Why Canada?

Thankfully my 2017 fell apart in a very neat and tidy way. I was romanticly hobbled, in poor physical health, but only semi-homeless. The downward slide was overwhelming but controlled.

Then in early October, my Canadian friend Pat messaged me with a simple:  “How are you, Jack?”

I grabbed the question like a ripcord, pulled, and spilled my guts.

I’ve known Pat for about a decade, but I’ve known his wife Kelly for most of twenty years. We went to University together. She studied TV. I studied writing. We worked together on a couple of school TV projects, she’d known me through my bartending days, and I once took a nap under her dorm bed.

Years before meeting Pat I’d heard about him through mutual friends. Everyone said the same thing: “Did you know that there’s a Canadian you?”

I finally met Pat on what would, for a while, become an annual visit to NOTL. These trips involved friends, food, a cottage and Canadian winery tours. I’d loved the wine, and I become addicted to ketchup chips.

After word-vomiting my terrible year, Pat and Kelly talked. Pat came back to me with the suggestion that I check out Canada.

I needed something. This was something.

On its face, if I took advantage of this opportunity, I had only secured a place to sleep for a few months. No problems solved.

But I started to form a plan, and it involved food and restaurants.

The first step was to book the trip. I’d be in Canada at the end of January 2018.


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