Happy new year. Being marked by Big City Living

Published 17, Jan, 2018
Author // Dennis Battler

Toronto poz guy Dennis Battler: 'Hi Robert To bring you up to date I've attached a "summary" of sorts ... Possibly this review sent to a friend could be manipulated into an article. Today's word is "painting." Happy new year.

Happy new year. Being marked by Big City Living

Hello Sheila,

To respond to your email thoroughly (I believe you appreciate detail as much as I) I’m sending along a reply I wrote to Eric whom I worked with at Of Things Past. Eric also had a Whippet, Hudson, whom Shanti visited with. One day a week for a year when I set up the Rosedale store, Hudson and Shanti were canine staples there with many fans. Eric kindly sent this email:

“Greetings Dennis.

I wanted to reach out and send along well wishes for the holidays.  I know how challenging it can be at this time of year.... particularly for those who have lost loved ones over the course. It is at this time of year that I particularly miss a small bundle of warmth and of love beside me on the sofa...and I would imagine it to be the same for you.

I hope that you have been able to find peaceful ground to move forward on post Shanti...and I hope that it guides you through the holidays and into the New Year.”

Christmas Letter:

If I were predisposed to writing an annual Christmas letter, efficiently and fully updating people I know of my life’s unfolding, it would require a shift in the importance I place upon my life’s unfolding. More accurately, that shift would be to believe my life’s unfolding is of any importance to those whom I know. It would also require full disclosure. Am I there yet? Maybe not.

If that shift occurred, this would be that letter.

Hello Eric,

Thank you for your email. I appreciate your effort and thoughtfulness. Indeed, this evening, Christmas Eve, I’ve enjoyed annually with Shanti walking slowly through Cabbagetown, both early and late evening in whatever the weather, enjoying the atmosphere, lights, and open views into festivities of good will (eased into being by settings of fruitful imaginations. And healthy bank accounts.)

My thoughts went to this scene just now when out on an errand. Feeling his absence has eased through continued distractions of detritus 2017 has released. For my personal account of the past year (14 months is more accurate) link here to my last article for the online publication PositiveLite.com - For full dramatic effect, read the article first before reading on. It will make the read much juicier! 

Back to Now:

Following true to its nature, 2017 is finishing being marked by Big City Living. Bed bugs. Just as I was securing a Greyhound Foster-to-Adopt these little bastards with their might derailed the arrival of the next furry friend. A completion to 3 months of Rescue Group research, impossible do-gooders, and obnoxious to slanderous FB replies / posts received. Sanity showed up briefly in perfect timing – an arrival of Greyhounds in the next few days of my initial contact. Zipping along, application filled out, telephone interview conducted and home visit scheduled. and moved up to accommodate a potential delivery of “Fisher.” Home visit brought forward to Friday Dec 7 to fit delivery of Fisher, scheduled to arrive on Sun Dec 9. (See Fisher here)

With bedbugs it was impossible to include a larger crate and a dog unfamiliar with home life. There really is a limit to the chaos I’m willing to engage.

So far I’ve spent 2 weeks work hours on this nightmare and at least $200 in associated cleaning costs. First spray was Wed Dec 13, follow up spray is on Wed Dec 27. Merry Fucking Christmas.

The one bright light is my recent blood tests. With increased medication ruling my eating schedule (now 3 pills a day, one pill is 2x a day– massive headaches and insomnia if not taken with food) I’m back to the Holy Grail of HIV, Undetectable. Even if we’ve slipped from first place of the magic formula known as one-pill-a-day.

To salvage the upheaval I’ve concluded painting holds the key to my bright new future awaiting me in 2018. The other highlight is the co-op has agreed to buy paint. They would also paint if I can wait until the end of January. We know that is not an option now don’t we? 2018 will begin with a paint brush in one hand and a lint roller in the other. Pet lint rollers from the dollar store shaped like a paint roller, work wonders in gathering un-seen minute foes ready to suck the life out of me! If you think your floors are clean I dare you to lint roller them!

So there you have it Eric, burdened to bits but not breaking. Thankfully my meditation and Kundalini Yoga practice, Acupuncture, Massage, Esoteric Acupuncture and Thai Massage are effective.  Is there really a new world waiting? We’ll find out.

Bees sound great. I visited a Bee Farm in B.C. in May 2014 and thought “this is it!” The fellow was a potter as well. I bought honey and a pottered honey pot which I love and use daily.

Merry Christmas – BEE Well in 2018!

Best wishes,


About the Author

Dennis Battler

Dennis Battler

“I’ve returned to my love for words. Twenty year’s pursuit of connection with my Realized Self, presented in mysticism and Eastern Practices, informs my writing. My intention? To expand consciousness of both self and the audience.

Life's learning? Life’s zenith rollercoaster is normal. There’s nothing wrong. Surprise. Single with Pets.”

Dennis lives in Toronto Ontario and has been living with HIV since 2013.