It’s been two and a half weeks since our staff returned to Toronto, and I’m still sitting here, trying to make sense of what happened during the three weeks of our Epic Road Trip across western Canada. At risk of stating the obvious, the trek, for me, was a mix of the expected and the unexpected. I expected to bond with my co-workers, and I did. We enjoyed so many shared experiences: the hotels (good and bad), the restaurants (good and bad), listening to the addictive Serial podcast (always good) as well as Danice’s highly educational musical playlists – overviews of music through the decades – and of course, lots and lots of Tim Horton’s, the one blessed constant across the many miles and time zones of Canada...
It happened again. I was watching an episode of the excellent new TV series “Transparent,” and Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura was preparing to come out as a trans woman to her adult son, Josh. Maura stood on her balcony and watched Josh’s car pull up, and as she stepped back, anxiously considering what his reaction might be to seeing his dad as a woman for the first time, I suddenly noticed my own body reacting. My heart was pounding intensely. My palms glistened with sweat...
When we first started mailing out invitations to our (gay) wedding, Danice and I braced ourselves for some invitees to tell us they could not attend because they did not support our marriage.
There weren't many, but of the few who declined for this reason, some were close friends and family members. We understood their reasons for not coming, but we still missed them that day and grieved their absence.
Not long ago, I had breakfast with one of these friends.
Sometimes I look down at my ring and I can't believe it really happened, that we get to call each other "wives" for real. But about 200 people will attest that it did happen, people who traveled from such faraway lands as Prince Rupert and Washington, DC and Alabama to witness our vows, friends and family who poured time and energy into making that day meaningful for us. Their tangible love for us was almost as overwhelming as our love for one another.
In five days, I will marry Danice Carlson. This is really rather astonishing to me, and it may be to some of you, too.
My blog has not been a good chronicle of my relationship with Danice, though some may have noted her frequent presence in my writing between the years of 2005-2008, and her conspicuous absence from my writing between 2008-2013, which tells a kind of story in itself.
For years I was afraid of writing too much about Danice or talking too much about Danice. I would feel the urge to write about some experience we'd shared or discussion we'd had, and then I'd decide to write about the topic as a depersonalized "issue" instead. I would start talking to a friend about something that related to Danice, and I would censor myself, calling her "one of my roommates" instead of using her name.
Most of the music I listen to, I listen to because Danice introduces me to it. This is very convenient for me, because I have very little drive to actually discover new music on my own. Danice loves making best-of lists at the end of the year. I made a list of my own this year, and for some reason (likely egomania, but hopefully a drive to share what I love), I want to put it here on my blog.
These are not the best songs of 2013 (some of them didn't even come out this year, and many are guilty pleasures). Rather, they're the ones that got stuck in my head in 2013, the ones that instantly bring back memories of 2013, and the ones I hope I'll revisit in future years.