I waited forty-two years for someone to take this photo

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I could stare at this photo for days. Maybe longer.

Last week my girlfriend and I got tired of being stuck in our little village. So, while her oldest son was with his father on their court-mandated visit, the two of us packed up Victor and headed for Ottawa for shawarma at Shawarma King on Bank Street.

It’s kind of our place. I introduced my girlfriend to the delights of a beef plate when we first started dating. Now she’s addicted to the garlic.

Before we got to the restaurant we walked up Bank Street to Parliament Hill. The four of us go for regular walks in our village, but there are only so many variations on ‘there and back again’ here. And we’ve pretty much done all of them twenty times over.

It was the first time she’d walked that far down / up Bank Street, which still seems weird to me. I lived in Ottawa for ten years before moving to Toronto, and then back here — with a few stops in between, so Bank Street between the Glebe and The Hill has been ‘the back of my hand’ familiar for most of my life.

There’s even a building on the corner of Bank and Something that my step-father (the architect) designed. So it was fun to play tour guide.

When we got to Parliament Hill we sat around the Centennial Flame — Victor managed to toss a few chicken McNuggets into the flame, which I thought was hilarious — and I took some photos of my girlfriend and our son sitting on the edge. Then she insisted on taking one of us, and this photo happened.

And I think it’s just… awesome.

I have a few other photos of the two of us, which my girlfriend also took, that I really like. Including one that I like almost as much as this one. But most of the shots of us are… not good. Either my gut’s in the way, or it looks like I haven’t washed in a week, or something’s just wrong.

But this one… that’s what the two of us look like all the time in my head.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in crazy people with no pants, Health, Little Victor, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Mental Health, No Post Day, Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to I waited forty-two years for someone to take this photo

  1. Melanie says:

    I agree. Beautiful pic!
    Would love to hear how you are doing. Send me an email soon to catch me up. Miss you. 🙂

  2. Rhiannon says:

    That’a a heart-warming picture, one to be proud of!

  3. PiedType says:

    Aw, what a great pic! Can’t have too many family photos. Even the ones you don’t like today could be precious to you in years to come. I never gave family photos much thought when I was younger, but now, with my parents gone, I’m saddened to have so few pictures of them. And the piles of photos of siblings when we were all younger and still living in the same city … where have all those gone?

    • Gabriel... says:

      …photos are so important to our memories, it’s hard to overstate that. I have very few from my childhood, even from my teen and early adult years. When I was eight-years old, and we… lets call it ‘escaped’ from the cult I grew up in, we left with barely anything. Even when we managed to get some of our stuff back there were two photos of me and my father, a few from a trip to the Rockies when I was four, a few others.

      When the group broke up they actually burned boxes and boxes of papers and photos… just tragic.

      It never made sense to me… my mother is / was a professional photographer, but there are so few photos of my brother and I. Maybe film was too expensive.

      When my paternal grandfather died two years ago, I had no photos of him. There’s something very wrong about that. I try to take a photo of my son, his brother and my partner as often as possible. It annoys them sometimes, but when I show them the photos later on they’re all happy with them…

      Memories… photos = memories. We need more of them.

  4. Heather says:

    simply BEAUTIFUL!!! I could see you having that as a screen saver. So glad to see the both of you in a pic.. now to have your whole family in one 😉 (I’m still waiting form mine too, I know the feeling)
    You should be extremely proud of how far you’ve come.. it’s not easy.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Hi, thanks. We do have a photo of the four of us together… but only two, and they were professionally taken. At my girlfriend / partner’s oldest son’s school they take the regular school photo, but for a few extra bucks the whole family can have their photos taken together. They do a great job… I should post it somewhere, the photo they took of the two boys is just outstanding in its cuteness.

      You should be extremely proud…

      …sometimes I am. Sometimes I think about the journey from there to here, and have a moment or two of disbelief that I’ve made it this far. And it definitely hasn’t been easy… thanks for noticing.

  5. Cute pic. Geez, how old is he now?

    And it’s Shawarma’s King. Dammit.

    • Gabriel... says:

      HA! You totally lose! It’s Shawarma King… unless you go to their website, and then it’s Shawarma’s King. But if you go to their other website, it’s Shawarma King and I’m TOTALLY right. And, of course, the name on the sign is Shawarma King, so I totally WIN! DOMINATE!!

      The boy will be three-years old on 12/12/12. Then the world ends.

  6. Finola says:

    That is a lovely photo Gabriel, and so is the one of you and your grand uncle. You look really happy.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks Finola. I think I was still thinking about the chicken McNuggets Victor had tossed into the flame.

      My grandfather wanted a photo of his brother and I together, which I thought was odd and great. It’s the only one I have. Any time I could spend together, in the same room, with my grandfather and his little brother was a good time. They had great stories, usually from opposite viewpoints — public sector vs. private sector. They loved talking hockey and politics, and they were usually right about both, and they were always interested in my opinion.

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