Monthly Archives: February 2018

Facing Myself on Paper

“Are you back now?”

I’m not sure.

“Where were you?”

I was off somewhere feeling some feelings and avoiding others.

“Why were you avoiding some feelings?”

Because feeling them meant facing myself on paper.  I always feel good after I have faced myself on paper, but knowing this does not motivate me to apply my bottom to the seat of a chair and write.


Yup.  What is funny is that if someone else tried to stop me from writing, I would fight to write.  But I have no desire to fight to write when I stop myself from writing.

“You have too much freedom.”

Probably.  It’s Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.  There were no dead tigers or deadlines where I was.  I spent a lot of time staring off into space instead of facing myself on paper.  I thought I had all kinds of time to write, and I did, but I did not write.  I sat and stared.

“You’re facing yourself on paper now.”


“How do you like what you see?”

I don’t know, but staring off into space is a lot easier.


Please Don’t Protect Me From Feelings


My sister, the widow, is doing her best to cope with Don Edward Boles buying the farm.  Some family members are doing their best to protect my sister’s feelings.  They don’t want her to feel any more pain.

My sister is doing her best to protect her mother-in-law’s feelings.  My sister does not want Don’s mother to have more pain over her son’s death.

My father’s mother lived until she was 97.  She developed stomach cancer when she was 96.  My father did not want to tell her that she had stomach cancer because he wanted to protect her feelings.

My grandmother lived through two world wars.  She lived through the Depression.  Three of her eight children died while they were still children.  She survived a kitchen fire when the doctors said that she would not make it.  She saw her brother run over and killed by a horse and buggy.   And my father felt that she could not handle the news that she had stomach cancer.  He never told her.

Please don’t protect me from feelings.  I need to feel, to experience, to learn and grow.  I also know that there is love and support if I feel overwhelmed.  Thank you.

Don and the Farm

There ought to be a law that women cannot become widows until they are 113 years of age or older.  After a woman reaches 113,  she is entitled to become a widow and may legally murder her husband if he doesn’t die naturally.

My sister, my younger sister, my baby sister, became a widow yesterday.  She is far too young to be a widow, but she did not have a choice because of her husband’s sudden interest in agriculture: he bought the farm.

Don Edward Boles, my brother-in-law, was healthy.  He gave up smoking 15 years ago.  He still enjoyed expensive liquor in moderation.  He had not been to a doctor for 7 years.

Don wasn’t feeling well the past week.  My sister finally convinced him to go for a checkup.  Don went on Monday February 5.  The doctor said that Don likely had the flu.  Don’s blood pressure was fine, but the other test results had not come back yet.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Don’s nausea and dizziness got worse.  He refused to go back to the doctor.  “I’ll be alright,” said Don.

By Wednesday evening, Don was feeling better when he went to bed.

On Thursday February 8, Don got up at 7:00 a.m., and was farming by 7:40.

I never thought about Don dying.  I thought about my brother and sisters dying since friends were slowly losing their brothers and sisters.  I thought my brother or older sister would die first.  And after they had gone, then I would die leaving my younger sister to die last.  But since Don died, I no longer think that death will come in the order I suggested.   It could, but my younger sister, the widow, could die first.  And then my older sister or brother could die and then me.  Who knows?  Who the hell knows?

Good Luck with the farm, Don!

No More Sexual Harassment?

It’s been over a month since Steve, a gay man at the YMCA, has made sexual comments about my “down below” and what he wants to do to me.  I have blogged about Steve and his harassment before.

We interrupt this blog for a digression:

“Down below” is what my mother called down below.  She used this term for both my sisters, too.  “Did you wash your down below?” Mom would ask when we were old enough to take baths by ourselves.  Sometimes Mom would omit the “your” and just ask, “Did you wash down below?”   Whenever Mom asked this question, she would have a serious expression and raise her eyebrows.  We grew up in a time before someone invented the words “penis” and “vagina”.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog:

What stopped Steve from sexually harassing me?

About a month ago I was in the shower room alone when Steve came in.  We were the only men there.

“Gary,” said Steve, “I have to tell you.  I love you.”

I immediately responded with words that dealt with sex and travel.

“No, no, I’m serious,” said Steve.  “I love you.  You’re a wonderful man.  You’re good-natured and sensitive and such a beautiful person.  I love you.  I would kiss you if you let me.”

Once again I used words dealing with sex and travel.

“I’m not joking!” said Steve.  He looked so intense.

“Look Steve,” I said, “this is weird.  I have never been naked while another naked man tells me how wonderful I am and how much he loves me.  It’s weird!”

“Perhaps you should get used to it,” he said.

“Not as long as I am breathing thank you very much.”

It seems that Steve needed to seriously express his feelings for me.  He had to get it out of his system.  Since that time he has made no comments.  We say hi and sometimes engage in small talk, but he has made no embarrassing sexual comments.  How long will this last?   As long as I am breathing, I hope.

From Pears to Pot

In April, 1982, Toronto Constable Gregory Murray lost three days pay for eating a pear while on duty.  Back then, Toronto officers were not supposed to eat food in public while in uniform.  Police Superintendent Harry Smith, who presided over the police trial, warned that eating a pear on duty could lead to more serious offences.  “It could lead to fish and chips, ice-cream cones, and other edibles being consumed on street corners, in scout cars and on streetcars,” he said.

Constable Murray’s punishment only acted as a deterrent for 35 years.  In January, 2018, two 13 Division officers were suspended for eating marijuana edibles while on duty.  They had hallucinations, and called for back up.  The Professional Standards Unit (Internal Affairs) is still investigating.

So, is this progress that police are going from pears to pot?

More TTC Adventures

On Tuesday January 30, 2018, I left early to get an early start on the day.  The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) said, “Ha!”  A forty-minute subway ride took two hours.  And crowds?  The subway was so crowded, I had people standing in my underwear.  Fortunately, I was wearing clean underwear.

The delays?  Everything.  Even the Public Address system broke down so Transit Control could not announce the reasons for the delays.

Okay, so that was Tuesday.

On Wednesday January 31, 2018, I left early to get an early start on the day.  The TTC said, “Ha!”  The forty minute ride took just over an hour.  As for the crowds?  Not as bad as Tuesday.  They only stood in my pockets, during the subway ride, and not in my underwear.

Yesterday and today I did not leave early.  Yesterday and today there weren’t as many delays.  The ride took less than an hour.

The TTC has weekend closures, for parts of the subway lines, to prevent the delays that occurred Tuesday and Wednesday.  Of course these weekend closures create more delays on the weekends . . .

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz . . . “