Thursday, May 5, 2016

Help Me Raise Funds for the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal

Cross-posted from Donuts and Desires:

Whether or not you live in Canada, you've probably heard about the destruction fire has caused in Fort McMurray. The Canadian Red Cross has launched an appeal for donations. I want to help, but I need your support.

Read on...

I commonly donate royalties from my books to organizations doing important work.  On this occasions, I've decided to donate 100% of the royalties I earn this week on my book Sweet Lesbian Love Stories to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.

Why did I choose Sweet Lesbian Love Stories?

Mainly because it's one of my few books with no erotic content. I want to raise funds quickly, and I'm trying to appeal to a broad range of readers. Also I want readers to feel comfortable sharing this book on social media.

Even if you can't purchase a copy, tell people about this appeal. Spread the word.

If you'd prefer your impact to be greater and more immediate, donate directly to: https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?_ga=1.203478229.457009016.1462401518&ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=50639

You can purchase this book in print from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or direct from CreateSpace (which will earn me, and hence the Red Cross, the highest royalty percentage): https://www.createspace.com/5668386

Or purchase the ebook from one of the following vendors:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q?tag=dondes-20
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q
Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q
Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B013Q4LA4Q

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122504279
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1029456705

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sweetlesbianlovestories-1872222-166.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/sweet-lesbian-love-stories

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/569207

Do it now. I'll be making a donation on Monday.

The federal government has announced it will match Red Cross donations, so consider your effort doubled.

Make a purchase. Tweet about it. Tell your Facebook following.

Thank you and big hugs,
Giselle

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Afterword

So you made it to the end, did you? Congratulations, and thanks for reading. I appreciate that you’ve allowed me to share this sliver of my life with you.

It really is strange, to look back on the person I was fifteen years ago. As I read through this journal, I experienced a few sparks of recognition, but for the most part I rolled my eyes. Particularly when, in the very last entry (the one you’ve just read), I caught myself in a lie.

Did you notice that line that “He fantasises about our wedding”? Yeah? That stood out like a sore thumb? Well, it should have, because it isn’t true.

What Lawrence really said that day was that he fantasises about attending MY wedding (not OURS) as a guest—not as the groom. He told me he had this happy idea in his head that one day I would meet a nice young man and we’d get married, and Lawrence would see me in my white dress, smiling and oh-so-happy, and he’d be over the moon with delight.

But that’s not what I wrote in my diary.

I specifically remember that lie, because I told it to my friend Christie, too, as some pre-emptive measure of saving face. And that’s only the lie I remember! I can’t help wondering how much more of this material was fabricated by a 19-year-old me, in an attempt to assuage my own fears that he didn’t love me like I wanted him to. I guess I knew, deep down, that I was investing far too much energy in a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.

Now I’m wondering if you’re wondering what happened after July 2nd of the year 2000. If you don’t want to know, then stop reading now.

You can’t stop, can you?

Maybe you’ll be bored to discover that Lawrence and I waited out the Ontario government’s legislation. What I didn’t know at the time was that this “legislation,” as I refer to it in the diary, was a document released in April 2000, called Protecting Our Students: A Review to Identify and Prevent Sexual Misconduct in Ontario Schools. To this day I’ve never read it (the behemoth is listed on Google Books as being 569 pages long), so I can’t verify there’s really a rule dictating that a student and teacher must wait a full year after the student graduates before beginning a sexual relationship. I still couldn’t tell you whether this is law or Ontario College of Teachers best practices or complete hearsay.

At any rate, by the end of Summer 2000, Lawrence had confided in me that being in contact was too much temptation. We had a “tearful goodbye” day at the end of August and managed to stay out of touch for… oh, about three weeks. I started university, fell into a terrible depression, tried and failed to extract myself from the relationship/non-relationship, and that contact/non-contact continued for two full years before we ever went to bed together.

I still have the hotel receipt. The hotel itself has since been torn down.

The first time we had sex, I remember thinking, “I hope I never have to do this again.”

But we did. Again and again. I fictionalized that portion of the relationship in an erotic series called Audrey & Lawrence, which highlights the wild emotions, spanning from jealousy to schadenfreude, that a mistress experiences during an affair with a married man. The stories are fictional, but the emotions are real.

My relationship with Lawrence came to an end eight years ago, when I fell in love with a woman who, strangely enough, shared his birthday. My 18-year-old self would have found that tidbit deeply intriguing. Anyway, Lawrence didn’t take the split well and we haven’t kept in contact, though he still sends me a Christmas card every year.

So, do I regret the affair? Probably less than he does. Lawrence always had such a guilty, shame-filled spirit. I have no idea whether he’s still teaching, as he’s well beyond retirement age, but I wish him well whatever he’s up to. I remember him often saying he was worried he would ruin my life.

He didn’t. Only I hold that power.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

07/02/2000

Shall I start at the very beginning?

I barely slept. How could I? I went to bed in the black bra and thong I bought especially for today, just in case Lawrence surrendered to temptation and took me to a hotel. Wore the short grey dress my mom always says is too see-through to leave the house in. The grey dress, no pantyhose, and my black platform sandals.

Left early, took the bus to the subway. When the driver didn’t pull into the station, I started to panic. I asked him what was going on. Turns out the subway doesn’t run until 9 on Sunday mornings. How did I go 19 years without ever knowing that?

I asked the driver how on earth I was supposed to get to my destination when the subway wasn’t running, but he didn’t have much to say. “You’ll have to take a bus, I guess. Or walk.”

Walk? Walk 7 kilometers before 8 in the morning?

He gave me a transfer and I managed to catch a bus along Eglinton, but my second bus wasn’t scheduled to come for another 45 minutes! How could I possibly wait that long? It would be almost 9 before I got to the station.

So I walked. Raced. Ran, until my sandals cut between my toes and my feet bled. Then I had to slow my pace, which was worrying for three main reasons:

1) Even on a Sunday morning, the area was sketchy as hell;
2) Some of my dad’s family lives nearby and they were the last people I wanted to see wearing a see-through dress;
3) It was already after 8 and who knows if Lawrence was still waiting? Maybe he’d left…

I was hobbling by the time I got close to the golf course, and that’s when I spotted something in the street.

A fox.

A dead fox, crushed by cars, lying in the road with its guts hanging out of its belly.

For the first time during this whole race to the station, I stopped. I stopped and stared and I had a terrible, ominous feeling. I identify strongly with foxes, for obvious reasons. The fox was me, and just look at it. Dead.

When I got to the little parking lot outside the subway station, Lawrence’s awful little shitbox of a car was waiting for me, and he was inside reading the paper. I told him what had happened and how afraid I was that he would leave.

He said, “I was going to. I was sure you’d changed your mind.”

But I would never do that. Never.

Lawrence gave me bandages for my toes, and I put them on as we drove, retracing the steps I’d just run. He asked where we were going and I said, “To a hotel?”

He just laughed.

Wouldn’t you think he’d have something planned, after all that time thinking about it? But he didn’t have any plans at all, so we drove to Edward’s Gardens.

I always hate it when people breed in public places; I guess I got my chance to repay some karmic debt. He fantasises about our wedding—that’s what he told me. What can I say? It’s not something I’ve ever caught myself doing, but to each his own.

Our first kiss was strange. Maybe I just wasn’t expecting it when he tried to pry my teeth open with his tongue and ended up licking my gums instead. I guess I got used to it quickly enough, though, because we didn’t stop making out even when other people walked by our park bench.

Just kisses. Just mouths. No hands, even. We were in public, after all. It actually surprised me that he’d kiss me with other people around. What if Victoria’s friends saw us together? Or Kennedy’s, or Bess’s? Wasn’t he worried about things like that? He just couldn’t help himself, I suppose. I could hear his passion in every breath he took, like he wanted to throw me down and take me right there in the park, and it took every bit of effort imaginable just to keep his clothes on.

As for me? After so much wishing and waiting, the physical affection made me feel sort of… weird. Different than what I expected. It’s hard to describe. Good or bad? I’m not really sure yet.

After Edward’s Garden, we drove downtown until I wasn’t exactly sure where we were. He took me to a restaurant and we ate on the patio. I felt like people were staring, and not in a good way.

I didn’t have much to say, I suppose, because he kept telling me, “You’ve gone silent again.”

Contemplative.

So no hotel after all. Not that I was surprised. That’s one rule Lawrence would never break.

He dropped me back at the subway, which was running by then, so I came straight home. The whole family was out. I went to my room, got out a pack of crayons, and drew pictures of apples.

Lawrence feels that it’s wrong of him to be in Love with me, but I can’t help thinking of that line from The Grapes of Wrath: “Maybe there ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue; there’s just stuff people do. And some things folks do is nice and some things ain’t so nice, but that’s as much as any man got a right to say.”

Giselle

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

07/01/2000

Dream: Damned Precognition

-it’s about 7:30 in the morning and I’m at the Town Centre
-I take my watch to a clock store to get it put into a box or something
-time to spare, so I head toward a Dairy Queen. I see some people from school and spend time with them, but then I realize it’s 7:51 and I’m supposed to be at Vic Park subway in 9 minutes
-get to the RT and—uh oh!—the subways/RTs aren’t running! Great! Panic!

Monday, March 21, 2016

06/28/2000

Here’s a world I haven’t visited in some time. Introspection sometimes escapes one when it is most needed.

So what is my ultimate concern? That I will lose my Self. That all the lessons I worked so hard to integrate into my life will escape me. That I will feel trapped, or that his mind is too changeable for me to ever feel secure with. I’ve been placed out on the windowsill to cool. He can’t expect me to stay hot. I am warm, at best.

I feel like I’ve lost so much already, and I am now struggling to put everything back in place.

The longer I am made to wait, the more I doubt myself. Maybe this isn’t what I want after all. The trouble is, I just don’t know anymore. I’m tired of being so unsure about everything.

When will I truly learn to Love?

Giselle

Sunday, March 20, 2016

06/24/2000

Dream: Helplessness

-subway travel
-I’m trying to find Lawrence but I have to leave the TTC system first
-he’s in school with Kennedy. Kennedy is holding a $20 bill and asks me to dinner. I accept
-later, Lawrence and I go out but he says he’ll drive the car around the block, so I walk around the block to meet him
-a man starts yelling at me then runs out and picks me up by the neck
-I scream for help, but only one woman tries and no one else notices
-I escape the man and run to Lawrence, but he isn’t in the car at first
-he comes back and I tell him to drive but he doesn’t and a woman we know is looking at him and saying hello
-later, we’re at a buffet and the family is all there. The buffet is gourmet and we are performing A Man For All Seasons, in which I am playing the wife
-Lawrence has to return books and videos that cost $238.38 to rent
-he bought a different car and is with an East Indian man. They’re going on a trip
-the bathrooms at the restaurant are very open. Toilets with no stalls

Saturday, March 19, 2016

06/22/2000

Dream: Minako

-I’m harbouring a “felon” although I don’t feel that’s what she is. She’s a beautiful Hispanic woman and she clings to my arm as we stand at the front door
-there’s a man with a gun outside, but I’m not afraid. He’s after her, not me
-my only concern is for her. I need to keep her safe from harm

What does he tell me? He can’t do July 1st. Yes, I know he cancelled and I cancelled and we both cancelled at some point or another, but after waiting so long wouldn’t you think he’d keep the date open?

Kennedy’s doing some sort of summer exchange overseas. His plane leaves on the 1st and Lawrence is committed to being at the airport to see him off. I know I shouldn’t be angry, because it’s a decent enough excuse, but I am angry. Enraged, more like. Because, once again, I come in last place.

Victoria matters. Kennedy matters. Bess matters. I don’t matter.

But he did propose an alternative: July 2nd. I suppose I should be pleased, but part of me wonders if I should have stayed away. In fact, part of me knows quite certainly I should have stayed away. I couldn’t, of course.

July 2nd it is.

We’re meeting at Vic Park subway station at eight in the morning. I’m not exactly pleased with the early start time, but he’ll be telling his wife that he’s playing golf with Mr. York, and apparently people play golf early in the morning, so I don’t really have a say.

I don’t know what kind of excuse I can come up with that’ll get me out of the house so early.

Giselle

Friday, March 18, 2016

06/17/2000

Dream: Twilight Time

-I’m at a strip club and find that Andrew is one of the strippers. He pulls me up on stage with him
-when I get home it’s twilight and Jane is standing on the driveway. She’s my daughter rather than my sister
-my aunt is there and she says Jane’s father is here, too
-it’s Kennedy

Dear Lawrence,

Maybe we should talk. What are you doing July first? I’m not promising anything, but perhaps we could revive the plan we made to meet on the first day I’m officially no longer a student. If you decide that you would like to see me, I’ll be there.

I don’t know how you feel, but I’m comfortable with the way we left things. If you would rather not, I’ll understand. Sometimes I miss you a lot and sometimes I’m happy to have my life to myself.

Did you know how badly I wanted to kiss you that day we went to the McMichael Gallery? Even in the car, every time we came to a red light I wanted to lean over and sniff your neck. Do you remember lunch on the patio at that restaurant you took me to, with the little green things falling from the trees? We had to put our coasters over our water glasses.

You told me you would never forget that day, or the way you felt. We were so happy then. Do you remember sitting together in your classroom after school and simply admiring each other? And how wonderful it felt to be in Love? And that surge of desire when we touched?

Desire for you still flows through my veins, as much a part of my body as my blood or my skin. Please know that I Love you and that I can’t look at you without wanting you to hold me. You truly are the man of my dreams. I know you don’t believe it, but it’s true. You look delicious. I could just devour those lips, those thighs, that neck.

I can’t imagine a more ideal partner.

Giselle

Thursday, March 17, 2016

06/16/2000

A long-awaited revelation. How to begin?

I have finally realised what I’m worth, and I’m finding that my way of life contradicts my value. Pearls before swine, although that is rather harsh. I don’t know where I’m finding the strength to do this. I value this relationship over everything in the world, except my Self. I guess the Self always wins out in the long run, and so it should, but that doesn’t make this process any easier.

I need to be valued enough to be the only woman in a man’s life. If not this man’s, then someone else will have to come along, in time.

Until then? I didn’t enjoy depression the first time. I wonder if it gets better the second time around. I Love Lawrence. I’m still in love with him. BUT, I need to be valued. I can’t say, “her or me,” because I always told myself I would never force a man to make that choice. I am worth an exclusive relationship, though.

This isn’t a matter of choosing between two women, or at least it shouldn’t be. He needs to choose whether or not he wants to stay in his marriage. That choice should be made without the consideration of an outside relationship.

He isn’t thinking that way, though. The question he’s asking himself is, “Should I leave Victoria for Giselle?” rather than “Do I want to stay in my marriage, or do I want to leave?”

Old patterns, old patterns. How do I handle them, Shiva? If Lawrence remains married, then what we have here is over before it began.

I know; even I’m not convinced.

This isn’t a matter of morals or principles or anything as trivial as that. I have finally realised that I DESERVE a real relationship with a partner. I deserve a man who will call me and who doesn’t mind being seen in public with me, and who isn’t afraid of being caught. I need a man who will spend the night with me, who doesn’t say “I can’t do this” every time I place his hand against my body, and especially someone who doesn’t think it’s wrong to be in love with me.

I’m sure that Lawrence could be all these things if he weren’t so afraid. I can’t change him, though; I wouldn’t dream of it. If he isn’t ready, I’m not prepared to wait around until he is.

Giselle

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

06/12/2000

Dream: AH! CLEAN! NOW!

-Hurry hurry clean the house fast now now hurry!
-my brother is having a birthday party and I’m cleaning the house like mad trying to get all the dishes put away NOW, running, rushing about
-my cousin comes over and comments that the table is wet—I’ve just washed it and there’s a black ring where water has obviously rotted the wood
-mum and my cousin leave to pick up a pizza
-Andrew is in the family room and we decide to have sex, so we go to my old room, which is somehow his, then I realise he isn’t Lawrence and we’d have to worry about birth control. Oh. So, no sex. Too bad. Maybe next time

It’s really incredible, when I think of it… how much I cried, and how hard it was to get out of bed and especially how much I hated being alive.

I don’t even know what changed. I just hope I never have to be that sad again. What an experience. At one point, I was crying all the time, and then after a while I wasn’t crying as much, but that’s when I stopped sleeping. I started taking St. John’s Wort because I knew I needed to do something to help myself. The first thing that did was improve my sleep patterns.

Eventually, I started feeling a bit less sad. I had a few good days mixed among all the bad ones. Then, I had some days when I didn’t cry at all. Soon enough, those days became weeks, and that’s where I’m at now. I don’t know if this is the end of the story, but I am very grateful to be feeling happy again.

Giselle

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

05/19/2000

Dream: Twice a Usurper

-I have three rings on my fingers: a cheap gold ring on my middle and ring fingers of my right hand. On my left hand’s ring finger, I’m wearing Lawrence’s wedding ring
-I don’t remember him giving it to me. It’s too big and I have to keep checking that it hasn’t fallen off
-I’m in a pool and eventually the ring is gone. I dive to the bottom and discover that the pool has small indentations. I check them all for his ring, but without panic, because I know I’ll find it. I can hold my breath for a very long time
-outside the pool, my bathing suit is on the ground and I pick it up. Two dollars and a dime fall off of it, so I know the ring must be there too
-it is
-some time later, at a party, Leslie and I escape the people and Lawrence follows. We sit at a table and I take Lawrence’s ring off my finger and put it on a plate
-the ring has been inside-out all this time
-he laughs and tells me to keep it
-I protest a bit, asking if Victoria had not noticed it was gone
-of course she had; a few times, in fact. First he told her he must have “misplaced it, I don’t know, and who really cares and I don’t need it.”

Monday, March 14, 2016

05/16/2000

Dream: Usurper!

-posters all over the walls, windows of the place (hall?) I’m in
-brightly-coloured, each a different shade
-black letters, big, on each one: USURPER!

What are the chances?

Honestly, what are the chances that I would go to the mall to interview for a retail job and the first person I encounter in the store is George? I had no idea he worked there. His initial reaction seemed like he would just keep walking, but then he made another choice. He took me under his wing and helped me find the hiring manager. We chatted and it was alright.

I guess George knows better than to hold against me the sins of the father—the sins of Lawrence.

As I waited for my interview, I encountered two men, one of whom was wearing a wedding ring. The three of us talked for half an hour, as though we knew each other. The married one seemed be very anxious to be acknowledged by me. They made me KNOW that I am a beautiful, desirable woman.

By the end of our chat, the married one seemed intent upon setting me up with the other gentleman, who did make an impact upon me, but didn’t seem to want to become involved in his friend’s game.

Regardless, I have their cards. They made me feel like a woman.

Giselle

Sunday, March 13, 2016

05/15/2000

Lawrence,

Last year around this time, I asked you to state your intentions. At that point, you didn’t feel that you were in any position to answer my questions. You felt it would be inappropriate. And, while I realize I am still a student at the school where you teach, so much has changed since then that I hope you’ll consider answering.

So, this year I am going to make the same request. I feel that, by now, you must have at least a sense of where we are headed. I think I know, but I need to hear the words.

What are your intentions?

Have you taken the time to reflect upon the past year? If you haven’t, you should. When was the last time your life changed so much in one year?

Or maybe it isn’t your life that has changed; you have changed. The thought of how you’ve grown brings tears to my eyes. I know what a struggle it can be, and how painful at times, but all your angels see throughout the process is the splendour of a rose bud that desperately wants to blossom.

In time it will all unfold. Just let it happen.

I get the sense that my words don’t express the intensity of my emotion. I am very proud of you. You hear that? This is coming straight from my heart: I am so proud of you, Lawrence. I have challenged everything you’ve ever believed, and you’re still in one piece.

You treat me with respect even when you don’t understand me, and you’re patient with me when I don’t understand you. You took it upon yourself to play every role that needed to be filled in my life, and you did so with a grace and beauty of which you probably imagined yourself incapable. You have changed my life.

I know that you may doubt yourself sometimes, but I have always known that you are truly a good man.

You were alive more than thirty years before I was born. It has suddenly occurred to me that, in that time when you were alive and I wasn’t, I must have been your angel!

Giselle

Saturday, March 12, 2016

05/10/2000

Dream: James Bond

-bad guys are the mayor from the sitcom “Spin City” and some other guys
-at first I’m a good guy, but then I join up with them
-most of the dream takes place upstairs by the computer
-I remember eating candy and trying to build a boat to escape James Bond

I feel so powerless. In the end, it makes no difference what I want because I have no say in life anyway. I have so much shame. The horrible things I have done! I deserve every bit of the pain I’m feeling. I’ve earned it. My actions warrant no less.

Who am I to feel jealous? Who am I to think that I’ve been wronged? I have taken something beautiful and made it as ugly as I am.

How could I have done this? I ruined it, I ruined it, I ruined it, I ruined it…

Giselle

Friday, March 11, 2016

05/05/2000

Dream: In My Room

-descending a long narrow staircase into my room
-it’s somehow supposed to be the bathroom, but it’s also my bedroom and TV sitcom characters are in there
-Frasier and Martin Crane are sleeping standing up against the wall, and they keep arguing with each other like nags
-Frasier keeps his sexuality in the freezer of an old fridge in my room
-on the floor, there’s a large canvas whereupon the sky is painted light blue. My synthetic cubist piece for art class is there too
-at some point, I have to write my art exam, but I can’t even remember my teacher’s name
-upstairs, mum has bought my brother slim Mexican cigarettes. You don’t buy a man slims

I’m not feeling. It’s a wonder that most people go through life like this when it’s causing me such distress. I’m not even conscious. Sometimes it amazes me that I even bother getting out of bed in the morning.

What do I do to make the world a better place? If I weren’t here, would anyone even know the difference? What’s the point in leaving the house, or waking up, for that matter? How do I help to alleviate the pain of those who are suffering? What impact do I make on the world?

Right.

If I ceased to exist, who would erect a monument in my honour? Some life.

What is wrong with me? How did I arrive at this place? I can’t believe that I’m such a wreck! And for what? It just doesn’t seem worth it. Life isn’t worth the trouble.

Giselle

Thursday, March 10, 2016

05/04/2000

Poem: I’m Not Your TV Dinner

I’m not your TV dinner, you bastard.
Contemptuous thorn,
and you try to negate
That you vacuum-packed me
in cling-wrappy plastic
when I offered myself to you
on a plate.

And how dense am I?
It took months to discover
I’d been thrown in the deep-freeze.
You fear a new lover.

So what do you do
with this raspberry truffle,
so eager to be what you want?

Maybe I don’t even need to escape—
I’m sure Swanson’s
would envy my staying power—
when I travel the earth half-asleep,
half-awake,
Pretending I’m more than just Lady of the Hour.

Why wouldn’t I let the ice
nurture my wounds?
My veins are still burning.
My blood just won’t freeze.

I’m fighting, rebelling.
I’m stronger than you.
Don’t pretend you’re not
such a God-damn tease.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

05/03/2000

Well, kiddo, sometimes you have to. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

but… but… but…

I know, BUT, you need to look out for yourself at this point. Your needs contradict his laws. So… prove to him that you can be trusted. No, even that isn’t good enough and you know it. Prove to him that his laws are not the laws of the Universe.

That’s quite a task and I’m not sure that it’s within my capabilities.

Everything is within your realm of capabilities. Remind him that he was prepared to meet with you July 1st before this legislation came into effect. Remind him of his heart’s desire, of his body’s desire. Remind him that he is loved and that he is beautiful.

Above all this reminding, though, surrender your relationship to God. Entrust it to the Universe. A force that holds galaxies together can certainly handle your relationship.

Giselle

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

05/02/2000

You moron! You bastard! How can you do this to me?

Shut up. Don’t patronize me.

Again with the lies. Again, withholding the truth from me. Again, I have to find things out from Christie after she hears them from Ms. Pape.

I don’t care about anyone’s legislation. That doesn’t concern me. But you should have been the one to tell me, Lawrence. You’re always complaining about all kinds of boring legislative, political, and academic stuff. Why wouldn’t you have told me that the province changed its rules about when a teacher and a student can begin a romantic relationship? Didn’t you think I would consider that pertinent information? Christie obviously did, if she went to the trouble of breaking news to me that she knew I’d find upsetting.

So, what happens to our July 1st plans? Obviously we can’t do anything, if the law says we need to wait a full YEAR after I graduate before we can be together. And I know you better than to think you’d ever break the rules. You care more about teaching than you care about me. We both know that.

Lawrence, I need you. Now! I’ve been so patient. You know I have. It isn’t fair to make me wait an entire year after I graduate. It’s hard enough to make myself wait until July. It’s killing me. I don’t want to wait any longer.

I can’t keep doing this. I love you now. NOW. I have been so patient. You know that. You’ve watched. You can’t take away my reward now. It isn’t fair. You can’t do this to me. I Love you.

I’ve been so patient for so long.

This isn’t fair.

Giselle

Monday, March 7, 2016

05/01/2000

May Day! May Day!

I am so sorry for wanting what I want.

I’m sorry, Victoria.

I’m sorry, Kennedy.

I’m sorry, Bess.

I never meant to hurt you. I’m so, so sorry.

I Love him.

Giselle

Sunday, March 6, 2016

04/25/2000

Dream: Ahh

-Mr. Dupont drives me home, and his car is old and blue and rusty and falling apart
-when he pulls into the driveway, I ask how he knew where I lived
-he reluctantly informs me that he’d seen the “bouquet” of flowers I had given Lawrence (this must have happened in a previous dream?)
-Mr. Dupont is concerned that the frost or rain will kill the flowers
-now I remember that the flowers were an assortment in a decorative pot

Saturday, March 5, 2016

04/23/2000

Dream: Bus Fare (In Change)

-got on the bus to go to school and sat at the back, but the driver stopped and forced me (and some other people) off the bus because his religion was against the way I paid (in change)
-had to stay home from school for 2 days, but on the second day decided to go to University of Toronto
-stopped off at school to look for a map of Toronto because I didn’t know how to get to the university. I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find a map, didn’t know how to get there

Friday, March 4, 2016

04/12/2000

Dream: Chester? Marry? Me?

-Wow. Telling dream. An old man is my mentor. He is nothing but derogatory, but very knowing and uses that knowledge against me
-he asked Chester to marry me
-Chester? Marry? Me?
-more than anything, I was excited to realise that Chester was back in my life. Wonderful man. Wise. More so than I. Enough that I am almost in awe of him
-Chester finds my lust for him sort of amusing, I think, and never gives me the impression that he’s flattered by it or needs my affection. Of course he doesn’t. He’s already married to a wife he loves
-my flirtation always seems to be greeted with a feeling of “Okay… moving right along…”
-funny that I am never insulted by that. I don’t think his intention was ever to insult me or hurt me, only put me off
-the dream turns lucid and I say to myself, “Chester is probably here to represent Lawrence.”
-I tell my mentor off for asking Chester if he wanted to marry me. “What? You did what? I don’t want to marry him. Why would you ask him that?”
-then I’m in a room with other people around, but who? Children, I think. They feel like children, though I can’t visualise them and I can’t remember what we were talking about

Lawrence has a therapist, Ms. Pape has a therapist, Christie’s been in therapy for years. All I have is Oprah, Iyanla Vanzant, a whole lot of Jung and self-help books from the public library.

What is it that I’d want out of therapy, if I could afford it?

Well, I want to be saved from myself, but I sense that is not a reasonable expectation. I want to be delivered from my guilt… from ALL my guilt. Oh God, that could take years! I guess I’ve been thinking of long-term solutions, primarily, but in the short term I would like not to be so sad all the time.

I want my drive back; I want to be a motivated person again. I want to WANT to be somewhere. If it’s in school, that’s great; if it’s driving a bus or whatever, that’s fine too. I just want to want something for myself.

I want not to have to be in control of everything.

I want to enjoy life again.

Giselle

Thursday, March 3, 2016

04/11/2000

I know that you wish I could just disappear. I know sometimes you probably wish you could disappear, too. I also know that you want the part of your heart that still needs me to stop feeling.

It isn’t that easy. I am not going anywhere. No matter how hard you try, you will not alienate me. No matter how unavailable you make yourself, I am not giving up on you.

Giselle

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

04/10/2000

Oh, hi Lawrence! Could you care about me a little less? Because how I’m feeling really isn’t all that important. So, can you keep neglecting me, please? And don’t bother answering my questions; it’s not like I actually care how you feel about me.

Giselle

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

04/05/2000

To Dr. Sherbourne:

Do you even realize what you’re doing? My Lawrence only pulled you in because he needs someone to tell him he’s been a bad boy. Well, bravo, because you’re doing a fucking good job of that.

Who the fuck are you? What makes you think that you’re in any position to tell him he’s done something wrong? He hasn’t done anything at all! How dare you instruct him never to speak to me again? You talk to my Lawrence for one hour and you think you can take control of his life? I don’t think so.

What’s happening here? I just don’t know anymore. I’ve lost my centre. I’m so disconnected. I worry. I knew Lawrence would pull in a therapist who would just reflect his self-loathing back at him. What good does that do?

I hate myself. How could I have become such a failure? Why has nothing ever worked out for me? Why won’t Lawrence simply surrender?

And now he quite mournfully states that he can never speak to me again.

Why was I never good enough?

Where do I go from here?

Giselle

Monday, February 29, 2016

04/04/2000

Dream: Sex Kittens

-I have a rabbit and a cat in separate cages in my room. I decide to let them out
-I’m afraid the rabbit will scratch and bite, but to my great surprise—it doesn’t
-I decide to risk taking the kitten in the other cage out so I can bring both animals upstairs at once
-I’m afraid the two will fight, but they have no conflict with each other
-there is an overwhelming approval surrounding these animals’ release, and I am glad
-these animals are intelligent beings with individual personalities
-soon enough, I notice that we have another cat, but I’m not sure where the rabbit is
-when I look for it I find that the rabbit, who had certainly not wanted to offend but happened to prefer its cage, had returned there
-the animals must be hungry, so I feed the black and white cat a carrot, which it eats cautiously, not seeming to enjoy
-I realise, Oh yes! That’s right—cats prefer meat to carrots. Although… that rabbit might like a carrot
-sure enough, I have another cat on my hands, so I make up three plates of roast—yes, the good stuff—for my kittens and they are not disinterested

Sunday, February 28, 2016

04/03/2000

Lawrence has scheduled an appointment after school with a therapist—Dr. Sherbourne. It’s been months that I’ve hoped he would seek help for his depression, but now that he’s taking steps, I suddenly have an ominous feeling. He’s heading into the experience with a sour opinion of therapists.

It seems I wasn’t so far off when I presumed his marriage was in trouble long before I came along. He and Victoria sought marital counselling before we met, with “the best marriage counsellor in the city,” according to someone—I don’t know who.

As far as Lawrence was concerned, that therapist sided with Victoria all the way. His primary concern was the total absence of intimacy. The counsellor told him that if he had too much sexual energy, he should take up bowling.

HA!

Giselle

Saturday, February 27, 2016

03/14/2000

Dream: Death of a Bitter Man

-started out at grandma’s place. We asked if we could sleep over, but we had to go home because we knew dad was planning to break into our house
-dark outside
-I went downstairs to my room and started packing a few things to take to grandma’s
-went upstairs as mum was coming down, and she said that dad had been here
-I asked, “Is he dead?”
-no reply
-I continued, “How did he die, mum? Tell me what happened. Did you kill him?”
-she said no, and that he came into her room “like usual” wearing some type of cologne, white something, and she pushed him and he landed on some metal thing with a pointed edge and died
-I didn’t really believe her story, but had no way of verifying because I never viewed the body
-I wanted to do the autopsy, but had no training
-mum left the house and came back with a neighbour. They both went upstairs to take a look at the body. I noticed Leslie coloring with markers and thought, since I wasn’t sad or mourning, I should do some painting later (as a form of self-expression)
-when the neighbour left I asked mum if we were going to grandma’s house now. She said yes, but she didn’t have my bag, so I went to quickly finish packing

Friday, February 26, 2016

03/03/2000

Accusations are incriminations. You’re guilty until proven innocent.

Giselle

Thursday, February 25, 2016

03/02/2000

I don’t get it!

Not even close.

What the fuck was that, Lawrence?

How could you have done it?

And not told me!

I’m not even sure whether I’m more angry that you did it in the first place, or that you completely neglected to tell me about it.

Do you know how stupid you made me look? Patrick is one of my best friends. I’ve known him since he was eight years old. I know his sister! I know his parents! And you had to go report him and George to the principal? You are such a hypocrite, Lawrence. I’m not even joking.

It’s because they’re gay, isn’t it? I mean, George isn’t even a teacher. He’s a volunteer! And not a skeevy old man, like some people—he only graduated two years ago. And here you go acting like he’s some kind of sexual predator just because you saw them doing whatever. How is their sex life any of your business? Patrick’s a smart guy. He can make his own decisions.

And did you really think you could tell on another “teacher” without your virtue being called into question? It doesn’t even matter that we’ve never done anything wrong. People see the way I look at you, and see the way you look at me, and they draw their own conclusions.

I don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Lawrence. And without telling me! How do you think I felt when Christie told me she’d heard it from Ms. Pape? The fact that you filed a report against George made it all the way to London before it got back to me. Doesn’t that seem really messed up to you?

Or did you just not tell me because you knew I’d think it was a stupid idea? If you thought I’d try to talk you out of it, well, you’d have been right, my friend.

You’d better hope you make it out of this ordeal without losing your job, your wife, and your life.

Giselle

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

02/28/2000

Dream: I Specifically Ordered the Non-Lucid Dream

-at a choir concert, but it’s only me, Patrick, and that girl with the red hair who was in love with David Duchovny. We were singing a song none of us knew, except at certain parts. Patrick didn’t want to stand between us because “Who wants to stand between two sirens?”
-I woke up (still in the dream) and it was 4:53. I thought, “I should make dinner, but I still want to sleep.” I could hear my uncle cutting the lawn and when I went out there he thought my dream journal was a camera
-I asked if the lawnmower was ours and he said, “Yes, it’s yours. Are you okay?”
-when I said, “I’m fine,” the man was now dad, and he left. That’s when I figured this had to be a dream
-Jane came up the hill with a white cat and I thought, “In these dreams, there is always the contrast of black and white”
-The cat was very sweet. She touched my face with her almost-human paw, but then brought out her claws. I removed her paw from my skin and said, “You’re going to hurt me.” She said sorry, that was not her intention, it was just a reflex. Then she did it again
-I grabbed her paw and didn’t let go, even though she was genuinely sorry

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

02/27/2000

Well, everybody else seems to perceive a problem, so I guess I had better address it before it gets the best of me. What am I looking for in my current relationship? LOVE! (and company, tenderness and sympathy…)

I think I’ve got that already—feel, rather. Having trouble feeling these days. I should do a tarot reading for this one.

At the end of each day, the question remains: why am I emotionally involved with Lawrence?

I Love him. Why is that never a good enough answer? It’s the essential factor in any relationship. And what is he, really, for me? A man with whom I am in Love. Why is everybody scaring me away from something I was so sure I wanted?

When I told Aunt Bay how I felt about him, she said she almost threw up. I despise other people’s capacities to make me insecure.

I so wish I could discuss this with Lawrence. That whole morality clause of his is so inconvenient. Bad enough that he won’t engage with me, physically, beyond a few hugs here and there, but he won’t even discuss the possibility while I’m still a student. He won’t even talk about it, talk about US. He must know by know how much I Love him, but he won’t return the sentiment.

What kind of relationship is this, anyway?

Giselle

Monday, February 22, 2016

02/23/2000

Dream: Shattered

-I’m at school, in the space outside the front office
-Christie is there and she’s wearing a white dress. When she sees me, she walks over to me like her body is possessed
-when she gets to where I’m standing, she passes out and collapses into my arms. I figure I can support her weight until I’m actually holding her, and then I struggle
-her body is revived, but consumed by rage. She grabs me by the neck, although I can’t feel her hands there. She’s pushing me backward through the hall, screaming, “Why did you come with me? It was for him, wasn’t it?”
-“No Christie! I Love you!” I yell, noticing at this point that other students are jumping on her back, trying to keep me out of harm’s way as much as possible
-Christie’s face is so contorted that I’m convinced she’s saying “I’m gonna kill you!” even though I don’t hear any words
-we make it all the way to the school library, which is full of greenery and natural light, before another friend tackles me and we fight. I yell something, then apologise to the students who are trying to read while we battle it out
-I check the Secret Garden CD in my backpack, and it’s broken into small pieces

Sunday, February 21, 2016

02/22/2000

I’m back. I have cried my fearful tears, but now I have returned to my natural state.

Oh, Christie! When I finally admitted to you just how badly I want to get my hands on Lawrence, your reaction seemed so defensive that I constructed some temporary walls—more of a cubicle, because at least I could see my way out.

Defensive, and accusatory, too. I felt as though you’d reached a conclusion on my behalf out of your own insecurities. I think I was especially offended by your insinuation that a relationship I value more than anything is fraudulent. Just the idea of not being in Love with him—especially when I have thought of nothing but him for the past few weeks—infuriates me.

I can remember saying to myself, “Will you please find something else to think about?” I’ve been daydreaming so much that I feel obsessive. His energy is present in my dreams and with me when I wake up in the morning and I could enjoy nothing more.

I feel that you took my thought to an extreme, and you made me feel cornered, just like when Ms. Pape would psychoanalyze me and her conclusions didn’t feel right, but I would accept them without question. I valued her insights, as I value yours.

But you’re wrong this time, Christie. That tryst, or whatever you’d call what happened between us, was one time, one night. Anyway, you’re the one who said we couldn’t keep “doing that.” I respected your wishes because I respect you as a person. I respect you as a friend.

I can say with great certainty that men much more effectively excite my imagination and sexual interests than women. Women are beautiful, yes, but to quote Ally McBeal after she kissed Ling: “There’s something missing: a penis.”

What I feel for him is different. All Lawrence has to do is touch the small of my back and it sends me. It throws me. It drives me. Literally, he takes my breath away.

Giselle

Saturday, February 20, 2016

02/20/2000

Dream: Resolution

-I am asleep on the floor in my room
-as I wake up, I realise there is a black cat near me. I also realise that Christie is outside my room
-I figure the cat is a hallucination and when I let Christie in, the cat will disappear, however the cat doesn’t disappear, and so I pick her up
-she is very tame, but not without personality, and she has been declawed. She also has a collar around her neck, which is red

The seductions have been so subtle as to go unnoticed.

Giselle

Friday, February 19, 2016

02/10/2000

Profile:

What can be said of Victoria? Blue. The first time I met her, I saw blue in her aura and all around her.

Why does she always seem so happy? Why does she seem so unaware? So unsuspecting?

Tired.

She seems to keep an abundance of energy in her outermost layer, but beneath that layer is an inextinguishable exhaustion. She can’t sleep it off; it goes deeper than that.

She’s dissatisfied with something. If it’s her marriage, maybe I’m doing her a favour.

Constance.

Does she realize the world changes every second? I really can’t tell.

She’s very small. We’re the same height. Just a physical property, though. I really don’t feel that she sees me as a threat; she would have looked at me differently if that had been the case.

I know that look. I’ve received it from countless wives. It’s that jealous look that says, “Don’t you even think about it!” I don’t get that from Victoria.

Of all people, right?

I was never a threat to Chester’s wife—he was incredibly unwilling—and yet that was the look with which I was always greeted. I guess I was just hoping to make an enemy.

You know, it’s not the sex that bothers most women whose significant others have been seeing someone else—it’s the knowledge that he has shared something more than his body, which is often the case, with another woman. I have heard of women weeping over their husbands’ platonic affairs.

This is really beginning to feel like an affair. It’s just a matter of waiting for the act. The waiting place. I’ll be here for another couple of months, at least. I now know what it’s like to be a man—that complete preoccupation with sex.

It’s quite an experience, actually. The physical intimacy isn’t there. Sometimes it’s all I need, but the effort seems futile and I must admit to being afraid of the rejection. More often than not, though, I expect that he anticipates that I will make the first move. It’s always me. I must always be the one to place his hands where I most want them.

I get cold feet.

If only he were more physically assertive with me.

Pull up a chair…

Giselle

Thursday, February 18, 2016

01/17/2000

Lawrence,

We haven’t spoken since before Christmas, and I wanted to acknowledge that fact. I imagine you’ve stayed away because you are (as I am) trying to enter the new millennium on a virtuous note. I understand how difficult it is to feel virtuous when you have me in your sights, because I feel the same lack of decency when we are together. But that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on each other.

How are you?

Have you started seeing a counselor yet? I am very concerned about you. Every time I see you in the hall, you look like you’re falling apart.

I want you to know that I am always here for you. You are alienating people who care about you, alienating me, but I won’t give up on you. Ever.

There are a lot of things we can’t be right now, but I don’t feel that you’re in any position to turn away someone who wants to be your friend. It’s not like you’ve got terribly many.

I’m offering my unconditional Love and support because I care about you and I’m very worried. From what I’ve observed, it seems that your depression has consumed you; it’s taken over your entire body. Don’t let it take your heart, Lawrence.

Let me help!!!

Giselle

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

01/07/2000

Dream: Driving Mr. Renarde

-I’m driving a car from the passenger side, but there’s a steering wheel there
-dad is teaching me
-I’m not very good because I’m too lazy to signal or slow down to turn or anything
-it’s night time and planets like Jupiter and Saturn look so close and absolutely beautiful. Something explodes in the sky and it looks like a star. It happens again and I observe more closely, but this time it’s just a firecracker
-the first time it hadn’t been firecrackers; it had been planets exploding. I’m sure of it

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

01/01/2000

I am now ready to forgive myself.

I forgive myself for believing that my personal wants could win out over what the Universe is prepared to give me.

I forgive myself for being angry.

I forgive myself for being bitter.

I forgive myself for wanting more than is meant for me.

I forgive myself for being impatient.

I forgive myself for not trusting.

I forgive myself for hurting other people, and for wanting to hurt them.

I forgive myself for not knowing what to do.

I forgive myself for pushing people away.

I forgive myself for not wanting to grow.

I forgive myself for being stagnant.

I forgive myself for my misconceptions.

I forgive myself for complaining.

The Universe is taking care of me and for this I am so grateful.

My new mantra shall be Om Namah Shivaya.

Giselle

Monday, February 15, 2016

12/31/1999

Dream: Death Threats from Grade Fours

-at a big school and all my elementary friends are there
-there are signs all over the place that read “We hate Giselle Renarde” and “We’re Gonna Kill You, Giselle” and so on. I laugh nervously every time someone points out another one
-I conclude that this is bound to happen when a person lives up to their full potential, and think of Nelson Mandela
-my friends and I move forward, despite the signs, until we discover that this whole thing has to do with Grade 4 students at my elementary school. We are donating money to them, but the kids still hate me

Sunday, February 14, 2016

12/27/1999

Dream: The Pleasant Drug Dealer

-Leslie and I are walking home late at night
-a drug dealer comes into the house and starts hiding drugs all over
-Leslie is too scared to tell him he has the wrong house, so when he asks for his payment, I say very pleasantly, “You seem to have the wrong house. We didn’t order any drugs. The delivery isn’t meant for us.”
-“Oh,” he says. “I’m so sorry to have troubled you.” He takes some salmon out of the freezer and leaves

Watched “Stepmom” with my cousin. Big issues with that movie. Guilty, guilty, guilty conscience.

I’ve been having trouble digesting “other woman” movies lately. “Stepmom” isn’t even one, really, but it felt that way to me. Reminded me of Kennedy. Made me wonder about Victoria.

I do wonder about that woman, often.

The experts on Cityline say that any sort of affair (platonic included) indicates a troubled marriage.

What was Lawrence implying when he said home-wrecking “would require some longer-term goals”? Are you so confident that your trembling-on-the-brink-of-disastrous marriage can survive me in the short term?

I think I’m still trying to decide how destructive I am. It seems a shame to destroy such innocence in a man—it isn’t worth the conquest—and yet… I don’t know. If he weren’t so indecisive he could make up my mind for me.

Giselle

Saturday, February 13, 2016

12/25/1999

Lawrence,

Give yourself to me.

I feel the guilt of the unsuspecting, even in my inaction.

Yet I pine still for warm flesh.

My experience winds itself unbounded but I have lost the scent of foreign paths.

Giselle

Friday, February 12, 2016

12/13/1999

Dream: There’s Evil In Me

-I’m walking in the back hall at school and pass by Ms. Finch and Mr.Dupont. I turn around, realizing I’ve forgotten something
-Ms. Finch is wearing a beautiful yellow sweater and she thanks me for all the help. She has been so nice to me, so I give her a hug
-Mr. Dupont is looking straight at me and I notice his eyes are brilliantly blue
-he asks, “Why is it that I don’t know much about you?”
-I ask him if he wants to learn, or something like that
-“You’re just so evil,” he says
-I sort of laugh and argue at the same time, and I don’t mind yelling at him at all because I know it had to be done. I know how hard I’m trying to get out of that old habit

That lower-chakra energy flow wouldn’t go away at all, today. How inconvenient!

Giselle

Thursday, February 11, 2016

12/10/1999

Ha! Wow! I know I haven’t written anything in a long time, but school has been all work and no play. But today was a great day!

Fun stuff first:

Lawrence hands me a set of beeswax candles: “A pre-Christmas present.”

Hi! Thanks! Yum!

“And, if you’re not busy during your fifth period spare, would you care to join me for a coffee?”

Hello! Yes! Of course!

Not so fun stuff:

When Lawrence and I headed to his car after fourth period, we weren’t the only ones in the parking lot. Mr. Dupont was out there, too, and he walked over as Lawrence turned the key in the ignition. He tapped on the window, and when Lawrence rolled it down, he asked, “Do you have written permission to escort a student off school premises?”

Lawrence sort of laughed in a way that I knew he felt awkward and ashamed. He said, “Uhh… no…”

Mr. Dupont didn’t let up. He said something about how teachers needed parental permission to take students off school grounds because the board of education could be sued if anything happened to me. But how stupid is that? It’s not like I’m a child. I’m a legal adult. Maybe Mr. Dupont didn’t know I’m eighteen. I don’t need parental permission to do anything.

I don’t remember what Lawrence said after that. My head started throbbing and I honestly thought I was going to cry. It was so humiliating.

But somehow the issue was resolved. I think Lawrence basically just said, “Thanks for the heads-up” or something like that, and drove away with me in the passenger seat. We didn’t talk about it at all. Far too embarrassing. What a blow to our egos. Thanks a lot, Mr. Dupont.

Better stuff:

As Lawrence parked on one of the side streets around Hazelton Lanes, I was applying Cinnamon Sugar Lipsmackers. I asked him if he wanted some (just being polite; expected him to say no) and he said sure! We browsed for a while at L’Atelier Grigorian, and after that went to buy the coffee he’d promised me. When the coffee woman asked, if he wanted cinnamon on his Café-au-Lait, he responded, “Please! It’ll match my lipstick.”

How amused was I?

Alright, so now for the good stuff that has Giselle on an enormous power-trip:

He thanked me for giving him the rest of my half (the smaller one, at that) of the almond croissant we shared. My response was, “You paid for it. [nota bene: I never offer to pay for anything.] It can get expensive to keep a mistress.”

Oh, he came this close to spitting out his coffee, but then he laughed: “I’m not sure we’re quite there.”

I know—I’m sure—that he did not say “yet,” but I distinctly heard it anyway, almost as though it had been implied.

At any rate, he followed that up by saying, “Yes, I can see how it could. I once knew a man who was revered because he could go to dinner parties with his wife on one arm and his mistress on the other.”

“Well, isn’t that ideal?” I asked.

I don’t think he even realized that he said, “Yeah.”

To follow were a couple more stories about mistresses. Hey—that was easy.

This stuff’s even better, though:

We were in the car and I inquired as to whether or not he would lie about his whereabouts when he got home.

“No, I don’t have to lie,” said he.

(Damn, thought I.)

He then inquired as to whether or not I had to lie.

Umm, hi, YES! What do you think?

“Oh, well that makes me [him] a bit uncomfortable. (I wish you didn’t have to, etc.)”

That makes him uncomfortable? HA!

“So, then, your wife really doesn’t mind that you’re out with a beautiful woman?”

Oh, that deserved at least a giggle, but instead yielded: “Well, I don’t think she really knows… but I don’t think she doesn’t not know.”

(?)

“What does that mean?” (I honestly didn’t get it.)

“It means that if she knew, she’d mind.”

“Good then, (oops—I said that out loud, didn’t I?) that’s all I need to know.”

I had such a great time. When we walked into Hazelton Lanes, a string quartet was performing right there in the atrium. This man has been treating me like a goddess. I’m not even joking. It’s because I ignored him for a month, I suspect.

Throughout November, I didn’t care to make time for him, and he didn’t really have time for me. Result? Separation anxiety! My God, he is absolutely worshipping the ground I walk on! This is amazing! Even in our little café, when I was seated upon my cushiony bench thing and leaning against the wall, I felt like an odalisque being admired.

He kept asking me about music and art, saying, “Oh, I don’t know anything [and you know all—share with me your abundant knowledge, Oh Goddess Giselle! (I am not worthy)].”

So, you can see why this might have me on a bit of a power trip. Yes, I’ve called myself on it, but I really don’t care.

It’s incredible to look at how this relationship has evolved. We [I] have introduced a new element: sexual tension. Oh, it only happens once in a while. I wonder if it’s something that he is aware of. I really think it is. Today, I touched his arm—immediate lower-chakra energy-flow!

Oh no! Fight it! Divert eyes! Breathe!

Giselle

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

11/01/1999

Dream: Mad Man in the Garage

-Leslie, Jane and I were on a walk with mum and Mr. Dupont, who were a couple. We got home to find dad in our garage. He had bought a brand new car, but a very old make or model
-Dad tried to be nice at first, but he had torn apart most of the garage, including the door and mum’s van
-I asked Mr. Dupont for help, so he came over. Mum and Jane didn’t seem to be around. I felt like no one was taking action except me

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

10/29/1999

Oh dear. I dressed up as Raggedy Ann for Halloween, in a short little polka-dot number. Ms. Finch outdid me, and everyone else, by wearing a skin-tight Starfleet uniform. Incredibly sexy. Turned every head in the school.

When I asked Lawrence what he thought of her costume, I figured he would rant about it being unprofessional for a teacher to dress like a Starfleet slut. But that’s not what he said at all.

He told me that a couple years ago some of the teachers had a book club. They held it after hours, either at someone’s house or at a restaurant. All the English teachers were part of it, but it was open to every department, and Ms. Finch was an active member.

One month, when they were reading Fall On Your Knees, everybody dropped out, or said they couldn’t come or hadn’t read the book, etc. It was down to the two of them, Lawrence and Ms. Finch, and they knew if they didn’t cancel, that would have some deeper meaning. And did they cancel?

No.

“We knew what it meant.” That’s what he said. “We didn’t acknowledge it, but we both knew it was a date.”

I couldn’t breathe. I asked him, “Did you kiss? Did something happen? Did you cheat on Victoria?”

I’d asked him that question before. He’d always told me no. And this time he gave me the same answer, but I’m not sure I believed him. He was basically admitting that he’d felt desire for Ms. Finch. He wanted her.

“Would you have slept with her?” I asked. “If she wanted to?”

He didn’t confirm that he would have. He didn’t deny it, either.

That whole conversation made me feel dizzy. He’d betrayed me. He didn’t think so, since this happened years before we met, but he’d always given me the impression that he’d never looked at another woman until I came along. Now I find out that he went on a date, of sorts, with Ms. Finch?

And it doesn’t even matter if she didn’t see it as a date. I hold no grudges against her. Perhaps, in her mind, it was just another book club meeting. I’ll never know what was going on in her mind, and it really doesn’t matter to me whether or not she was a party to Victoria’s deception. I’m hardly one to judge.

It troubles me, right to my core, that Lawrence looked at her the way he looks at me. And he never told me about all this. He made me think I was the only one.

And I believed him.

Giselle

Monday, February 8, 2016

10/27/1999

Dream: Corpse

-I wake up in my room to see Leslie’s dead body at my window. I am devastated
-Leslie enters my room in the same attire as her corpse and I am so glad that her death was a mere trick my eyes were playing on me
-I look back at the window to see that Leslie’s dead form is still there. I look back at Leslie, who asks me, “Have you seen my body?”
-I point to the window and she returns to it

What a tease! How dare he show me such tenderness? How dare he share with me the warmth that no one else has ever allowed me, when every night he goes home to his wife? Does he show her the same affection? Assumedly so, although I don’t feel that to be true.

I want his company in every mundane activity. Could I live with him? Could I bear it? I feel that there is someone “out there” for me to meet right now. I must find him!

Love,
Giselle

Sunday, February 7, 2016

10/24/1999

Dream: La Visite

-Christie and Lawrence and I have to find our way out of the school, which is a labyrinth. We’re being chased by “bad guys” and we all get separated
-I find my way out through a science lab window, and as I leave the school I meet up with Christie, whom I’m very glad and relieved to see. She hugs me and points me in Lawrence’s direction
-when I meet up with him, he asks if I want to come home with him and stay over. His house looks more like Aunt Bay’s
-we must be tired, because we both collapse onto the couch and watch TV. I hold on to his arm and then fall into a light sleep as he holds me
-I awaken when my family shows up at the door. Leslie told mum where I was and they all came over. Victoria and mum get along grandly
-Leslie and I go to the basement for green Jell-O, and we’re amazed that mum and Victoria can hear everything we say, no matter how softly we speak. Leslie asks where she can get a father like Lawrence, and I tell her, “You can have him.”
-Victoria responds in kind
-we make our way back to the couch and Lawrence gets up from a nap. There’s something about his groggy state that scares me and reminds me of my father
-Lawrence comes to lie down so I can hold him, and I’m terribly frightened that he’s going to smell like alcohol, but he doesn’t. He is pure. He goes back to sleep in my arms

Saturday, February 6, 2016

10/18/1999

Dream

Chester beats up dad.

You know, I always figured I would make a better mistress than a wife, but I’m not sure that’s true anymore; I always seem to want to do wife-ish things: take a walk, take a nap, talk, hug…

In fact, I would be a perfectly horrible mistress. I’m less intimidating that way, though.

Today felt like one of those very mundane dreams I don’t even bother writing down. I’m almost afraid to say this, in case I end up contradicting myself, but I am increasingly assured that this relationship is indeed intended to be platonic. “Platonic” just feels right.

I Love his warmth, though. I want to sleep with him. Not have sex, just sleep. Just feel his arms around me, feel the warmth of his body next to mine, feel him kiss the nape of my neck, because I know he would, and tenderly, too. I think the tenderness could very well be the key.

What can this be called?

How odd this relationship must appear to anyone on the outside. I never forget that he has a wife and children and familial responsibilities… but where do I come in? What happens when I want more?

I always want more, and always receive it, eventually. He did say, again, that there isn’t anything I could ask of him that he wouldn’t do. What exactly does that mean? How far does it extend?

Does it include taking naps?

Giselle

Friday, February 5, 2016

10/16/1999

Dream: Finding the Proper Place

-Chester is at my school! He is given a room; perhaps he is teaching here for the day. I hope to meet up with him at some point
-I am in English class, which is interrupted when another teacher wishes to speak with Lawrence
-I am now in my bedroom, which is part of the school, and mum delivers to me an aesthetically pleasing stack of papers from Chester, which are intended to be used as stationary
-Lawrence is washing the floor with great care. This is more important to him than teaching a class, which makes my mother angry, and she tells him so. Leslie feels the same way, and it breaks my heart when she gives him a piece of her mind as well
-I tell him that I don’t agree with my mother and my sister
-I have trouble finding the proper place to be, and I keep moving around until I am seated near Lawrence, in the right place

Thursday, February 4, 2016

10/15/1999

Truth will haunt you until the day you die, at which point it will embody you.

So… why keep fighting against yourself?

Giselle

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

10/03/1999

Dream: Home Invasion

-Leslie went into the house of some soccer friend, and I followed her. The owners were not home, but I realized that the house was on Chester’s street
-I opened the front door and caught sight of Chester’s house just as he, his wife, and daughter, were walking out. We waved at each other and I heard Leslie scream from inside
-something was wrong, and I called Chester over; he motioned that he would be there in a second, not seeming to realise the severity of the situation
-there was an intruder with a knife in the house and I discovered this just as Chester was arriving
-I took charge, but no one was paying much attention to me, so I called 911 and explained the situation very calmly
-the operator didn’t seem to care. Chester remained around the house, but he seemed unconcerned as well. He seemed to want to let me deal with the situation before he would become involved
-the emergency task force consisted of a little Chinese girl and her younger brother. She seemed convinced that the suspect should be spoken to in Chinese, though he didn’t understand the language

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

10/02/1999

Chester was a soccer dad. His daughter played on Leslie’s team.

Whenever I went to Leslie’s games, I would chat with Chester. He seemed to take very little interest in the other parents, who were immature and gossipy. Sad that a 15-year-old girl could provide more intelligent conversation than so many adults in their forties, but such was the case.

I always enjoyed Chester’s company, but I didn’t let him get too close at first—trust issues, you know. We discussed books and movies, musicals, theatre. He and his family travelled a lot. They’d seen Starlight Express in London’s West End, and more than once.

As time went by, I noticed that Chester was a man. How did I treat men? Not very well. (Now, that’s an understatement!) When I put on my evil-seductress disguise for him, his reaction blew me away. He didn’t fall for it, not for a moment. The sense I got from him was more of an amused, “Dear child, what are you playing at?”

I felt sort of silly after that, and realised how much wiser Chester was than I. He didn’t allow my awkward insecurity to affect him. He rose above all that. Inspirational!

By the way, Chester is an intelligent, physically-fit, middle-aged man. He’s also a high school English teacher. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised that, after meeting Lawrence, Leslie said to me, “He looks just like Chester.”

My reaction? “Don’t say that…”

Giselle

Monday, February 1, 2016

10/01/1999

Dream: UTOPIA

-Leslie and I are out in the backyard
-I am delighted to find out that Chester lives in the house behind us. He and his daughter are in the backyard and he eagerly jumps over the fence when he sees me
-I greet him by giving him a hug, getting as close as I possibly can
-to my surprise, he takes control, lays me down on the ground, and kisses me very tenderly on the lips
-my initial reaction is to get away from Leslie and Chester’s daughter, but Chester doesn’t seem to have anything to hide from the girls
-we go inside the house and he makes it very clear that he wants me
-Great! This is perfect! I get exactly who and what I want and I don’t have to do any work for it!
-I lead him upstairs and my mother is there. She seems absolutely ecstatic for me and feeds me half a twenty dollar bill as birth control

Sunday, January 31, 2016

09/30/1999

I didn’t yell at him, as I’d had threatened to do. It was very important to me, however, that I speak with Lawrence about his emotional inaccessibility. He didn’t seem pleased; rather, he appeared somewhat angry. Nonetheless, he asked Mr. York if we could make use of the back office in Student Resources to talk during 5th Period, when we both have spares.

I’m afraid that what I was really getting at was, “What the hell is going on in our relationship?”

Well, I found out soon enough what isn’t going on; I am once again fatherless.

When I asked if Lawrence did indeed feel like a father to me, he said, “No… no, I don’t. I see you too much as an equal to view myself as your father. Also, I look at my relationship with Kennedy and my relationship with Bess, and I just can’t draw any parallels.”

Well, being daddyless is fine, but I do wish I knew what this relationship is all about. His statement that “I feel very close to you” inflicted a sort of panic sensation upon my very heart.

“Unchartered territory,” I said to Andrew, after my chat with Lawrence.

“Then charter it,” Andrew said.

Beyond this place, there be dragons. Dangerous, but I’m so excited about that which is to come! Why? Because I don’t know. All I can do is sit back and wait to be filled with divine insight… or not.

Highlights from our conversation? (By the way, discussing emotional issues with Lawrence is like trying to see through dense fog.) When I pushed him for answers about who we are to each other, he replied, “Anything that needs to be said will be said in time.”

How much time? I want to know now!

When I asked if there might be another chance for me to stay at his house, since I’d stupidly missed out on this summer’s opportunity, he said, “There is nothing you could ask me to do that I would not do for you.” (Does that not mean the same as “I would do anything for you?” Sounds very romantic indeed.)

And, at the end of our discussion, he asked me for a hug. HE asked ME! There’s a first. Also for the first time ever, I could actually feel his hands on my back as we embraced. His warmth passed into me, making me tingle all over. That had never happened before. When I told him so, told him what I felt, he was puzzled as to why that would be.

So, if not the daughter, then the mistress? The other woman? Another suitcase in another hall…

What is to become of me?

Christie? Why are you so far away?

Giselle

Saturday, January 30, 2016

09/25/1999

Dream: Interior Design Is My Middle Name

-I am at school, wearing my ugly jogging pants, painting the girls’ washroom cream, blue and yellow
-Christie takes me to Ms. Pape’s classroom and Andrew is there. I kiss him on the cheek numerous times, then take a seat with Christie
-when everyone is in class, Ms. Pape comments that there are people in the art program who are not in “that place” and mentions me specifically. I feel as though I might cry and then realise that I am crying
-the next day I come to school to check out the bathroom I’d painted, and it’s big and bright and people seem to really like it
-I realise that it’s 9:35 and I’ve missed most of first period, but when I get there Lawrence is my teacher and he says, “Oh, don’t worry. I don’t have to take attendance or anything.” HA!
-he starts talking about Ms. Finch, for some reason, and we walk into the hall after class. He says, “So, we’ll have tea some time.”
-I say, “You wanted so badly to come to my house,” then Ms. Finch joins us and there’s a whole grocery store freezer full of all different kinds of orange juice.

Friday, January 29, 2016

09/24/1999

I read a newspaper article about Margaret Atwood. I’ve never really followed her career, although I loved The Handmaid’s Tale. Love her! Oh, so much so!

Told Lawrence about the article, adding, “If I were a writer, I’d be her.”

“If you were a writer? Are you no longer a writer, then?”

“Yes, just as I am an artist and a scientist and a girl, etc.”

“And a musician,” he said.

“Yes.”

“But before now, I’ve never heard you refer to yourself as anything but a writer.”

True, true. Why do I continue to hold such a strong prejudice against myself? I am a writer.

I was very pleased with him today; when I asked if he remembered when my birthday was, he replied with the answer before I had finished asking the question.

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love

Giselle

Thursday, January 28, 2016

09/21/1999

Dream: Stratford

-I come home to find I have two pieces of mail from my dear Lawrence
-I had previously written him about all the plays I wanted to see, unassumingly, though
-one envelope contains two movie tickets. The other contains many pairs of tickets to plays, most of which are at Stratford
-Wow!
-I decide to tell Leslie, and so I invite her into my room. I ask her to promise she won’t tell mum and then I show her the pairs of tickets, one by one
-my brother yells down the stairs, asking if he can join our discussion
-I yell back, “NO!”

The strangest thing.

When Lawrence pulled out his datebook to check for his E-mail address (umm… you should really have that memorized!) there were 6 or so names on the address page. One of those names was not even a name, but initials: GR.

Funny.

In a million years, I never would have fathomed those initials represented me. Even when I saw my street name written underneath them, doubt remained. “Who, me?” Completely!

Amusing, since I’ve listed all his address/phone information under ‘Bess’ in my address book, just to make his contact info a little tougher for my mother to find, should she go looking.

I know exactly what he would have been thinking when he recorded my particulars thusly: “It’s very unlikely that anyone should look through this book, but if someone does, it would seem rather incriminating to have “her” personal information in there… but I do wish to keep it handy, so I’ll just encode her name so that no one will know but me.”

What innocent romantics we are!

This is the colour of my Love.

Giselle

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

09/17/1999

Arrived at school to find my locker adorned with teddy bear stickers. Only one person in the world could have done this: Lawrence, to acknowledge the progression of my inner child experience. Hard to believe that a man who always plays by the rules would deface school property. Stickers on lockers is strictly forbidden, and he knows it.

And “disrupting” my Mod West class to give me those books I asked to borrow? I thought Ms. Finch’s eyes were going to pop out of her head. Lawrence is not the kind of teacher who interrupts his colleagues’ course time. It’s almost unthinkable. And the way he singled me out like that was practically a public acknowledgement that I matter to him.

Love makes 50-year-old men act like 18-year-old girls.

Wonderful mood, today.

Love.

Andrew asked me out with an insecure insistence.

Love.

Residual fear.

Love.

The war rages on…

Giselle

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

09/13/1999

Dream: Dead Bolt

-I’m in the basement of grandma’s house and there’s a party going on. Grandma is there, but so are Andrew and a bunch of people I don’t recognise
-people sitting on the stairs say something about my dad
-I go upstairs and Leslie is now with me. Dad is wearing a jacket similar to mine and walks out the kitchen door, very angry
-to keep him out, I close the door, put my finger on the lock, but then decide that I (mentally) can’t do it. I say, “Leslie, lock the door!” with a distinct sense of urgency. She doesn’t move or even react
-dad turns around on the porch, to come to the door. Quickly, I turn the lock, but dad starts yelling with a vicious look on his face, like a mad dog
-I turn the key on the second lock, the deadbolt
-the door is completely secure, but dad keeps yelling

I’m slightly less confused about what I’d like to do with my life. Psychology seems like the best path. Introspection seems to be my forte, and perhaps I could extend my interest in the workings of my own mind to others.

I HATE this house. I want to leave.

Giselle

Monday, January 25, 2016

09/10/1999

Dream: Kill the Wolf-Cat

-the wolf is actually a long beige cat
-it runs up from the basement of my house with grandma and I chasing it
-she follows it into the backyard, but I stop and peek through the screen door. I don’t see the cat-wolf. I open the door and it creeps out of the closet
-I kick the wolf-cat in the ribs and it bites my foot, but at least it’s outside
-Leslie keeps letting the wolf-cat in the front door
-I keep yelling at her because it takes a long time to get rid of it and then she just invites it back in again
-I get the wolf-cat out and into the backyard, looking for some way to trap it, and notice the barbeque. I draw the wolf’s attention to it, then, when it’s on the barbeque, close the lid
-now I don’t have to worry about the wolf-cat anymore

Hey, I just figured out the psychology behind my strangest childhood fear: the fear of the… TELEPHONE!

Although I do still get nervous phoning certain people, I have pretty much conquered my fear. For years, this has puzzled me, but now, as I reflect upon it, this fear is starting to make sense. You see, when I was a child, every time the doorbell rang, my mother would answer if she was home, but my father would hide in the nearest bathroom.

When my mother wasn’t home, we were all instructed to hide wherever we happened to be; that meant, drop to the ground and pretend nobody’s home. Dad would always say, in his best slurred English, “Oh, it’s just salespeople, and they won’t ever leave you alone.”

When the phone rang, the story was the same: Dad would walk right into the bathroom without missing a beat! He never offered an explanation for this action; he didn’t owe us anything of that nature.

Wow! What a powerful force that phone must be if it can scare my daddy so!

I didn’t realize then that my father spent his existence in fear. I’m not sure if I even realised, at that point, that it was not the phone itself, but the people on the other end, that worried him.

This all makes sense, now. Now I understand why I’ve always been so cautious around the phone; perhaps I figured I would be inflicting a similar fear on the household I was trying to contact, and that’s not something I would wish upon anyone.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

09/09/1999

Dream: I’m Going To Have Kittens!

-no, really! I’m pregnant with kittens
-I wonder how this pregnancy came about, but everyone else acts like it’s perfectly natural
-my stomach is not very big, which leads me to believe that I’m not far along in my pregnancy
-I didn’t have contractions or anything, but my water broke and I figured, “Well, I guess I’m going to have them now!”
-I don’t remember giving birth, but I end up at grandma’s house and there are a lot of people there, even my grandparents who died years ago
-I have a litter of 5 or 6 kittens, all of them orange and brown
-I wonder how I’ll feed them. I’m terribly afraid of nursing because they’ll bite me and they have sharp little teeth
-I ask grandma what I should do, and she says I should definitely nurse them
-I look at all my kittens asleep in a cardboard box and one of them yawns and stretches out
-I’m still scared they’ll bite me

Today I met a woman who lives down the street. She was a delightful older person, the widow of a retired firefighter. When I approached her house on my way to school, she stood waiting outside. She approached me and introduced herself, saying that last year, after her husband passed away, she’d spent most days sitting in a chair, simply staring out the front window.

Every day, at 7:40, she’d watched me walk by. It became part of her morning routine. She would get up each weekday morning, make herself a cup of tea, sit in her chair, and wait for me to walk by. She didn’t realize quite how much she counted on me until the summer came and I wasn’t walking by her house anymore, at least not on a regular basis. She said she missed me. Without even knowing me, she missed me. And she came out today to let me know.

At first, it seemed strange to think that someone I don’t even know was watching me every day, relying on my walk toward the bus stop to start her day. Weird. Very weird.

But there is a lesson in all experiences, and perhaps the lesson in today’s is that our actions have much wider impact than we can ever know.

Giselle

Saturday, January 23, 2016

09/07/1999

The tarot cards say that I am surrounded in white light in my current endeavours. I believe this to be true, even though I often feel very confused, angry, and threatened.

I never did receive the second missive Lawrence assured me he would send this summer. It must have gotten lost in the mail, I thought. How could it possibly take so long to get here from Muskoka?

So I asked him what he’d written. And he told me he hadn’t. He never wrote that second letter. He’d assured me he would, and he didn’t.

It took me 17 years to learn how to cry. When I do so now, I will cry with my head held high; I will announce to the Universe, “Look at me; I have remembered!”

Giselle

Friday, January 22, 2016

09/06/1999

This is the first day of my last year of high school. Back to the drawing board!

(a little bit wiser this time, though)

I refuse all fear and all worry, for I stand in the Grace of God.

I refuse all fear and all worry, for I stand in the Grace of God.

Giselle

Thursday, January 21, 2016

09/05/1999

Dream: Cagney and Lacey

-this scene starts out with Cagney and Lacey from the TV show and a husband/boyfriend dressed in women’s clothes for an investigation
-we come to a very large pool area with whales in it
-Cagney and Lacey question the suspect
-I slip into the pool and one whale starts calling out her trainer’s name to get me out
-the trainer is not mad, but I scramble out quickly because I don’t belong there.

I absolutely Love Cagney and Lacey. I really identify with Christine, for obvious reasons. She was far more devoted to her father… but look where that got her: AA.

I often wonder if I am missing out on an essential portion of my journey, but how can escapism be so essential?

Is it worth becoming an alcoholic simply to experience recovery, or am I right to be the wise Giselle and stay sober for the rest of my life?

I don’t think it’s worth taking the chance that my life could be ruined by a single drink, but could that simply be my ego’s need for control?

I am Christine Cagney… or I could have become her… or she is one of my many potentialities. She went off to art school in France in the days of her youth.

Mary-beth Lacey, I am also starting to identify with, though. I now understand her compulsion to clean whenever she has something on her mind. I find that scrubbing the bathtub can be as effective an emotional outlet as playing sports. Cleaning can be a great release, and it makes symbolic sense to clean a bathroom when one is seeking some sort of release.

Thanks, Cagney and Lacey!

Giselle

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

09/04/1999

Dream: Scary

-lots of passersby coming through the backyard
-mum, Jane and I and someone else are there when a teenaged boy comes by with a gun and shoots at us all, says something about 2117
-boy comes to look at me to see if I am dead and I stupidly squirm
-I take the gun out of his hands and shoot him, but it doesn’t help. I go inside the house and lock the back door, shut the blinds, then go to the front door but that door won’t lock
-finally get it just as my brother (?) is trying to get inside. He is now the murderer

Breathe.

All day, just breathe.

I don’t know where to go from here. Can I simply pretend, as my mother does, that all is well with the world? It’s quite a bit easier to pretend that I said the things I did merely to hurt her, but what happens the next time the opportunity arises for me to stay with Lawrence and his family? “Oh, by the way, I meant what I said”?

My plan to marry Kennedy is all that can save me now! Mum wants me to find a boy my own age?

Fine!

Giselle

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

09/03/1999

I am creating drama, but I can’t decide whether or not it is necessary. I want to be as Tristan to his Isolde, and go through Hell for my Love. I just didn’t know Hell would be so painful.

Giselle

Monday, January 18, 2016

09/02/1999

Dream: Great Balls of Fire

-outside at night
-some planets look very close to the earth. They’re glowing like coals in a fire
-one small planet falls to earth as if it had been thrown. It doesn’t hit the ground very close to where I am
-soon enough, a larger planet comes.
-my mother and some other people are now outside with me
-a medium-sized planet falls and hits mum in the knee
-as it hits the ground, it recoils in billions of tiny pieces of burning ash
-some lady takes mum to a woman around the corner. We go into the woman’s garage, wherein an ambulance has been blocked. She fixes mum’s knee and we walk back to our house
-a planet the size of Jupiter is on the horizon, but I wonder if these could possibly be planets from other galaxies
-a very large planet is hurled in our direction

Some people are blessed with fathers who cherish them, and other people are blessed with fathers who do not. My father could not handle the responsibility that comes along with being a parent. In order to abandon that responsibility, he drank.

This is something I always accepted—perhaps even enabled—without question. I pose myself this question now:

Why?

I think he drank because he felt trapped in a life with which he was unhappy; he didn’t want to be a white collar worker with a wife, a bunch of kids and a mortgage. He didn’t want to be a grown-up. He wanted to hang out all night with his friends, drinking and writing songs. He abandoned his responsibility to us in glass after glass of rum and coke. He left us to raise ourselves while he spent every night in the intoxicated world he had created for himself.

His freedom came only when he was released from the confines of family life. He is now free to do as he pleases; his children are no longer a concern to him. He has now been presented with the opportunity to lead a life free from any kind of responsibility. He doesn’t have to work, to support anyone, to associate with his children, or even to associate with his own family.

But my theory must be flawed, because even without us kids in his life, my father still drinks.

Giselle

Sunday, January 17, 2016

09/01/1999

Dream: Morning or Night?

-on a big field of ice, people from school are filming a based-on-a-true-story made-for-T.V. movie
-we have to be sure to follow a reddish strip in the ice or else we could fall through
-at a break, I ask Ms. Pape what time it is and she says it’s 7:00
-A.M. or P.M? I ask her, but she gives me one of her “Oh boy, Giselle” looks, which I dismiss
-“Do you know?” I ask, and it’s clear that she doesn’t
-we look for the sun but it’s either too early or too late
-nobody’s watch can tell us if it’s morning or night, and I don’t know whether I’m tired or wide awake
-seems to me that somebody would remember if they’d just woken up or which meal they’d just eaten, but nobody remembers anything

Today, I was presented with a divine opportunity to learn things I otherwise would not have.

When hearing about the changes I was forced to make to my OAC timetable, others’ reactions were along the lines of, “Well, it’s too bad you can’t have what you want.”

Untrue! The choices I made concerning course selection were not based on what I wanted. They were based on what I thought I needed to ‘get ahead’ in life. In fact, all of my life decisions have been based on what that little ‘academic Giselle’ thought was best for me. As a result, I have missed out on many things I enjoy doing—painting being one of them.

Can you believe it? After all these years of hard-nosed academia, I’m going back to art!

Good.

I thank the Universe for this lesson in divine opportunities, and for helping me in identifying them when they arrive.

Giselle

Saturday, January 16, 2016

08/31/1999

Jane and I are having a slumber party. I was amazed, last night, when I called mum’s house to speak with one sister and ended up talking to another for a full hour.

I have decided that I’m going to marry Kennedy; that way, Bess will be my sister, Lawrence will be my daddy and Victoria will be the dreaded mother-in-law. He he he. I’m so glad to have found these people. Thanks to them, I cherish my past and what my childhood family situation taught me.

Giselle

Friday, January 15, 2016

08/30/1999

Dream: Hierarchy

-I’m talking to Christie and she just doesn’t “get it”
-I walk into the gym, see Ms. Pape, and say (practically to myself), “Some people just don’t understand”
-she says, “Neither do you”

I Love surprises. I was surprised today when Bess called to say, “We’re coming over!”

I gave her directions to Aunt Bay’s house and warned her I was dog-sitting, since both she and her father have allergies. Not only did they come regardless, they came bearing gifts: two chocolate brownies, a lovely silver ring from Bess, and an “I was just going through old books and I thought you might like this” French grammar text, as well as a letter to the Toronto Star, from her father.

I Love them both dearly; I didn’t express it, though, and I now feel somewhat ashamed for not being able to show my gratitude.

It was a strange visit, although I’m not sure why. Bess was casual; it was like having family over. I kept offering them food.

I didn’t say any of the things that should have been said; I didn’t tell Lawrence he could call any time and I didn’t comment on his physique. I don’t even remember looking at his face, except his eyes, which seemed a different… colour?

No, just different.

What beautiful eyes my Lawrence has. They’re blue. Not blue-grey like Jane’s or my father’s (of course, Jane gets her blue eyes from our dad); no, Lawrence’s eyes are a brilliant shade: clear like water, but they shine like aquamarine gems. Cold, perhaps, but certainly not for his girls; for Bess and me, they’re proud eyes.

I recall what his body looked like, what clothes he was wearing, what his legs looked like. He has nothing to complain about, where his form is concerned. Everything about him seems so small. It was strange, but I could look at him without seeing him. All is maya, all is illusion.

We drank lemonade, and then I left the dogs in the house while I took Bess and Lawrence for a walk down the ravine. They are not the heartiest stock, but they seemed very much to enjoy lazing on the fallen tree by the river.

This whole episode was an experience without being an event. It’s strange to say, but it might as well not have happened at all. I can’t figure out who was more distant: Lawrence or me.

Bess was very present, but she lives in the now. Nothing momentous took place; three friends just got together without knowing why. Oh well; I got a ring out of the deal.

Thanks, Bess!

Giselle