Sunday, March 18, 2018

Impromptu Visits

As I was returning from the poolside where I had been lounging in the sun after our regular morning walk to the lifeguard stand and back, I encountered one of the more vocal residents of our condominium building.  She greeted me in the hallway in her customary effusive manner; and as a result I did not hesitate to invite her into the apartment for a short gossip.  To her credit she willingly accepted the impromptu invitation. Within seconds we were seated in the living area, effortlessly chatting about what she had done last night on Main Street, Daytona Beach during "Bike Week", my current state of health, her children and whatever else blew across our open minds.  She then suggested that I go with her to her own apartment to meet her daughter.  This we then did together.

Initially upon our arrival at her apartment (several floors above our own) her daughter was nowhere in sight.  Suddenly however she appeared through the front door and - like her mother - the daughter and I instantly engaged in conversation.  The daughter is 26 years of age, currently living with her brother (age 25) in a Bohemian part of Miami where the daughter is presently doing research studies associated with her medical degree in New York.  As I unhesitatingly said to the daughter, she is full of p&v.  By her own admission she has so many things currently on the go, and too many places to travel to accomplish her numerous goals, that she is in no rush whatsoever to commit herself to a personal relationship with anyone.  Looking back on my own professional career, I am fully sympathetic to that posture.  I didn't get called to the Bar until I was 27 years of age and I certainly hadn't any particular ambitions at that age other than the completion of my studies and settling into my first job with a law firm on Sparks Street, Ottawa.

My friend (the mother) and I then undertook a fairly close examination of the importance of marriage (as opposed to the mere state of co-vivants).  Her opinion is that children clearly benefit from the commitment which she perceives to exist between married couples (whether gay or straight).  She was not about to be persuaded by me that co-vivants were capable of imparting a similar authenticity. I did however acknowledge the significance to children of the broad-based association with family and extended-family members, something for example which was larger missing in my own upbringing as an early product of the boarding school environment (into which I was thrown at age 14, never to return home).

I discovered in our aimless chatting that it was my friend who had called 911 (some of whose members she apparently knows personally, being a long-term resident of the area) when I suffered my second heart relapse upon return from the hospital on February 24th.  This she had done in response to an urgent call by my partner for assistance as a result of my repeated passing out.  I remember that she was in attendance on the day of my collection by the ambulance people, watching me fade in and out, subject to inordinate mechanical heart palpitations.

It never fails that these improving relationships develop only when one is about to depart from the venue.  There are a mere two weeks remaining before we close the door of the condominium for the last time.  From the day I first met this woman I have admired here.  She is notoriously gregarious in spite of what I believe to me a far less demonstrable privacy.  No one can challenge her independence and singularity.  I fully suspect that her daughter is made of the same material; and that she too will prove to be a success in her future endeavours.

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