Let me restate that, with more appropriate punctuation: I’m rural no more!
I’m back in the heart of Vancouver. For various reasons, I spent my first six days in my new condo without having to go to work. I got out plenty, meeting friends for dinners, going to the gym, trying out cafés, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, popping in the hardware store. Not once did I have to use my car. I didn’t even take mass transit. Everything was in walking distance. Everything.
I’ve satisfied my immediate urban fix and it feels good. Still, there’s work to do. After ten years away, my friendship pool is seriously depleted. It’s not quite at the California drought level, but it’s not all that healthy either. Aside from the two dinners, I spent that six-day span entirely on my own. Conversations were limited to “Thank you” and “Have a nice day” courtesies that I said to baristas. Some even responded in kind. I am a solitary man who has grown even more solitary by default. It’s become too comfortable.
I have to break my rural ways. In essence I am now Rural Gay in Recovery.
Challenges remain. There’s still that pesky D word. Depression. It’s not the kind of thing you can just run away from. Indeed, I experienced flashes of it at completely random moments during my extended weekend. And then there’s a more basic issue. My urban time is compromised. While I’ve moved my residence, I haven’t changed jobs. Thus, I’m back to commuting by ferry on a daily basis. My work continues to be in the rural area where I lived. The commute is two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening. Quality urban time must wait for weekends.
Still, there are possibilities once more. And that’s enough to savor for now.