The apartment is suddenly quiet.
For a couple of days the rooms here have been full of conversation and laughter. Long, loud, laughter. Raucous laughter. Laughter that expresses delight. And now the quiet seems to just softly echo those sounds. It's a lovely quiet.
Yesterday was a big day for Joe and I. Bobra Fyne had been in town to do a workshop for Vita and was staying with us for a couple nights. Wonderneice Shannon, was in town so we picked her up just after 7:00 to spend the day with her. Joe and I had planned out a day, hoping each would enjoy the activities on lineup.
I wonder now if anyone else noticed.
Did you Shannon? Did you Bobra?
We started at breakfast at Cora's. We came in and had to adjust some tables because, as a big man, I have a big chair. We tucked into together, we four, at the table. At first when people came in they really noticed us. Well, more precisely, me. I am used to 'sticking out' though even when I'm literally 'sticking out' I'm not wildly comfortable with it. So there were the, mostly, curious glances and the, occasional, hostile glances. So be it, goes with difference.
But then we started. We talked. And laughed. Told stories. And laughed. Interupted stories with one liners. And laughed. As the biggest person, I have the smallest laugh. The others are big loud laughers. That Shannon and Joe climbed out of the same gene pool is patently obvious when they laugh. Bobra, too, has a laugh that claims her.
Slowly and subtly the glances began to change. Now people seemed to be wondering what we were finding so funny. What was there to laugh about on an early Saturday morning? Suddenly a new emotion crept into their glances. What is that I see? Maybe a wee bit of envy?
For the entire day as we did stuff together. At the Gardiner Museum (which is really worth a visit), along Philosopher's Walk, down in Kensington Market, people noticed one difference first then another difference later. There was an ease with which we ebbed and flowed conversation, shared lives, swapped stories, listened and laughed.
None of it had anything to do with disability.
In fact it was the amazing ability we had to cherish our time together. Visits between friends only work if the friends do. If each wishes the other enjoyment. If each, equally, cares that the other is happy. It takes effort. It takes an ability that all have but few use ... generosity.