02 July 2011

Stability (or Inertia)

Yesterday was National Moving Day in Québec. It's that strange phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of people moving from one apartment to another on the same day that has its roots in various events in history here (read the Wikipedia entry for more detail).

While at least one of my neighbours in this building of six apartments participated in the National Moving Day Parade (it's a parade on every street!) — and looking very B-boy supervising the movers, I must say — I did not have a float for this year's event.

My shaded stairway, pruned free of foliage

This made me reflect on the fact that I moved into this apartment in 1995, fully sixteen years ago! Next year, I will have lived a third of my life in this apartment (roughly), about the same amount of time I lived with my parents growing up (I turned 18 at the beginning of my first year of university).

When I moved here, the "tree" that I hack at mercilessly with the pruners in order to keep it from interfering with my progress climbing my stairs did not exist. In fact, it sprang as a weedling (unintended seedling of a tree) between the concrete of the sidewalk and the asphalt under the stairs, and is now fully two storeys high.

The tree from my second floor front porch

When I moved here, I had no idea that I was living with HIV. I was diagnosed two and a half years later with my infamous low CD4+ count. A year and a half after that, I changed jobs and began working in the HIV/AIDS field in the community.

This is where I was for my first rejection based on my HIV status (well, I can't really blame the guy who didn't want to pursue a relationship with someone he had met just weeks earlier, then radio silence until the guy told him he had been diagnosed with HIV and 4 CD4+s).

It's also the place where I slipped smoothly from slut to social worker to calm down the guy who asked my status after we were done with our series of non-risky manoeuvres (I had to walk him back through everything we had done to explain how there was no risk). Then there was the satisfying moment where I got up on my own high horse to tell him that if it was that important to him, he should ask first.

The — alas! — caged doorway

When I moved in, there were all the elements of casual sex around me: parking lot out back used in the night by people having quickies in their cars; recessed doorway across the street in which many a street performer strutted his stuff for my receptive gaze; and just the positioning between the gay bar area and a once-frequented cruising park. The parking lot is now condos, the recessed doorway has a cage keeping people out and the bar to park traffic seems to be rather sparse, likely a combination of the decline of the bars and the renovations that made the park more open to the view of passers-by and neighbours.

I've been through a few computers and toasters and two TVs and other things too countless to relate. Some other things I have not so much been through, but accumulated. There's where the inertia needs to end: not to move, but to purge and reduce. The mammoth task that's long overdue that I ought to find the energy for sometime this summer.

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