"I'm really sorry ladies, but we are out of caribou and muskox right now." These were the first words out of our waiters mouth when we sat down at the Kickin Caribou for Sherri's 30th birthday dinner. I smiled, knowing that I would never have ordered either of the unavailable options and thinking about how funny it was to hear someone say such a thing. I've been here six and a half months now and sentences like that usually don't phase me anymore. Every once in a while however, I hear words and remember how they would have sounded to me six months ago.
"I think he lives in that sea can behind the store," Robert said while sitting in the living room with Matt and I. We were talking about one of the men here in town, literally living out of a sea can, which is a giant metal container that goods come to us in when they travel here by sea lift on a ship.
Everyday in this city is an adventure, and eye opener, a life experience. Yesterday was no exception.
Robert picked me up from work just after noon, hurrying me to the truck, saying, "his security call is in twenty minutes." We drove to the airport, both of us with very heavy hearts. I knew I would never see Matt in our apartment ever again and that when I went home his belongings would be gone. Robert knew that there was a good chance that he might never see Matt again at all.
When I saw him sitting on one of the orange chairs in the little airport, he looked sad, knowing that this chapter in his life was ending. I sat on his lap and whispered my goodbyes, my eyes leaked uncontrollably while he assured me that this wouldn't be the end of our relationship. We would always be friends and I would see him when I visited home and when I moved back. Nothing he said made the hurt go away. I missed him as he still stood in front of me. I knew that this was really the end of the way it had been. We would no longer share our lives in such an intimate way. His presence in my life would go from constant to an occasional facebook message. Five and a half years of my life was about to walk onto a plane.
I said my goodbyes as he got in line for security, hugged him once and ran back for one last touch. I told him I loved him and he held my face in his hands and said "I love you more." I knew it was true and saw the look in his eye that said, 'we have to do this.' Which I also knew to be true. We weren't meant to be a forever thing.
We parked the big old box truck out side of the airport, with a perfect view of the runway. I watched the plane taxi and I watched Matthew fly out of my life and leave Iqaluit behind. I watched until I couldn't see the plane anymore. Robert sat with me while I cried and we shared all of the good memories the three of us had together.
I worked the rest of my shift not wanting to go home. When I eventually did, I felt such heaviness that I could hardly stand, my knees wobbled and I tried with everything in me to push past it. I know this is a good thing and it will open doors and bring wonderful new things. I have a lot to look forward to and will eventually be thankful for the turn that life has taken. It took the rest of the night with my friends and some good laughs to push the sadness out of my mind.
We shared homemade English muffin pizzas and listened to the philosophical views of a drunken Nate, whose even more intoxicated girlfriend, Erin, didn't hear the door bell or the phone when he tried to go home to bed. It landed him sleeping on my couch for the night. It was good to have friends around, it always is and I am very thankful to have the people that I do in my life.
I'm going to spend this week doing a little bit of moping around and a lot of soul searching. I am determined to be happy, determined to make the most of this experience and enjoy the good things that I have at my finger tips. It's time to move on and let this fall into the past as yet another experience that must be making me stronger, since it didn't kill me.
I kicked off my first day alone by joining Robert for a lunch date. We had the shwarma that I have been so excited about. The restaurant opened yesterday down by the airport. It was fantastic and is officially going to be Iqaluit's hottest lunch date spot.
Check out this video by Alex and Luke that they made after visiting Iqaluit, keep your eyes open for my shout out. I'm so glad they enjoyed their trip and think Iqaluit is as beautiful as I do.
With love from Iqaluit