May 11, 2021.
I am hosting a woman of high finance from Queen and Bathurst.
"Doing it twenty years," she says. "From the time I was seven I wanted to be a CFO. Didn't know what it meant but knew what I wanted."
Celebrating her 37th birthday on her own, she says, because her views on COVID have sifted away most admirers.
Right away she is ranting about the "plandemic" and, mystically, in her passion I feel this peace.
Though I don't believe the virus was planned I have felt alone for questioning the questionable including vaccination.
As always solo guests prove best for uninterrupted and ever-deepening conversation. Today is no different. Today two Canadians are allowed to question the intelligence of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders - her high I.Q. and exposure to finance lend credible sauce to the pasta I've been forking miserably fourteen months.
Taken in by the river her mind gushes through all states of affairs, especially her breaches with family, friends and fiance - all rocks to her now, unmoved by her rapids of ethics and reason.
Engaged to be married, she says, but separated due to "his unwillingness to wake up."
She meditates upon the sound of rushing water and repeats like a mantra how great this birthday, how she'd booked a kayaking experience but the lady had to "cancel due to COVID 19."
Her thoughts glide from the beauty without to the restrictions within that seem to be pinning her down and raping her rights to mind, body and love.
I give her time to herself then we sip at the waterfalls. She is so overtaken she runs into the river without caring about shoes and socks. Not usually done till June she is so awed by her surroundings she needs to feel the river too, the freezing Spring run-off through her soles.
I tell her to cross to the rock that juts out over the canyon. She peers down between waterfalls. She breathes deep and takes it in.
Talk resumes on the road back. Then to the winery. I join for two tastings then leave her with two servers. By the end she has lined up a case to buy and seems a long way from her usual thoughts, a day's escape from the masked-up persecution.
Then it changes in a tear drop.
"I can't believe what's happening to Canada," she weeps, the three of us trying to console her. Before our eyes a highly polished genius fast-drips into a puddle lamenting Canada's lapse.
She goes to the bathroom to collect herself then returns and settles up. Back in the car she sobs uncontrollably, her face at the window muttering, "Where is Canada? I don't know where Canada is in anymore. I don't know where I am anymore."
This high functioning mistress of Queen Street slaughtered to pieces by the Rule of Law and its oblivious victims. Desperate for rescue she appears a sparkle of light from a boat in the sea we can't see.
So strange, so beautifully dressed, her face perfectly made but mascara streaming like the river. Unraveling before my heart - yet far from the eyes of the media and people - she is anguished about loved ones that don't love her any more - and nothing breaks a body like love withdrawal.
She knows the people mock her for thinking at all let alone thinking as she does so she is moving to Central America, she says, "taking my savings and getting the hell away."
I love her - not romantically but unconsciously, without reason. Because she seems to need it.
In a country that claims such empathy for minority views her meltdown means losing to the masses and proof that love is never the reason for government over-reach. We both know that recent acts of unreasonable dictates is just oppression dressed in compassion.
I am rubbing her back as she weeps at the window but nothing can heal the silent and frightened disquiet induced by unquestioned influencers and their unquestioning believers. She seems so abandoned - so rejected by her culture and community that she has lost control of the rest of what's left within her control - her senses.
She thanks me for just being here, for not believing her crazy or uncaring.
I stop at Grand Oak Culinary to get her a sandwich and coffee and she is whimpering like a little girl now.
I carry her wine into her Airbnb unit and when we say good-bye she is wiping tears and apologizing - for an involuntary reaction to a nation cloaked in humanity reduced to insanity.