is this small piece of paper with fading ink representing the financial damage. There are a few nights there that I’ll never forget. The same goes for some of the small scraps that are momentos of my visits to the different monuments and places that are documented in my travels here. Collating all of these things has allowed me to get rid of a lot of extraneous material. In a way it is a way of bringing my life in order allowing me to see where I am and reinforcing what I want out of life. I look at my hands and see and feel what I want them to hold. My perception rationalizes the inspiration behind these thoughts. I loose track of time and I am nowhere near finished…

“You better bring me flowers and wear a nice shirt!”

That’s not exactly how she said it but there was a command behind the intended sentence.

“Yes ma’am.” I thought to myself and a sly smirk came over my face. I was looking forward to a nice meal. She asked me what I wanted and I said that I wasn’t particular. I woke up earlier to a mess all around me. This book was taking longer than expected and the two rolls of double sided tape ran out. I had to get more. Once you start on a project like this you have to finish it. What am I supposed to do leave it until I come back?I bought fifty pages and I hoped that it would be enough. Furthermore, a rhythm developed that was akin to being in a zone. The myriad of of material somehow came to a nifty arrangement on the page. Each sheet representing some aspect of my previous life all those years ago. The problem of time became more acute. As the sun shone through my window I recognized that it was on its descent towards the horizon. It would soon be time for me to leave. I had a hard time punching holes through the soft plastic cover that houses the sheet with the attached material. Why does the same company make things that don’t fit together. I sarcastically thought to myself that this is why they call this being ‘creative’. The hole punch got stuck because the plastic expanded instead of getting cut. I almost lost it but then came upon an idea of adding some paper on top and magically the holes punched through great after that. It looked more professional.

  
The scrapbook was coming together. I screwed all of the extensions I could find together and then cut some more spacers from the cardboard that housed the gear that I bought. I was recycling.There is a large number of little pieces of paper all roughly the same size that I had to peel back from the double sided tape. 

  
The time to leave and the time that I finished my tome coincided with each other. I was going to bring it with me to show Barbs what I was up to. I scraped together quite a bit of material in order to compile this. It’s size and appearance has the look of some kind of medieval book. It’s size is also at the upper limit of what I could fit in my bag. Looking over myself once I was ready making sure I look presentable. 

Flowers, can’t forget the flowers. One shop popped into mind. I pass it all the time when going for my coffee refil. Racking my brain I couldn’t think of one that was closer that would still be opened when I was on my way. Which one should I get? Decisions, decisions. Criteria? Does it have what I want. Roses? Color… What’s her favourite color!? Price? Does that matter if I like them? Walking out with a bouquet in hand I got strange looks   As if no one ever buys flowers. How do these places stay in business? There were two flower shops in the way to the station. I remember now walking past them countless times. 

The subway was somewhat sparse. The little girl checked out the flowers with a silent expression. She was loud the whole entire other time. That cute tone of voice that children have verbalizing a language I recognized but could not understand. I wondered about the bus ride. As I approached the stop from the station the bus just arrived. The decision was made. The bus was crowded as always. Good thing I’m not that short. I had to hold the flowers up away from the people. The flowers obscuring my face from prying eyes. The backpack slung in front of me as I held on for dear life inside the lurching B-Line. 

At this point my mind was racked from wondering when I should go to the back door. I must admit my mind had wild speculations until I found out Barbs was going to meet me downstairs. She wore a tight fitting dress appropriate for a romantic dinner date. Maybe she had something set up in the room? I wonder what the dinner was going to look like? I knew as we said hello upstairs that something was up. As she motioned me to the front room it was dark. 

“This isn’t some kind of a surprise party is it?”

The words barely left my lips when the lights turned on and everyone there jumped out and yelled

“SURPRISE!” 

Wow. They got me again! Nice. Hi! A lot of people I haven’t seen for a while and some that I’ve seen recently. My sis was even there. Then there were a couple of surprises throughout the night. Old friends that I think my brother contacted stopping in to say ‘hello.’ The big question on everyone’s mind is why am I leaving. I have a well theater response that is distilled from months of thinking about it. However, my perspective on what is going to happen and what the end result of all this will be has shifted. 

  
At the beginning of one of the Indiana Jones films Indy disturbs a statue instigating a cascade of booby traps. I have myself had a cascade of emotions be disturbed. They aren’t only disturbed withinn me but someone else too. In the last few days we look into each other for answers to what this all means. For now however I busy myself with a multitude of conversations catching up on our goings on. Those weird fruity tasting beers were going down well. 

  
In the morning there was no time to lay around. There is a whole pile of stuff all over the place from my messing around the day before. It had to be brought in under control before my flatmate showed up. We had some breakfast and then had coffee and I got to work with the fine details of small things organization. Curios that have somehow ended up in my collection that I am willing to keep for a while longer. Boxes fitting within boxes. Volumes condensed into themselves. This will be the best packing job I’ve done. Bend kept me company as I packed and she worked on some of her stuff. We went and watched the sunset together. 

  
The clouds were expressive that night. We sat there not far from my place. All the activity going on and I was distracted by having to go. It’s nice having a partner. Someone who would sit there and allow the time lapse process to run its course as I ran to get relief. Over the course of the day my headache started to get worse. Those beers last night started to catch up. I overestimated my fitness and didn’t compensat with a whole bunch of water. The night before I woke up choking on something that went down the wrong pipe. 

We weren’t going to talk about the future. Let us just enjoy the present. The cute little matching hoods of our jackets. As we walked to Barbs’ after I was done packing for the day we saw a sign. It was a sign I’ve never noticed before although I was told that it has been there for a while. We shared a nice meal listening to some cops talk their tales over curry. Barbs quietly asked me if I ever was arrested. She helped me finish off the dish and we walked hand in hand down the street. 

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