March 19, 2020

Entering the Canadian border at Pearson International Terminal at 11 pm was not complicated as the news reports had suggested. I was trying to keep a lookout at where the Coronavirus checkpoints were. I couldn’t even find the dispensers for hand sanitizer after using the declaration kiosks, let alone people enforcing the social distancing practice in the line-up. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to be out of there quickly. Every other time I have arrived in YZZ, the line up for Canadians is always longer than for foreigners. Usually, it is at least a forty-five minutes wait, but tonight it was fifteen minutes. I was so early, which gave me more time to figure out where exactly I was going to be staying.

The night before my flight, my only two sisters refused to put me up. The oldest, Claudia, who’s a single mom and works for a call center, didn’t want me to quarantine with her because it could put her child and colleagues at risk. If I did bring the virus from LA, it would be highly likely I would pass it to them in her little apartment. My younger sister Dani works for ‘519’, which is an LGBTQ community center. She also couldn’t put her colleagues at risk. Both insisted I be in self-isolation for 15 days before seeing me, emphasis on the self. And though it did put me in an awkward position where I had to ask an old friend to host me, I could not dispute their stance. At the last minute, I had to phone a friend, someone who wasn’t a germ-a-fob. AL wouldn’t be able to. His apartment was cluttered with furniture from his late mother’s estate. He had just evicted his tenant out of the apartment below his so he could use it for extra storage. That apartment would not be available for me until April 1st, he suggested.

‘Both insisted I be in self-isolation for 15 days before seeing me.’

So I asked my long time friend Dee who was more than willing to take me in and welcomed me with a glass from a freshly opened box of wine. Dee is known to take in stray pets. This time was no different. When I arrived at her apartment, I met her latest companion. So I asked my long time friend Dee who was more than willing to take me in and welcomed me with a glass from a freshly opened box of wine. Dee is known to take in stray pets. This time was no different. When I arrived at her apartment, I met her latest companion. A tanned colored Chiuaua named Paloma greeted me with her open heart. It was love at first sight.

Dee found Paloma the chihuahua in a barn hiding out with a piglet.

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