We are hanging out in the apartment when Daniel tells me he will be going overseas for eight months. It is part of his graduate program. I suggest we break up during that time. Eight months is a long time to wait for anyone. My suggestion is that if we are still meant for each other, we will come back together once he is back. He didn’t want that. We stay together.
He leaves in January and I start a French immersion at McGill University. My loneliness draws me to eat. I have non-alcoholic Beck’s beer and egg bread from Jean Talon Market. I buy my éclairs from a bakery walking distance from my house. The loneliness also encourages me to shop. I buy tons of second-hand CDs at a store called Cheap Thrills and buy some first-hand CDs at Archambault. All these things help to fill the void.
When I feel just like being in the neighbourhood, I hang out at Dottie’s Place. It is a small coffee shop about five minutes walking distance from my apartment. Dottie is a Jamaican woman who married a white doctor who has died. They have a daughter who is dating a handsome white boy at the time. Dottie didn’t make good coffee, but I go to the coffee shop because she always has stories to tell. She often talks behind the backs of the last customer that would leave. I usually sit with two older guys, Joe and a retired doctor. Sometimes, I sit by myself and just talk with Dottie while she is constantly sweeping.
Daniel comes back after three months to visit me. We have a wonderful time. By then I didn’t feel that we should break up and I am willing to wait for him. He has been to Paris and to Spain and is leaving to go to South Africa to do an internship at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He often speaks of his dream of the two of us living in South Africa.
After Daniel leaves again, soon after I stop doing the immersion program. I wasn’t happy with my teacher and my fellow students. I am running out of money when my insurance benefits end. A claimed psychic at Dottie’s coffee shop tells me that my father is going to commit suicide and that Daniel only wants me for sex. This scares me so much that I make plans to return to Toronto, my hometown.
When I tell my psychiatrist that I am returning to Toronto, he writes me a note to give to the new psychiatrist that I read. He says it will be difficult for me in Toronto. I probably will have a hard time adjusting and he didn’t think things will go well. I leave for Toronto on April eighth of 2001.