lundi 17 octobre 2005

Requiem for Thora

Yesterday, Suzie called me while I was at work, to tell me that she had bad news, that Thora was dead.
Thora was living in Vancouver. She was working in movie theater, where she was a manager. Thora is the one who called Suzie, back in April 2001 when we were just arrived in Vancouver to begin a new adventure, not even speaking English really well, and looking for jobs. Thora called Suzie for an interview to work at the Capitol 6, downtown.
She was the one who welcomed Suzie at the Cap 6, showing her the place, making her feeling comfortable.
When you move to a new city, trying to learn a new language, a lot of things could go wrong, or a lot of things could end up well. And often, you don’t control where things are going, often, you’re experience will depend on the people you meet.
Thora was a good person, she was really good to Suzie, not only then, for that first day at a new job in a new language, but all the way Suzie had worked for the Capitol 6, even after she went back in 2004.
Thora didn’t have any family in Vancouver that I know of. She was saying that the Capitol 6 crew was her family, that Suzie and the others were her children. So she liked to treat them, offering little gifts, like lottery tickets or sweets…
I’d probably seen Thora a few times at the Capitol 6 before we actually met. I this first time talking was probably somewhere around the mid-summer 2001. But I remember her for the movie poster charity project she was holding once a year.
Once a year, Thora was putting a lot of her free time to sort and classified the old movie posters at the Cap 6, and there was a lot of them, believe me. She was doing all that work for a good cause; once a year, there was a few days when you could just drop at the Capitol 6 and choose some posters and leave there any amount of money you wanted as a donation for charity. Life sometimes depends on little gesture. Pretty much all the pictures that I have of the two flats I lived in Vancouver in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005 showed movie posters on the walls. Some of these posters were there because of Thora’s project for charity.
One day last week, Thora didn’t show up at work, and neither she called in sick. It wasn’t like her at all. Working in movie theater was her life, the crew was her family, and that day, she wasn’t there because she was gone.
I didn’t know Thora that much after all, I’ve never worked myself at the Capitol 6 but at the same time Suzie was working there, I was myself working in movie theater as well, and after a while, was getting to know all the close friends Suzie had at the Cap.
But Thora was a part of my life, she meant something because she was so good with Suzie, and she is still part of my memories of Vancouver, of the memories I have of the life I built there over the years.
So I was really sad when Suzie told me she was gone. Her gone, a part of my Vancouver life, a part of me, was gone too.
After my shift yesterday, Suzie and her brother Stephane, also part of my BC memories, joined me for a long walk in the streets of Montreal, under a light rain that reminded me of autumn in Vancouver. As we walked around, we stopped at the Cathedral to show it to Stephane, and there was a baptism there. Later on, as we made him visit the Basilica, I noticed that there was another baptism there.
Earlier on, I was thinking that beside my memories of Thora and the goodness of the woman, I was sad since I was feeling the world was short of one good person. Strangely, after seing the baptisms, I thought that with a little luck, maybe the world isn’t, or at least, we could still hope it’s not.
Back at the apartment for dinner, Suzie left her glass and we all drank to Thora, a good person.

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