Love's Gay Fool. Autobiography of John Alan Lee.


Chapter 28. Bonus time – 2005-06

I've had my world and time, I've had my fling!
But age that comes to poison everything
Has taken all my beauty and my pith.
Well, let it go...
The flour is gone, there is no more to say,
and I must sell the bran as best I may.
Chaucer – The Wife of Bath.

January 3. I've organized my theatre programs for 2004. Only 97 performances. Rereading my daily journal of 1955, I see that my life philosophy has changed very little in 50 years. My "Who am I?" of April 21, 1978, is almost exactly who I have become.

January 8. A thrilling afternoon of skiing in deep snow, with Markus and the dogs. Then an evening out with Lionel to a good play with luscious eye candy. Joy is still possible.

January 12. A Quaker "threshing meeting" was little more than a game. The issue was allotting some space in the House for our peace activist. I charged that peace activism in the Meeting House threatens their middle class respectability, but even Ursula sold out, saying: "space is not important, conviction is." Later, she relented.

At one time, Quakers made an important contribution to my character formation. They taught me the high goal of integrity by making one's word one's bond. They stimulated my religious and philosophical thought. But now, most of them find me an irritating, openly homosexual peacenik atheist. And I find many of them simpletons or hypocrites on matters of philosophical thought. Some are actually proud of their ignorance of church history, scripture, and the great philosophers. They boast: "I don't know much theology" as if theology contaminated.

January 14. To a Japanese play with Jean, then a lively and comforting chat.

January 21. Angus has suddenly developed a huge cyst – in a matter of hours. The vet is closed for the weekend. High anxiety!

January 24. Death is at my door again, this time looking for Angus. He struggles to breath, and the vet worries he may not live.

Late afternoon: praise Hermes, a dangerous operation is over. Angus is OK.

January 25. This past year I've had three gifts from the gods: Chloe saved from a serious accident, Markus, and now Angus saved.

January 26. Finally, the Canadian Gay Archives have nominated me for their "national portrait collection." It's far too long coming, but at least I'm still alive to enjoy it.

January 28. My lungs are heaving from smog. First "alert day" so early in the year.

January 29. To a recitation of Shakespeare verse by a lovely young man.

February 2. Markus asked if he could have one of my hats as a keepsake. What a kind compliment.

February 3. To three Rhubarb plays, one quite scary, about the risks of taking a stranger home for sex. What amazing luck I have had.

February 5. Idea for a play: I'm age 23, talking to myself dying at 73. What would each say to the other? I think my aged self would say to young Johnny: You will have a long, astonishing life!

February 6. Markus is packing, but he is stopping often to chat. Sweet. He's off to the next stage of his life.

February 7. It's hard work making yourself into a person. You're not born that way. It has to be earned. And it is especially hard to be a whole person on your own, without an “other.”

February 16. Angus and Chloe just came to cuddle me. I'm so alone I need them terribly. But a caller to my ad reminds me: Sometimes serenity trumps loneliness.

February 17. I felt great joy today in starting seeds for spring. I've just counted the months I've lived alone. Only 40 months in my whole life!

February 22. Ken K, whom I dated in 1992, has replied to my ad for a new housemate. I once invited him to live here, but he refused. Twelve years later he's even worse off, but I'm resolved: no more rescue cases.

February 28. THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: If I had died on February 1, and came back today as a ghost, is there anything in the past month that would make me wish I was still alive? Not really. My life has no peak moments now. Johanna says she wants no peaks because that means lows to follow.

March 7. Today's interviewee is so poor he wanted to sell me one of his paintings but none was appealing. I gave him $20 anyway.

March 13. Lex, once my cute hustler, came for dinner. He has become an effeminate luxury queen and is already losing his looks, before turning 30.

March 15. Bob, a biologist, has answered my ad. We had a pleasant chat.

March 19. Allan stayed overnight after dinner and a concert. I taught him "anger by appointment," something I taught in class for many years. Peter called, safe and well.

March 23. Nicola has arrived for a visit. Lots of talk, then to The Sea Inside, a fine film on the Right to Die.

March 26. Nicola took me to dinner and a leather costume dance. One gay man said: "40 might as well be 80 in gay life."

March 29. The snow on my lawn has melted enough to reveal the skis Markus left there a month ago!

April 1. Bob, my potential new housemate is here for a test run. I must to be very observant, and ready to return to the search. My seedlings now occupy all available windows.

April 3. Alex and Andrew came for dinner to meet Bob. They are favourably impressed. My physician, Roger, tells me I have now become diabetic.

April 5. Spent a fine evening with Joe. Fortunate to have such friends. New housemate Bob has large debts and does not take criticism easily, but seems a gentle and honest man.

April 10. A great dinner with Bill and Lawrence. Gowan called for a short hello. My breathing is down to 440. Both my feet are tingling, an early harbinger of diabetes.

April 15. Tonight a fine play by Barrie (the Peter Pan author) with lots of gay sensibility. Issues of choice, chance, and lost dreams, and the thrill of a cute male actor.

April 16. It's wondrous how my dogs begin each morning with such energy, hopping gladly onto my bed. Another smog alert day.

April 28. Today I celebrated my life of travel by making a list, two pages long. At least 35 countries, many of them more than once, as well as most American states and Canadian provinces. After a good life, my only remaining duty is to HARM NO ONE, including my inner child Johnny.

Bob's stuff filled my garage to the door.

May Day. Today Bob moved in all his stuff, a huge truckload that fills my garage wall to wall, floor to ceiling. It is barely possible to close the door.

May 7. Good line on TV: a person is not best known by his abilities, but by his choices.

May 11. I bought $300 worth of plants, after visiting Roger, who needs my comforting more than I need his medical care. He's had a hard year.

May 13. I realize its a huge change for my new mate to share a house, so I'm suppressing my anger at not being able to get my lawnmower out of the garage.

May 18. I made an "appointment for anger" with Bob for treating his room as trash, with empty bags and dirty clothing dropped on the floor and chairs. I've given him a deadline of June 1 to empty the garage.

June 3. More days of smog alert. How ironic that my dogs and a hetero man are now my closest companions.

June 8. Even with a pollution mask, I must quit garden work by noon.

June 10. To a play with Jean, then a drink. She let her "social worker" guard down, and spoke with anger about how controlling I was as her heterosexual husband years ago. She even admitted she once had "fantasies of killing you but could not think how." Quite a comment on our maturing friendship, that she now feels safe to be so honest!

I strove to explain our adult need to own all our actions and choices. She conceded: I like talking with you; you make me think. Jean is no intellectual, and admits: I never understood philosophy. How ironic that after five decades, Jean remains the best partner choice I ever made. It was a fine evening, coming to grips with some of the baggage still left from the damage I did years ago by leaving Jean.

June 14. Bob walked home many miles, not having enough money for a TTC ticket. His payday is tomorrow.

Viewing my garden from the deck, beside a favourite decoratin, a ballet dancer, made decades ago.

June 17. Today I was interviewed by the community newspaper for two hours. I'm something of a "local character." [They printed a great story].

June 18. I drove to Orillia by side roads to attend Allan's wedding. Bob did good job of painting the kitchen. He needs comforting as much as I do. To be comforted, I must give comfort.

June 23. Finally all my greenhouse trays are back in storage. I've planted 1200 seedlings this spring.

June 25. I asked my Tarot cards today: "Will I ever meet a partner?" They replied: You made your bed, now lie in it.

June 27. Clean air! By noon I had Janus' old exercise beam down, and a new post up for a new swing, at no cost. I love improvising.

July 1. I had to quit at noon, but I've used Janus' old beam to rebuild the bridge from the deck to the dog run. No cost but screws. Bob was most helpful today. Thanks for so much luck, Hermes.

July 4. Today I canoed for the first time this year, with my dogs. Lovely.

July 8. Back from a canoe trip with Bob to Poker Lake. We had the lake to ourselves, with serene weather and haunting loons. Bob did his full share.

July 9. Peter called to say he's OK, knowing I'd worry about the London terrorist bombings. Peter is now a full professor.

July 12. A triple-threat-day for seniors: smog, heat, and humidity.

July 14. Four Fringe plays, all worth seeing.

July 17. Rain at last. I gathered the most raspberries ever – two litres. I've installed new lights in the garden. Walking there at night is exquisite.

July 28. A chatty lunch with Gordon, one of the very few friends I have at Quakers.

July 31. I took Stephen K. canoeing on the lake. His first time. The waves were deliciously challenging.

August 5. Markus visited Toronto today. What a cheerful reunion.

August 11. Three short plays with Jean. We talked about sacrificing for others. I'm happy that I never sacrificed for my lovers. I always nourished my greatest loves: wilderness camping and canoeing, art, travel, theatre, and gardening.

August 14. Bob wants so much to marry, and be a father. I urged him to go to his first "singles dance." Beginner's luck: he actually met a woman he likes, who seems to like him.

August 21. The Gay Archives have finally "inducted" me into their national portrait collection. I joked that I was glad to be alive for the event. More than 100 attended, including Jean, Jo, Joe, Bob and Bruce, Lawrence and James, and even my housemate Bob (on his own initiative).

August 24. Today ends my 72nd year of life, and 25 years at Kairos. To my great surprise both Bob and Jo phoned this morning to sing Happy Birthday!

August 25. I'm writing in my tent in the garden of the cottage which Peter and Lucy have rented for their Canadian holiday. Peter and I caught up on personal news while canoeing on the lake. After dinner, Laura presented an impressive "song and dance" performance. Peter is a very happy father.

August 28. Peter arrived at Kairos at 6 pm and we talked to 11. There's lots on his mind – the future of his marriage and children, and a possible job offer in Vancouver. He's pleased with the way he's affected some students, who even sent enquiring e-mails during the terrorist bombings. His advice about leaving Toronto: before moving to a new place, live there for a month.

August 30. Another smog alert. Today is the dogs' tenth birthday.

September 3. Today I lost Mary's cane in Hamilton while touring the new art gallery with Lionel. The highway drive was awful. I've decided it will be my last time on a major highway.

September 4. Bob and I canoed to the islands, my longest paddle this year. The eastern gap was a choppy thrill. A TV program on interior design makes me reflect on my own choice of decor: gay urban cottage.

September 6. Today I reread A Class Apart and felt a mix of rage and sorrow not to have had such a devoted lover. My fault? If I'd kept Franz I might have lived the same story. Or if I had chosen Rory. But I'd never have had fourteen years with Dane. My picky, eccentric ways have bedevilled my life.

September 8. I visited June Callwood at a demo against sharia law. [All religious domestic courts were abolished days later!]

September 15. Peter did not get the offer from UBC; his voice was a strange mix of disappointment and relief.

September 16. An old song rings in my mind today: Is that all there is? Then let's keep dancing. I especially like the line about "ending it all" with its answer: I'm in no rush for that last great disappointment.

September 18. At last, a perfect late summer evening, dining on the deck. Birds sing and the long rays of the setting sun paint the garden with many shades of green.

September 27. I potted more than 100 garden plants and moved them into the house. Then I ran the dogs in Ashbridge Park, meditating by the tossing waves, full of gratitude at thousands of miles safely canoed.

September 30. Is it true that we are what we want to be? Sounds simplistic to me. With Dickens I ask: Am I the hero of my own life?

October 2. Muriel and John's 80th birthday party was a nostalgic reunion with old SCM couples from the Fifties. We had a lively debate about Creation vs. Evolution. Imagine! Some old SCM'ers believe in "intelligent design"

October 5. Today I visited a dying George Hislop. He was shrunken and frail, but knew me. I said: "Do you have any regrets? George: "Yes, but then again, too few to mention" (A line from My Way.) His humour lives.

October 9. Cool at last. I started the fireplace.

October 12. I've initiated an exhibition to celebrate the contributions of Jearld Moldenhauer to gay liberation. The list of supporters is growing quickly.

October 22. My son Peter reports a week of see-saw decisions about a new offer from Vancouver.

Building a tower into the trees in my garden.

October 24. Today I began a "tower" at the bottom of the garden to clear away some view-blocking branches.

October 27. Four hours on the tower, now safely guy-wired up to 24 feet! It's been a fun project outdoors but I'm exhausted. A final-year Bo2 student called just to thank me for the course years ago. She's read my website.

October 29. Thank you, oh great gods, for a safe climb and cutting of elm branches that blocked my view of the lake.

November 2. Line by an old man in tonight's play at Kew: Is there still time for happiness?

November 5. I've made a decision. Bob sleeps out more often than in, providing no company. I've given him two months notice.

November 9. Canoeing on the Rouge with the dogs renewed my spirit. I sang out loud praises to the gods.

November 11. A fine letter, at last, from Fernando. Bob did a good job of oiling the oak in the living and dining rooms.

November 12. FIRE! I was at Jo's for dinner. A call came from Bob: Come home, the house is on fire, but it's under control; the firemen are here. I drove home with awful visions filling my head.

Bob threw oily cleaning rags back with the clean ones under the kitchen counter. He's never heard of spontaneous combustion. More important, chucking dirty stuff with clean is exactly his manner. Dirty clothes in the closet, empty milk containers stuck back in the fridge, and so on.

But my reaction was enormous relief and praise to Hermes and Fortuna. Discovery half an hour later would have meant Kairos in flames. I called Bob an idiot but nothing more. The house is full of smoke, but all doors and windows are open overnight and every fan running. O great gods, you still smile on my charmed life!

Epicurus said: There is no greater joy than a narrow escape from a great calamity.

The fire made a mess of the kitchen.

A lifetime of carpentry still pays off. New cabinets and drawers ready to paint.

November 13. A giant air scrubber is clearing the last smoke damage. I am doing most of the repairs myself, three hours a day. I AM ON BONUS TIME. WHATEVER GOOD COMES NOW IS A BONUS TO A MARVELLOUS LIFE.

November 15. Today I appeared on TV with journalist Anthony Westall for a discussion on dying with dignity. Bob seems quite contrite, and so relieved that I didn't throw him out after the fire that he made dinner and gave me a small bottle of ice wine.

November 22. Jean invited me to Xmas dinner. So kind.

December 4. At Quakers, I spoke of today being my 50th anniversary of first attending meeting. I quoted the Pococks: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” and observed: "No one will ever consider me a weighty Friend. But then, some so-called senior Friends are merely dead weight." I emphasized that the primary principle of religion is to act with kindness.

K. hit back with a long godtalk. I gave up belief in their "God" long ago, in favour of the Olympian gods, who serve simply as an externalization of my own humanity. Going to Quakers is a vestige of Howland's influence. I also enjoy cornering Quaker theists in their own bad logic. And I enjoy demonstrating how humourless many are.

December 7. Downtown, I met Jean on the street and chatted for a while in a cafe. Then dinner and a play with Lionel.

December 9. A good chat with Peter and a surprise call from my vet to wish me well. The kitchen is finally restored. Bob helped with the painting (I can't handle the fumes) and he is really trying to please.

December 11. Skied on the beach with my dogs. Lovely. Met Lawrence for movie and chat. He recalls what a beautiful body I had in 1970. How sweet.

December 16. Dinner here with Bob Johnston, Bruce and Joe. The house is now rich with light, colour, and flowers, and the garden glows with my newly installed lighting.

December 18. I stayed for Quaker business but resisted the temptation to get involved.

Yule Day. A fine holiday dinner with the Macintosh clan – still kind after five decades!

December 28. Dinner at Jearld Moldenhauer's, with James and Derek. Very fine. My first long trip in many, many years across the city on the Queen car .

December 31. New Year's Resolution: Be more playful, less serious. Being serious functioned well to take me far in life, but now it is time to lighten up.


January 1. I walked my dogs on the lonely beach. Pounding surf drowned my shouts of thankfulness to Hermes for safe return from so many wonderful canoe trips on wild waters.

January 5. A fine letter from Markus. Ten calls to my new housemate ad.

January 9. Michelle picked me up for a visit to the Body World exhibit. Awesome. A fine sociable afternoon.

January 10. Line from Foyle’s War (BBC): “In our situation, For the time being is good, isn’t it?” Downtown to join Lionel for an excellent burlesque – erotic and energetic. I’m grateful for these bonus pleasures.

January 12. SMOG ALERT! A visit with neighbours Barry and Gina for assurances of noise control during construction of their house addition.

January 15. Johanna and Jean here for a fine evening.

January 21. Allan visiting. He has changed little over the years, but is happier now.

January 24. Arranged first potential housemate visit. How many visits will it take? [27 !]

February 11. To a party by Bob and Bruce (doing drag very well!). My first party in years.

February 16. Winter is finally delivering snow, lightning, and roaring wind in my trees.

February 26. Chloe has swollen lymph glands. She’s still lively, with a good appetite and no pain. Vet’s doing tests – infection or cancer?

March 10. Wow, I got through winter without a cold by wearing a mask all the time in public. 80 housemate phone interviews, and none I want.

March 13. Affectionate chat with Allan after CBC broadcast of Tommy Douglas biography. “The greatest Canadian.” What times we have lived!

March 14. I’ve decided to no longer invite callers for my ad directly to the house. We’ll meet in a local donut shop first. I’ve already had one scary visitor, and this area is now suffering home invasions. It’s time to stop relying so much on Hermes and luck.

March 18. Picked Peter up. He’s also here for Jean’s 70th birthday party. I am not invited (Ruth will be there). We walked the beach with my dogs, and dined on talk of idealism and politics. I’m very proud of the man my son has become.

March 22. In my 2005 tax report, my income is back where it was 50 years ago: $19,000. Chloe has seen the vet again. She does not look good. We just had a long cuddle.

April 1. Sitting by the fireplace, I’m feeling like an an empty husk, nothing but stamina to draw on. (Johanna is in Europe). Chloe is super-affectionate, but the lumps are growing every day. She is holding on to life with great tenacity.

April 5. I’m at 125 phone interviews now, and 12 visits to see the house. Got my lettuce seedlings into the ground.

April 11. Chloe is incontinent, always a bad sign. She sleeps by the air cleaner, using the steady flow of air to help her breathe.

April 17. Oh, to be able to talk with Chloe, gasping for breath as she lies in my lap. She gazes into my eyes, asking “What is happening to me? Why?”

April 21. Match Point, a movie by Woody Allen, begins with the line “I’d rather be born lucky than good.” A tennis ball hits the top of the net, hesitates, then falls to the winner’s side.

My last cuddle with Chloe.

April 23. (Sunday) Chloe refused to eat even the most enticing food I offered. I fed her by syringe but in a few moments she threw it all up. Her struggle for air became more and more desperate. Finally I slipped a sleeping pill down her throat. In half an hour she was sound asleep, or so I thought. She was dead.

I am shaking with sorrow, and relief that her suffering is over. I buried Chloe in my garden, where Night and Noire also lie. Angus is puzzled at the absence of Chloe. He keeps running to the door.

May 1. I think I am recovering from my grief. Allan called with kind concern. Angus is as lonely as I am.

May 4. I’m sad and exhausted by this long search for a housemate, one of the many searches of my life. I must be honest: I’m playing a game of bait-and-switch: I offer low rent but what I’m after is a companion. I’ve managed the house and garden alone for four months now.

May 23. I stayed in the house for five minutes after locking Angus up. His howl at being left alone is new and heart-rending.

May 24. Herme’s Day. My eyes are not well, back to pressure of 27. New medication. Another shock – Michelle is quitting massage to take a full-time clerical job.

Visited Bob and Ann for dinner. Bob also gave me potted pansies. He looks younger and happier.

May 31. A third day of hot smog. Index over 50. Gardened in my mask. There are still 20 trays of seedlings on the deck.

June 2. Line on TV: “Are you happy in your old age?” Happy? Nowadays, happiness is not having indigestion after a good dinner.

June 9. After I left last night, Jean wondered out loud to Johanna, “Why hasn’t John ended his life?” It is several years since my famous letter. The answer is easy - inertia.

June 12. To a revival of Hair with Lionel, Great nostalgia, but how did we get from those fine times, to these? Lionel says the Sixties afffected only 1% of the population but at least I was part of it.

June 14. Francois here for dinner. He’s the last of my ex-lovers still in contact. He’s doing well, has a lover, no great dreams, just hope for security. His dog George is dead.

June 22. It’s done, my final gay action. The Moldenhauer exhibit was a success. 60 people, lively party; all went as it should. Jearld showed his appreciation by a fine poster explaining how the event came about.

June 25. Pride Day, but I chose to canoe the Rouge in sunny weather. At Muriel’s 80th birthday party I stayed only an hour, because so few old SCMers were there. The smog is dreadful.

July 3. While I packed the car for my visit to Allan’s island cottage, Angus followed me everywhere, anxious not to be left behind. Stephen arrived for dinner and will stay here while I’m gone. I surge with gratitude for good friends.

July 5. Lighthouse Island, Lake Muskoka. A safe drive here, on side roads. Long dinner chat with Allan, about personal demons and sad memories. A cottage lifetime has been quite special for him. We paddled to the north bay and were able to “sail” back in a stiff wind.

July 6. Today I paddled (with Angus) four hours south to Gravenhurst, mostly a free ride on the wind, but a challenging paddle back. The weather is great, the air clear. I could happily die now.

July 15. Companion is Latin for “with bread” – someone to break bread with. I eat alone.

July 17. Unique callback from Andrea, applicant for housemate. explaining why she is not going forward: "I am not ready to commit myself to two mandatory dinners a week!"

I’ve confirmed that Dane now works at OISE, and tried to start a letter to him, but can’t think what to say. Why would he care about me?

July 27. Jo made up for being a grump last night by calling early today. She even offered a three-day stay with her, with Angus, if I get too lonely!

July 29. Peter, Lucy, Laura and Alice here today but only for six hours. Delightful walk to the beach via ravine, then games here, floating boats on my pond. Peter was generous with big hugs but we had no chance to talk.

August 3. In my newly sharpened loneliness I walk my garden at night. New lights create a magic park. The stream’s gurgles make the only sound; the whole neighbourhood is silent.

August 7. I took Angus to his first play, outdoors in a park. He was fascinated and well behaved. Bob, my last housemate, came over to get his air conditioner, and leave gifts – firewood, tomatoes, and a big hug. Nicola phoned from Italy where he is visiting family for six weeks, then coming here.

August 8. I woke up in the night with an idea: “rebrand” my week-long test period for a potential new mate, to a free sample week. Several callers have objected to being “put on trial.”

August 15. Nicola has arrived. We talked for 8 hours – but not what I wanted to hear. Six weeks with his family in Italy, plus the effects of breaking with his 12-year lover, have left Nicola in an emotional mess. He “hates Italy, even the food.” In his next relationship he wants to be desired, not be the desirer.

August 24. Start of my 74th year. I’m into my ninth year of bonus time.

August 27. Lionel drove me to Prince Edward county in dark slashing rain. NO MORE HIGHWAY TRIPS! I realize I could never move anywhere now. I don’t have the energy to make a new set of friends.

August 28. What a great dog Angus is. I forgot to open the dog door when I returned, and he stayed continent all night.

August 29. I met M today. 38, divorced, two boys. Says he wants to get into environmental work. My 243rd phone interview.

August 30. Celebrated Angus’ 10th birthday. Jo gone on a cruise.

September 1. M arrived for dinner on time. I gave him my references.

September 10. This is a good time to phase out Quakers, after an unusual expression of support. I gave ministry on “Actions Louder than Words.” Both Frank and Ursula supported me; she even named me. Elizabeth Block supported me too. But few spoke to me at tea. I am not widely liked. Time to quit while I’m ahead. End of journal number 45.

September 12. A fine chat with Bob Johnston, who is becoming a closer friend. Another sign of the kindness of the fates: Angus ran wild across the street, but no cars came. Imagine what could have happened!

September 14. M has confirmed dates for his free sample visit. He seems a mild, ordinary man. To Toronto islands by canoe with Stephen. Exhilarating! The canoe is now stored for winter.

September 18. Gowan arrived for a mere day’s visit. I’m amazed at how little he has taken charge of his own life. He plans to quit work at Xmas and “start to live my own life.” I wonder. He’s 62 now, and not well.

September 19. Will M be good enough? When is good enough good enough ? Gowan says “Some people are radiators, others drains.”

M asked if he could have his girlfriend here overnight. That was an opportunity for me to deal with the issue of feeling invaded by strangers at breakfast. I said no. If he’s serious about her, he will look elsewhere. To my surprise, M has accepted– visits, but no overnight dates.

September 24. Lunch with Bob J. and a ride in his convertible – which used to be mine! Dinner with Jo, great to have her back.

September 27. Sometimes it is still good to be alive. On the deck at night I’m enjoying wild wind and rain, with Angus cuddled beside me.

September 29. To Lawrence and Bill for dinner. Talk was cheerful until they revealed Bill is moving to his own place after 6 years of living together. They assured me it’s only a matter of space, but I don’t think so.

September 30. M moved in, with three friends helping – a good sign. I predict the lack of enough company from him will be the major problem.

October 7. An impressive four hours work with M: kitchen tiles cleaned, cedar hedge trimmed, defunct motion detector replaced. But M watches his own TV in his room rather than joining me.

In one of the best TV dramas I’ve ever seen – the old age of Casanova – he says: “I’ve reached the age where there is nothing I want from life... Of all the people I have loved, there is one I loved more than any other: the young man who risked adventure again and again – namely, ME.”

October 17. Steve Murray is here for the fist time in many years. He’s been with his lover 25 years, and they eat dinner together “six nights out of seven.” Lucky man. We watched Bourne’s Swan Lake together, which finally got him talking openly (he’s usually cryptic) about our different love careers. I told him how important he was to my life at Logan.

October 19. Steve and I walked Angus on the beach, then I laid out all my finery for a festive dinner with Steve, Lionel and M. Lots of witty talk about sex. Steve claims “You can never have enough sex.”

October 21. As he left, I wished Steve a “good rest-of-your-life.” He asked “What should I wish you, a good death?” Yes, that’s exactly right.

November 1. Jean sent me an essay on the folly of hope. She still respects my mind. Met Lionel for an Russian all-male ballet, quite delicious.

November 18. M has cleaned all the hardwood floor. Kairos is looking good! This house has wonderful wood features.

Gave a grand dinner to Jean (my ex-wife), her sister Marg, and Marg’s husband, Larry. Good vibes. I told them how grateful I am for their kindness over the decades.

December 5. A new study says anyone with $500,000 in capital assets is among the richest 1% on Earth. (37 million adults). I am lucky to be one, by owning Kairos.

December 9. Allan arrived at 11.30 pm; we talked to 1 am. He’s hale, hearty and happy. This morning he gave an impressive talk to the Quaker senior housing committee, a big hug to me, and left for home.

The snow-trimmed garden beyond my windows.

December 11. Jo thinks good enough is when nothing better is available. Is it? Last night’s dream said I am on the right path.

December 14. M’s boys are visiting overnight. He promised there would be no other guests this week, but at 8pm asked if his girl friend could visit in his bedroom. With his boys there too, I didn’t think that appropriate, and said so. He shot himself in the foot: “Once the boys are asleep I have nobody to be with.” In other words, I am nobody; it never occurred to him to watch TV with me.

After bedding his boys, M came down to talk, quite angry. He accused me of trying to invade and control his life. I replied “We are as different as chalk and cheese. I hoped to get through December, but this is now a good time to give you notice.”

December 21. I joined Lionel to walk with the pagan Solstice celebrators, then visit Toronto’s new Free Thought centre for a solstice party.

December 22. During our talk this morning, M shot himself in the foot again: “I don’t know why you’re unhappy with me. I’ve done the minimum you require.” “Exactly” I replied, “the minimum, nothing more. You’ve never watched TV with me, much less join me for a movie.” There was no shouting. We shook hands.

December 24. M left for Xmas with his parents, out of town. I had a cheerful chat with Barry next door, ate dinner with lots of wine and liqueur, took ample sleeping pills, gave a half-pill to Angus, and slept.

December 26. When M returned at noon he couldn’t get in. I’d chained the door. As I opened it, I asked: “What are you doing back so soon on Xmas day?” He laughed: “It’s not Xmas, it’s Boxing day.” I’d happily slept through Xmas day again.

December 31. I had an epiphany while walking today. I’ve been asking why the gods keep me alive: for what purpose or task? But I’ve paid my dues! I must stop this search for purpose. I’ve been given more time as a bonus, a gift to be EN-JOYED, relished for its own pleasure.

Tonight, New Year’s Eve, I had a fine dinner with Jo, and returned to watch E.M. Forster’s wonderful “Maurice” then go thankfully to sleep at 10 pm. All ceremony is done, the year ended, and the gods still bless me.


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