Waiting for Ryan at the villa

Waiting for Ryan at the villa

I turn the air conditioning on. Then I get cold and turn it off. I open the back door. It’s humid. My mosquito bites itch. I go upstairs. The Internet says I can treat the bites with toothpaste. I don’t try it.

I read  Austin Clarke to try and get a feel for Barbados. The book is absorbing, but ends up mostly being set in Toronto–in winter. I go back downstairs and look longingly at the rum smoothie sitting in the fridge. I resist the urge to day-drink alone.

I’m sitting in the villa and waiting for Ryan.

As a kid I’d tell my mom I wanted to be able to ride my bike anywhere on my own. She’d ask me where I wanted to go and I could never answer.

I wanted to ride my bike down Pine Street, through Beavis Terrace and down the bridge on Armstrong. I wanted to ride up to the agricultural school. I wanted to ride to Tracy’s house, on the highway to Quebec. I wanted to visit my cousins on the other side of town and play hide-and-seek. I wanted to eat cookies with Grandmere. I wanted to go to the beach with the best playground in town.

I didn’t want to start with a destination in mind though. I longed for the freedom of being alone and making all of the choices.

So it’s been a surprise to me that I’ve mostly stayed inside this week. I want to see all of Barbados, but I want to see it with Ryan. I’m waiting for him at the villa.

My adult life has been all about doing things on my own. I went away to school far away from my family and close friends. I moved to another country. I moved to Ottawa. When my parents made suggestions about my life choices, I ignored them. When well-meaning friends told me to “get my life together” I stopped keeping in touch.

In each place, I wandered in museums, parks and malls alone. I ate out by myself. Then I met new friends and shared life-changing moments within days, weeks or months of meeting them. I learned you can have deep friendship with or without years of history together.

I have wonderful memories. But always choosing the path alone means you have good stories with few corroborators.

No one else in my day-to-day life knows who Rick McGhie is. No one hates Le Kimchi for not serving galbi the way they did in Arts Centre. No one has watched me have a freak out in a monkey forest. No one knows how friendships can be cemented by large, blue balloons that don’t fit in taxis. No one has drunk a sojito in The Park. For the most part, no one knows why I’d avoid any bar called Amigos.

So I sit in the pool. I do reading for my master’s. I write notes. I watch geckos. I make more coffee and sandwiches.

It was supposed to rain but it’s a beautiful day. I can see the sun just beyond the red leaves. For the first time, I want to make my choices with someone.

I wait for Ryan at the villa.


2 thoughts on “Waiting for Ryan at the villa

  1. This is a great piece. We all want to explore the world on own, until we come into our own and then know for sure that we “want to make life choices with someone else”…


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