by Giselle Renarde
Be not afraid... I have no vacation snaps to show you. I spent last week in the woods and I didn't bring a camera. Deliberately. When I have a camera with me, I'm always looking to preserve a moment. It's like I can't trust my brain to do that for me.
Here's something my brain managed to preserve, where my camera probably would have failed: the meteor shower. Maybe you remember what it was called--because I certainly don't. (Okay, that's one brain-fail.)
The sky was spectacular. If I'd been at home, I'd have seen nothing. I can see a total of zero stars from my balcony. The city is too bright.
But in the woods of Northern(ish) Ontario, the sky was just dappled. We took a guided night hike through a dark sky preserve--a portion of the national parks system kept free of artificial light pollution. We saw shooting stars. Well, meteors. I lost count after five.
Actually, it was somewhere around five that I remembered you can make a wish on a shooting star. My mother's voice started echoing in my brain: "Make a wish before you blow out your candles!" And, as an adult, I sit in front of that cake the way I stood below the sky, thinking... I don't know what to wish for.
Really, I don't want to wish for anything. I don't want to want anything. I have very few belongings by North American standards, and still I feel cluttered and overwhelmed by them.
I don't want to win the lottery. God help me! Winning the lottery is my idea of a nightmare. All the cockroaches on my father's side of the family would come out of the woodwork to beg, steal, or borrow their share. No, not borrow. Steal. Definitely steal.
Events? There are things I would like to see happen (personally, professionally, all that), but I'm too balanced about them. Like Lisabet, I want professional success, but I don't want fame. That's too heavy a burden. I'd like to be able to pay my goddamn rent--I do write for a living, after all. Would be nice to stop digging this hole at some point.
And then there's romance, there's marriage... I've never been married and I never thought I'd want to marry anyone, but I do adore my girlfriend. There's a romantic part of me (about the size of a thumbnail) that would love not to be in a long-distance relationship with someone who lives in the same province. There's a part of me that never played house as a child, whispering now's the time.
But there's a more pragmatic part of me that sees the complexities of marrying someone who isn't out with her family (as trans, as lesbian), who has been married before and doesn't particularly want to go there again until she can walk down the aisle in a dress. More than that, I'd become step-mother to children who are older than I am (I keep telling you Sweet is an old lady--you didn't believe me?) and I don't feel like they'd give me a fair shake.
I guess all that's left is to wish for is happiness. Except... here's the thing: I don't want to be happy all the time. What kind of life is that? I want to experience the highs and the lows. I put myself at the mercy of the Universe. That's the closest I come to faith.
And so, I fall upon my fallback of the past five year: I wish for my girlfriend to be happy. My romantic thumbnail seems to be taking over.
Although, she's not really the type who'd want to be happy all the time. She also values the lows and the highs, everything life has to offer...