Simon Thibault

October 1998

For those of you who wondered, here is the reason for last month's column:

I moved to the city because I was too comfortable in my small town. I had everything that I felt I needed. I had my friends for support, my university for my own intellectual salvation, and I had space. Lots of space.

You see, over the summer, I picked up this habit of going out and swimming out in this lake, not far from home. There was even one night in particular that I remember: I was on the phone with a friend, when we suddenly realised that the most amazing sunset was going on. I hung up the phone and walked down to the lake, the light leaving the sky. When I arrived at the lake, the sun was setting behind the small oak trees that litter the ground, and glassing the surface of the lake. I took off my clothes and waded into the water. The wild lilies had closed by now, and I missed their fragrance. I was alone, completely alone in this huge lake. (The word "alone" comes from "all one", and for the first time in my life, I was just that: all one).

I felt completely, wonderfully, insignificant.


I had known of William for quite some time, and we had corresponded, on and off, for about two years now. I found out that he was working at the bar I frequented, so I went in and asked if he was working. I was directed to someone who was picking up bottles and bringing beer to the bar. I called out his name, and he looked at me, confused. (He would later tell me that he just thought I was some creep who probably just wanted to pick him up). He came over and he said, "It's Simon". We talked for a few minutes and then he went back to work. I'd see him every once in a while that night, and I would smile. At the end of the night, I went up to him to say goodbye, and he gave me his number and told me that if ever I came to the city, to call him.

That weekend, I went to visit friends in a nearby town. It was 37 degrees outside, and just as hot in my friend's apartment. I suppose you could say it's a nice place, if you like your room temperature to match your body temperature. My friends, Evan and Meg, had invited me to come and stay for awhile. Meg knew William, and said that he had called that morning, and told them that he had met me. Meg hadn't seen William in a year, and we decided to call him up and see if he could come up to see her. Unfortunately, he had no way to get there, and so we went out into the city, and Evan and I worried about Meg.

That afternoon, while they were both at work, I called Bill. I told him of how Meg was unhappy, and how he should come up and surprise her. Eight o'clock that night, he showed up and Evan and I picked him up. We walked down to the bistro where Meg worked, and William wrote her a small note, which he gave to one of the waitresses. She ran out of the kitchen, crying, and grabbed onto him, not letting go.

Around one in the morning, Meg, William and I decided to go swimming. We all stripped down and waded in. The air and water were still warm from the day's heat wave. But I soon got cold, and started shivering in the water, to the point of clicking my teeth. I felt someone behind me. Legs, arms and a large chest came and wrapped themselves around my scared back and body. I never felt so comfortable.

After Meg went to sleep at 3:30 in the morning, and I had woken from my nightmares, I stood up and motioned to William to get up and look. The sun had started coming up.

The thing I remember the most about that night, is that everytime he kissed me, I swore that I was kissing a different mouth. I could never tell where his lips were, and who I was kissing. This feeling would stay for a long time.)


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