I don’t feel like writing today, but I know I should. We cleaned out Dave’s room today. I had a friend with a moving truck drive up to meet me and Margo at PST and we emptied the furniture and everything else left over from a month ago. A month ago we went up and emptied out all of Dave’s personal stuff for his family as the landlord was making some threats involving a dumpster due to Dave having not paid rent since January. I learned he was a bit of a pack rat. Though, not like another Gemini I know. But he had lots of stuff. I have to figure that twelve years in one place will do that to a person. Of course, Dave only lived at the house at PST for just over four months before he left to Cali. I had taken his pillows last time. But now I have all this stuff that is too painful really to rifle through. There are his shoes, rubber boots, socks – he loved to wear brand new socks so he bought a lot, a crock pot, microwave, couches, bed, toiletries, dresser, computer chairs, and just a few other small things. Most of it is in storage and I have to decide what to do with it. Sell it? Save it? I’m not going to decide now. I had to clean the carpet a little as an ashtray had spilled. We vacuumed and took out the trash and left the room empty for Dave’s roommate to be able to rent it out. It was weird looking at that room empty. But I detached myself from it and left.
I didn’t spend a lot of time at Dave’s. He mostly came to visit me at Burnaby, but our stays were always at least two nights. It was hard living nearly three hours from each other. He kept telling me that when we both get home in the spring that he wouldn’t be able to handle driving three hours to see me. One of us had to move. We both wrestled with that decision, but in the end Dave said he would move to me as I had a good thing at Burnaby and he wanted to meet all my friends and make new friends and just live it up. I felt bad having him leave San Diego. I know he loved it there. But I promised him we would go back. I told him I would live that life with him. My only condition was that we put 25 per cent of what we made away. I explained it was so we would have the money to do all the traveling he kept saying he wanted to do. He loved that I thought ahead.
Last week I took Dave’s son, Gavin, to Ontario Place. It was really the first time I had any kind of fun since Dave died. I think it was easy to let myself enjoy the day because it was all for Gav. The weirdest part though was when we got there we went straight to the water park and went on a double tube down the purple slide. I didn’t know it was in the dark. So there we were, the two of us near strangers going down a long dark tunnel. It was freaky and neither of us were expecting it. I took it as a sign. We went to an Earth Rangers show and went on the flume ride and played some arcade games. We even mini-putted. On the ride home we both cried. But we got some McDonalds and Gav had me drive to his sister’s place so I could meet her. Dave did a pretty amazing job raising these kids. It’s a side of him I didn’t know very well at all. I didn’t know him as a dad. I had only seen him in that uniform once really, and I was looking forward to seeing it again. When I dropped Gav off I talked to his mom for a little while. It was nice talking to someone who knew Dave. I don’t get to do that too often. She told me there were many sides of Dave over the years, but that I got to know the last one, and she didn’t really know that Dave too well. She told me I’ll always have that. I don’t know how I feel about that.
Parts of me are still numb. Every day there’s a new thought or sensation that I forgot existed. I find myself totally changed, and yet at times I recognize myself. Maybe not all of me has been lost with Dave. But I think a significant piece of me vanished. They say with change and pain a time of growth occurs. I understand this, but I do not like it. I am still bewildered much of the time about the brutality of Dave’s death and the impact it had on me and those around him. I’m still disoriented by the sheer quickness and how easily things can just change, in an instant. I was telling people I forgot about death. But I don’t think that’s true now. A friend died last September and that still bothers me. I think I just keep trying to understand why I am so affected and rocked by this, by Dave no longer existing. I think I am shocked at times by how much it has messed with my head and changed me and my life and the sheer pain of it. I don’t think it’s that I forgot about death. I think I may have underestimated the power of love. Love makes this world bearable. When it disappears, it’s like being dipped in acid.