The Theatre of Human Connectedness

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It’s been some time since I last wrote in my blog. Feels like a lifetime ago.

I find myself now in a comfortable place of contemplation – the most comfortable I’ve been in years. It feels like a good time to say something about what I’ve been up to, because it may provide context for what may be coming next. That’s the theory anyway, I really haven’t thought it through that much, and I don’t plan to until I reach that point in this article.

Damn. This may be a long article.

In June, I got taken with the idea to live on a sailboat because buying a house or condo in Toronto seemed to be a ridiculous, money-crazy, idea. If I poured the money I’m paying in rent, into owning a sailboat, I could theoretically make it work.

And then I took a look around my apartment.

I love where I live. Love it! Twenty-five foot ceiling, tons of light, great backyard, and neighbours who feel like family. There is no way I could take any of this with me on a sailboat.

Then Paul (from the main floor) mentioned AirBnB. Maybe I could rent out my loft, and put the extra money towards a downpayment on a sailboat?

I spent the August long weekend learning to sail, and I got my Sail Canada Basic Sailing Certificate. I’m a B-Skipper now!

First thing I did when I got home, with my freshly minted new sailing certificate, was create an AirBnB listing for my loft.

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The second thing I did was take out a Fox 18 single-handed, proceed to fuck up everything I ever learned about sailing, fix all my fuck-ups in the middle of the Toronto Harbour, then sail some more. It wasn’t pretty, or poetic, but it was memorable.

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My listing on AirBnB was surprisingly popular. Within a few days, I only had a few days worth of vacancy left. There were a couple of brothers in from California who came for three days. A kid from Ottawa checking out options for university in the fall. A young French couple (from France). A Russian student living in Ottawa. Another French woman, Nadine, from Paris. She stayed a week, and we became very close friends.

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I very quickly came to realize that money was secondary to the whole AirBnB experience. It’s like I had the world in my living room for brief stints at a time. I couldn’t wait for Jazzy to experience all this internationalness with me.

Jazzy and Grama arrived together near the end of August. Our time together with Grama is a whole other blog article, so I’ll skip ahead to The Brits.

Tanya and Michael are a young couple from Leads, England. They lived with us for six weeks, and very quickly became family. We went sailing together, ate meals together, and got drunk together. Even Paul and Renee downstairs came to regard them as part of the house. I can’t even count how many times we sat around a bonfire together in the backyard, talking, sharing, and laughing.

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This might be a good time to mention the Toronto Cold Reads Writers’ Group. At about the same time I got my sailing certificate, I committed to hosting table reads every Saturday in my backyard around a bonfire.

Writers, actors, and other interested parties became a regular Saturday night thing at my house. Paul, Renee, and their baby Kieran became part of it. The Brits became a part of it. The whole cultural exchange just got to be like breathing – like my life became some kind of theatre of human connectedness.

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It didn’t even feel like a big deal – until I thought about it. And then I just shrugged it off.

Carolin, a German student, is now staying in the loft. She’s interning at the German school, and will be living with us until February.

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Her and Jazzy get along like sisters. At one point, they were watching a moving together on the couch while eating supper. Jazzy would pick out her mushrooms and put them on Carolin’s plate. Carolin would then eat the mushrooms.

The cultural cornucopia took a turn for the extreme a couple Saturdays ago. Nadine returned from Paris to stay with us for a week. Between her and Carolin, it was like half of Europe was represented in our living room. Jazzy was delighted. I was amused.

Nadine flies home in a couple hours. I’ll have to continue this article tomorrow.

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