Today, with the humidex at forty degrees and the sky heavy with unfalling rain, I decided to clean out my refrigerator. I am, obviously, an idiot. Within minutes of starting what I thought would be a relatively straightforward task, I was dripping with sweat, and continued to be long after I had stripped down to my underwear. Worse, my fridge promptly lost all the coolness it had previously laboured to keep; six hours later, its contents are still stubbornly lukewarm. I am now convinced that I have drained the thirty-year old appliance of its remaining life force, and that I will dine tomorrow on a brunch of curdled milk and rotten eggs.
The thing is awfully clean, though.
The other thing I did today was write an interminably long email to my friend Matthew, who, with his partner Eva, is celebrating the birth of his first child. Matthew and I met through the polyamorous crowd quite a few years ago and we bonded pretty much instantly, which may have something to do with the fact that we share the same birthday. In fact, I do at times see Matthew as an older and infinitely more together version of myself, and, at other times, as the big brother I always wished I’d had.
In any case, Matthew and I had fallen out of touch, and last I heard he had quit his first academic gig in frustration and set off to reunite with his true love, the theatre. As it turns out, he’s since landed a far better academic gig and has just been appointed chair of his department, which is extraordinarily good news. He is also directing plays for a repertory theatre company as well as those of his extremely fortunate students. I couldn’t be happier for him.
In the email I wrote tonight, I imparted the news that Phil and I have split up and actually recounted the story, which I’ve avoided doing until now. I came very close to sending Matthew an email soon after I moved out, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. As I wrote to him tonight, I think a part of me feared that, although they liked “Phil and Vila” well enough, he and Eva might be less keen on just "Vila". In retrospect, I think I worried that a lot of people would feel that way.
In my postscript, I asked Matthew if he had a current email address for Nathaniel, another friend I’ve lost touch with. The odds are against it, but you never know...