I met her through her older half sister, D (yeah, most of their family have names that start with the initial D). We worked together at the CN Tower in 80's. Her sister was heavily made up, had Tina Turner hair and bright red lipstick on her lush lips. She wore bright flashy clothes and hats. Amazing hats. I remember the first time I saw her without makeup and I was stunned, she looked 15 years younger and her skin was silky smooth. When I was looking for a new job and a new place to live, her sister (another "D" (Devadatta) not only got me a job where she worked, but she got me into her old building at High Park. She was totally unlike her sister. She was into all sorts of new age stuff and even introduced me into one of those weekend seminars where you cry and scream, forgive your parents and meditate to the colours of the rainbow. She was a total seeking spirit. She was friends with all her old boyfriends. She was the only woman I had met that actually had "lovers". I met a few of them and invariably they were attracted to me. I don't know why, I never found any of them even remotely attractive, but I was totally out to lunch about guys and I figured if D was nice to them then I should be nice to them. I had no idea that they would misinterpret my friendliness as flirting. I was constantly hanging out with guys that I considered "friends" who had other things on their minds. I was clueless, but she never held it against me.
About once a month we would go out and go dancing at the restaurant club called The Big Bamboo. They had a fabulous reggae band that we totally loved. We would take the subway down, pay $5 to get in and buy a beer or two and split a cab home. We called ourselves the P.P.P. The Positive Pussy Party. We could laugh and carry on while we waited in line and once, a young woman was so taken with our spirit that she asked if she could hang out with us for the evening! That night we had a great time, dancing our asses off and at one point we heard some Jamaican voices behind us. When we turned around, we were surprised to see Chinese faces. Well, if you know anything about Jamaica is that they do have a Chinese minority that speak patois with the best of them. Man, we partied with those guys into the wee hours! We had such a good time winding up and dirty dancing.
Her older sister eventually moved to the States, but when I went to Toronto to visit, D and I would get together and sit at our favourite restaurant in Little Italy, "Midtown" and drink wine and eat tapas. D and I always talked about all sorts of things.
I remember sitting on her back porch in of the many places that she lived... listening to the patois as she filled me in on what was going on with her latest cancer treatment and her crazy family. We talked about life and love and karma and the universe. She was a person that you could tell anything. She would not judge you.
Earlier this year, I went back home for a few days and she bought a bottle of prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and we had Chinese food. I was so happy to be with her. I never considered her not beating cancer. She was single, she had no children and she seemed perfectly content. She never planned. She just "put things out to the universe" and things would take care of themselves.
She passed away last Monday. I was on a plane one day later and attended her funeral on Wednesday and just came home yesterday. As much as I wanted her back, I knew that her ancestors had called her home. It's just hard to think that I will never hear her laugh again, hear her singsong patois, drink prosecco with her again. Hope the beach is nice and hot where you are D and Bob Marley is playing your favourite song.