I look forward to my jaunts to the city. While I regularly remind myself that Vancouver is only a ferry ride away, I don't go every week. Ferry costs, wait times, chores at home make trips less frequent.
Last week I headed over for a doctor's appointment. Of course, there are family doctors in my area, but I'm a nervous dweeb around all things medical and, having established a rapport with one doctor, I'm not about to change. He is also gay and that helps, should I need to discuss anything sensitive. (If only!) It doesn't hurt that I have a big ol' crush on the guy. Sure, he's got a partner he's been with for years--as the framed photo of the loving couple reminds me each time I enter the examination room--and I know about the boundaries of doctor-patient relationships, but it feels good to have a few flirty butterflies mixed in with the nervousness that overtakes my body when I have a medical appointment.
My doctor shares an office with a group of doctors who are also gay. When I enter the waiting room, it's like any other medical waiting room: dull paintings, scattered publications, cushioned chairs in outdated colors with clunky armrests. Except all the clients are gay.
As I waited, one gay couple reconnected with an acquaintance, loudly carrying on a conversation while seated at opposite ends of the room. Marv and Ben moved in together in December. They love being together. They held hands and kidded about laundry duties. Cam was heading to Mexico the next day, anxious to escape the cold weather and the possibility of more snow. He was a little worried that he hadn't fit in enough gym workouts before throwing on (and off) a swimsuit, but c'est la vie--only in Spanish.
Had I still lived in the West End of Vancouver--the gay ghetto--I would have tuned out the conversation immediately. Yeah, yeah, gay, gay, happy, happy. Now that I live in the sticks, I soaked in every word while staring blankly at an open newspaper. I am not alone, I am not alone. Damn ferry!
As Cam was summoned by an attendant, Marv and Ben locked into some goo-goo-eyed messaging and I looked for something different to read. Another big difference! Pretty-faced men adorned every magazine cover--except for the sole issue of Cosmo. I hadn't heard of any of the magazines, but they were are clearly gay or gayish. I decided to flip through the latest issue of the local gay newspaper, Xtra West, instead. At least I recognized something.
Continuing to wait--my doctor is notorious for running extremely late--I found comfort and amusement in the waiting room. More gays came and went. It was all perfectly normal by Vancouver standards. I was less nervous than ever. And I hadn't even caught a glimpse of my own version of Dr. McDreamy yet.