When we were young and we had it all in front of us…
I was 25, working my first real ‘professional kitchen’, when you came into my life. This kitchen had been everything I geared towards for a few years already; it was very hard work, but I loved it and I loved my family there. Why I left with you then, well, from inside my core I felt I had to. Coleman, the cold apps cook at the time came to me with a notion to introduce us and it was all too easy. There were some opinions that were, in fact right at the time,
‘Wait longer; give yourself more time to develop here before moving on.’
‘Montreal isn’t going anywhere, what’s the rush?’
‘How can you leave now, I had been waiting to move sections and you can lead ours now so that I can, don’t be selfish.’
When you came into my life light and easy I knew it was the right time. I had everything I needed and look at us now. 8 years have passed us by -32 countries and 100,000 km plus- with too many cities to count.
My head on your gut, you were my pillow so many times. You kept my affairs the best you could, as safe as you could; you’ve held strong for me longer than I could have ever asked.
I remember like yesterday it was both of us covered in red powder from the ‘Great Sandy’ in Australia, from Uluru and King’s Canyon through the Red Centre. In Thailand you fell apart, you became torn and I wanted to help, I tried my best for more Bhat than we would have liked, but some things are irreparable and still, to this day we hold strong together.
How many floor mats you think we went through, lay under the stars? How many tents? How many pairs of shoes we must have carried? We must have carried a hundred bugs to at least a dozen bunk beds in our time, not to mention, at Olly’s place in Perth, coming back from India –how badly I felt.
End of August in our first couple years found us outside of Anchorage, Alaska, in Palmer, stuck on the freeway for hours with the rain coming down pretty hard; my camo jacket was drenched and dripping, saturated is more like it and the sign for ‘Tok’ wilted, folded and falling to the ground like wet bread until that man picked us up –after 6 hours- and paid that hotel room.
Or lost in that Canyon in Jordan where I had to carry you over my shoulders through water so dark and mysterious until it was too deep that we had to turn back and walk 25 km from where we had begun; with water you could steep tea in and not a scrap of food between us.
The worst of all, in Melbourne, with Rebecca and Priscille, I left you behind at a mate’s place who had let me crash for the week while I worked the Moomba Festival. Who called me up the last night –during our celebration- and told me I had to pick you up immediately. I came so late, around 2 a.m to find all my shit in garbage bags on her front porch; only you had gone. It was weeks before India and my right arm; my flesh and blood at this point had gone. I was so furious kicking everything in sight. Red eyes filled with rage for this unreasonable scenario and two days later I received a call from the Police –which I hesitated to take- telling me they had found you abandoned in an alley in Fitzroy. Oh the relief I felt, it nearly brought me to tears with excitement. I nearly lost you that night.
It has been a long ass road and you’ve carried a very heavy load at times. People said we didn’t really fit right and we still don’t. I know the time is coming and like most situations in life we will have to part, still you are a part of me; a part of my fabric and essence; a part of my skin; you are my only friend.