William W. Berry
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Letters From Peggy
July 17, 2002
Quentin, Are you about 36 years old and from the Montreal area? If so, I would appreciate your forwarding this message on to your mother. If not, just delete this. You and she were on a road trip in Maine back then and picked up a hitchhiker, either one Ed Claflin or one Lenny Bloch, I forget, both newly-found friends of mine, whom I haven't seen or heard from since those days, who brought you and your mother to our "total loss farm", where you both stayed for several days. You were about 4, your mother and Ed or Lenny and I about 23, and I taught you how to saw and split firewood. I recall those few days nostalgically as a magical time in which total strangers became almost a family. I recall your name because I wrote on the wall before you left, "Quentin Royle stayed here for a while in September", and for some reason the phrase just stuck in my head. I don't even recall your mother's first name or the circumstances of your leaving, or your destination. But my reason for contacting you is not entirely nostalgic although there is some of that; its more like curious. I am and have of late been concerned with and studying and trying to understand the psychological bases of people's fear of the different and particularly the unknown stranger. It is in the context of anti-discrimination work in my neighborhood in Buffalo, protecting services and homes for the poor and disabled from attack by xenophobic "neighbors." I view our time in September, 1970 (and other similar experiences through the years) as a sort of model for avoiding that sort of phobic reaction and wonder if your mother could, if it suits her, share her feelings and ideas with me. In particular, I would like to know if she agrees that four strangers became a virtual family and, if so, how does she feel it happened? How did we overcome the "hard-wired" fear and distrust so quickly? Was it that we were young? Was it the times and, if so, what was it about the time? Or maybe it was just that we weren't so different. I'm not looking for a formula, just some sort of validation (or invalidation--maybe I was just infatuated with your mother, for instance) of what I have believed to be a realistically-grounded, even if short-lived, vision guiding my efforts in the community. I guess I just want to hear another point of view. Thanking you and your mother in advance, sincerely, William W. Berry.
July 19, 2002
My son Quentin, after thinking long and hard, with the automatic distrust
you mentioned, but also because he doesn't want any harm to come to me,
forwarded the message.
I remember those days, too, not in too much detail, but vividly nonetheless.
My thoughts may not fit in with any theories. I think I come from a trusting
family. I never expected any harm from anyone, and I have been continually
surprised and disappointed in people. I spent many years in the "helping"
professions, perhaps like you, and ended up being burnt out. Now I still
teach English to immigrants, who are the nicest clients, and I have become a
translator (French to English). I deal with fewer and fewer people, and I am
starting to develop a healthy (I think it's healthier for me, anyway)
distrust to protect me from exploitive types.
Yet I have lived in some "communal" arrangements. Right now I have a young
boarder - actually he doesn't even pay rent - without Canadian papers. He
comes from Guinea. And I think he is just a little bit exploitive. Also, the
other two apartments in the building are occupied by friends. I called them
when the apartments were available and introduced them to the landlord.
(Apartments are getting very hard to find in Montreal). We share a big back
yard. That is, I do all the work and they enjoy the space. One of them
leaves his back door unlocked and we have each other's spare keys. I pay the
landlord in cash and don't even ask for a receipt. He shows up anytime after
the first of the month and we talk, he fixes something, and the guy in the
basement apartment usually pays him half now and half on the fifteenth. (He
is a guy from Somalia that I met playing pool in a bar, and we became
friends just like that. I make lots of superficial "pool" friends.) We live
in a low-rent section of Montreal, not far from downtown, and it is full of
immigrants from all over the world. Just now, Canada needs immigration
because the birthrate is very low. They are all represented here, and the
food shopping is great! You see brilliant saris and African dresses, hear
the music of the world through open windows, and so on. I have no fear of
the neighbours - quite the contrary - because I feel that they are not
judging me so much, that everyone has their own culture, that we are living
in different realities, that I don't really belong in their circle. They see
me, but they can't "place" me socially. They are concerned with getting
established and educating the next generation. Sometimes the men approach me
late at night, thinking I must be a prostitute because their culture views
women in a protective light. But they are just asking, if you know what I
mean. There is very little problem with violence here. Most of the violence
takes place between biker gangs or mafia groups, and they don't operate,
openly at any rate, in this area. They do operate in the sense that
restaurants commonly pay protection in Montreal, as far as I know.
So I guess you could say I am still living out some of those ideals, having
found a place in a big, western city where "we are the world." I had a lot
of relationships with men from other countries, all of which were
interesting and instructive, but most of which ended with me being used one
way or another. You could say this was a character flaw of mine. I have
never gone for the big bucks, preferring to work for government institutions
such as hospitals, clinics, detention centres, schools, and universities. I
like free time, too. I give everything away once I'm tired of it (clothes,
books, gadgets). I have learned not to lend CDs, but I make cassettes for
friends if they want. I have fewer and fewer real friends because I got
tired of giving and helping and not receiving when I felt I needed
something. Now I tend to do for myself more. I want to accomplish more. I
don't want to waste so much time with other people's problems. I spend a lot
of time with my grandson (3 years old). He is my daughter's son. I feel I
was too immature when I had my kids, and I am trying to do a better job as a
grandmother. Besides, he is the light of my life.
This is getting a bit long. I have not really answered your questions. But
you made me think about idealism and what it is, really. I am not sure, but
maybe for me it was a way of seeking approval by being of service to others.
A lack of self-confidence. I am now trying to develop my talents and be more
productive. Perhaps I will write someday. I am learning to set limits on
what other people take from me. And when I offer help or whatever, I am
trying to give it without motives, i.e., not hoping to get something back
like love or acceptance.
I remember that you were very good with Quentin, who was a difficult child.
Most people quickly lost patience with him. I felt quite isolated from all
the action that was in the air in those days - saddled with two children and
a husband who basically didn't like me, with too much responsibility too
young. I was surprised and grateful to meet someone who didn't think it was
a drag to spend time with a hyperactive, oversensitive, demanding,
short-fused little boy. On the contrary, you seemed to find him precious. It
changed my outlook, and I thank you for that.
Shortly after I got back to Montreal, I separated from my husband, and we
shared the kids back and forth. In those days, the mother usually got
custody, but of course I had to be cutting-edge in that too, and now I
regret not spending more time with them.
I still meet strangers easily - in my classes, when I go out salsa dancing,
in translation work, playing pool - and I still hope for the best, but have
become more cautious in my expectations.
But enough for now.
Peggy (my official name is Margaret).
July 20, 2002
Peggy, I can't thank you enough for your heartfelt and prompt response to my
letter. It's so exciting when a shot in the dark like that actually works!
Peculiar to the modern world of searches and computers and your son's unique
name, I guess. Also, I want to thank you for being so responsive to my
concerns. I think you're onto it when you talk about the way you were
brought up to be not afraid of others. You've helped me. Adrian Piper, the
artist, finds that xenophobia is "hard-wired" and that it is overcome in the
cosmopolitan experience. Thank you for your history, too. I am also into
"human services," having been a legal services lawyer for 22 years, doing
mainly health care issues, eligbility for and coverage within the various
welfare and insurance plans which proliferate south of the border. I hope I
didn't mislead you into thinking that the attacks on social services here
were violent. That potential is always there (Hitler went after the disabled
children first), but we're fighting mainly political, legal and psychological
battles to maintain services in neighborhoods that consist of all sorts of
income levels and cultures and apparently consequent mistrust. Montreal
sounds so nurturing and varied. That's one thing I've always noticed and
theorized about Toronto: that it's neighborhoods are varied and thriving and
alive because of immigration policy, as contrasted with the US and Buffalo,
in particular. I will write more in the very near future. Thank you again
for being so responsive. Bill.
July 21, 2002
Yes, please do write more. Peggy
July 22, 2002
Don't make the mistake of idealizing Toronto or any other part of Canada.
Just last week there was a hate murder of an Orthodox Jew, and Indian
immigrants ("Pakis") have frequently been attacked in Toronto. For hundreds
of years, the only jobs for blacks in Canada were maids and railroad
porters. Chinese railroad workers were not allowed to get married, and just
to come here, they had to pay an enormous "head tax." Japanese were interned
in World War II. The Native population has been victim to a tremendous
amount of abuse, neglect and prejudice. In Quebec there is a lot of tension
between young Haitians and Quebecois, between young Jamaicans and the
English, and young blacks and everybody, especially apparent on the public
transport system (buses). And don't forget the tension between English and
French. That's a very long story that we have been living with for
centuries, and it's heating up. There have been cases of Arabs being
targeted with remarks, and so on. The hiring policies for all the Quebec
public service jobs have, until very recently, resulted in almost 100%
Quebecois-manned positions (meaning French-speaking, with French-sounding
last names - in other words, I wouldn't qualify although I was born here).
(And the expression "manned" is appropriate, because although Quebecois
women are extremely liberated - they tend not to get married and when they
do they keep their family names - there is still a long way to go before
proper representation in all job categories and levels).
As for the disabled, it's the same here as anywhere. We would rather not see
them around all the time. The buses have been converted for wheelchairs
within the last ten years - not all of them, but the schedules are available
at the bus stops - and most public buildings have been adapted.
One thing I have noticed, and it's that some recent immigrant groups are
more tolerant with the disabled. They consider "different" people in their
midst as kind of gift from God, varying from culture to culture as to the
meaning (it's a test, they are special people, they are put here to make us
kind, etc.). They tend to keep them at home because they have extended
families, and they participate in family gatherings, outings and so on.
Probably without that extended family, they would be in institutions like
I get the impression that our culture is too specialized. Couples are
isolated, the old, the young and the disabled are put in special places, TV
programs are targeted towards smaller and ever more specialized audiences,
etc. You can see the difference in my neighbourhood. The whole family, say
from India or Sri Lanka, is relaxing on the "greenspace" in front of
Loblaw's on a Sunday. The kids are running around playing, not sitting right
next to the parents. There is always a grandmother or grandfather or older
sibling taking care of the younger ones, and the women are free to chat
together for a little while. I keep waiting for a sign to go up saying "No
Soccer Playing" or "No Running", but so far, the Quebec government seems to
be trying to win over the loyalty of the new immigrants, trying to get them
to identify with the "Quebecois" culture. Which is very funny. They are all
desperate to learn English so they can get jobs anywhere in North America,
but Quebec tries to force everyone to go to school in French and not learn
English. So private schools are booming. It's a big controversy here.
I guess the only reason it seems less prejudiced and violent here than in
Buffalo is because for a long time, there were not so many immigrants here
other than from Europe. Now we are starting to experience the colour,
culture and language barriers in earnest. I think it will only get worse as
more and more people come in from India, Vietnam, Africa, South America, the
Middle East, and then there are the Russian Jews. I hear the English
teachers saying things like, "The Sri Lankans are nice, they smile and they
don't make trouble, but the Russian Jews are trouble-makers." or "The
Chinese students are smart but they don't like to practice speaking." "The
Arab students are too demanding and they interrupt all the time." To me,
prejudice is always there, lurking under the liberal mask, waiting to come
out at the appropriate provocation.
Although my family was basically trusting, I remember my mother's automatic
reaction towards anyone from another culture, no matter how slightly
different. For example, Irish catholics. She also mocked anyone who had a
trace of an accent. Actually she was quite prejudiced, probably through lack
of exposure. Canadians of her generation were isolated from international
exposure, due to the extremely dominant white English culture. She seemed to
feel that everyone else was kind of funny and not as intelligent as her. My
father was a lot more open, and I think it could have had something to do
with his love for music. That same love of music has bridged the gap between
me and many a cultural group.
I have African friends who are afraid of Arabs, and Arab friends who don't
respect blacks. My Italian and Greek friends harbour all kinds of fears and
prejudices, especially towards blacks. Then there are the women of Montreal
who say, don't go out with a Haitian, or an African, or a Latino, or an
Arab. They'll treat you badly.
Does it all come down to ignorance and lack of self-confidence? Or is that
July 23, 2002
Peggy, thanks again. I'm going to have to spend some time to do justice in responding to your observations. Seven months of life in Maine was an object lesson for me not only in not fearing strangers, but also in the futility of attempts at self-sufficiency. I rejoined society in December, 1970, when it got real cold. Which reminds me: it seems that my intellectual obsession of late, theorizing on the causes of and direction of paths leading out of this fear, is just part of the very much broader inquiry into the human being as animal. Many sub-subjects there! One of my not very original theories is that pain avoidance, the evolved animal survival mechanism embedded in all of us, is at the root of this xenophobia. I guess the humans living in Canada are animals too. I think I do tend to idealize Canadians as being more civilized, even though I should know better because my maternal grandfather was from St. Catharines and grandmother from Lion's (sic!) Head on the Bruce Peninsula, not to mention my favorite Chinese restaurant's being in Ft. Erie. Your detailing the sordid incidents there of discrimination of all sorts was helpful to me, particularly as you relate it to economic subjugation. I haven't got so far in my thinking as to concretely relate slavery and its variations to this pain avoidance idea. I guess it would be something on the order of the need for security, having enough to eat and stay warm, in some sense pain avoidance, leading to exploitation of other, perhaps less-warlike groups and individuals, to provide that security, the whole process justified because of the oppressed class' being different, and the evolution of the viceroy (trust him because he's like you) model to enforce and reinforce the power relation. Foucault (but he's French!) describes these power relations, but I've never been able to wade through enough of any of his work to know if he even speculates as to their origins. Maybe you've been able to. Understanding the origins, I think, can possibly instruct on how to avoid the terrible, inhuman(e) consequences of these fearful primitive responses to the environment. And that would speak to your "ignorance" and "lack of self-confidence" explanations for the fear, which would mean we're not irrevocably condemned to those awful consequences of our hard-wired fears. But I also think that looking for models of non-fearfulness, as I think they tend to appear in everyday life for most of us, can lead in this direction. That's what got me thinking of examples from my own life which I could study and ask questions about and led to the e-mail. It's difficult to discuss these issues with people you're around all the time because it's hard to remember when you were strangers. And its probably even more difficult to find others you're not familiar with to share ideas concerning common experiences. So I feel very lucky just to be able to engage in this exchange! More soon. Bill.
July 24, 2002
Sometimes when I am lost or confused I read the works of Krishnamurti, an
eastern philosopher, and he addresses the concept of fear. It's his core
idea. He talks about how the mind creates fear, mainly by forming ideas that
conflict with reality. That is, when you are about to be run over by a bus,
you just step aside instinctively, without thinking. He calls this
intelligence, and it is the perception of reality and the appropriate
response to it. But when you start thinking about buses, you might become
afraid to cross the street, or even to go out. You might start buying
insurance to protect your family in case you get hit by a bus, and so on.
You start living in fear of the future.
His other core idea is the folly of holding on to the past, which is, in his
view, the same thing - the mind creating a structure that is not reality. In
this holding onto the past, he includes all our cultural conditioning,
history and experiences. This information makes us construct ideas in our
minds that we want to hold on to, and ultimately leads to fear of the
future. For example, your culture tells you that a woman should cover her
hair, and when you see women walking around showing their hair, you fear
that something bad will happen. I am putting it to you in a very simplified
way, but it can apply to every situation. It's not a religion, just a way of
viewing reality and how our brains work.
So fear of strangers or something that is different, in his view, would
result from our mind's constructs that tell us what to expect. When we
encounter something we don't expect, it frightens us. We are afraid of what
might happen, since it doesn't conform to what we want to hold on to, for
our psychological security. He claims that we all try to hold on to our
psychological security, some by following doctrines, some by storing up
material goods, by gaining power over others, by entering into a possessive
love relationship, and on and on. He says that when the reality does not
conform to our ideas, there is a gap that is produced, a kind of
disappointment and frustration that leads to violence. Even trying to change
someone you love is a kind of violence. I like his ideas because they always
help me when I am disappointed or confused.
His thinking transcends cultural situations. They can apply to any country,
any situation. Maybe they are too broad and general for your purposes, but I
think they make sense.
Don't mistake me for a religious nut. I just like his ideas and they help me
make sense of things.
July 25, 2002
Peggy, I have a copy of "The First and Last Freedom" sitting on my bookshelf at home, only partially read years and years ago. I'll look at it again tonight and let you know what I think. Is there another of his works that you recommend? Thank you again for your insights, which already are enough to keep me going for a long while. I'm still trying to understand how such natural, protective reactions as stepping aside from a bus or hiding at the approach of a band of strangers can lead to such destructive consequences as ethnic violence or economic subjugation of one group by another. Sounds like K. has worked on this and I'm grateful for the reference. Bill.
July 26, 2002
Thanks again, Peggy. I read the Q&A "On Fear" and the chapter entitled "Fear" last night, then proceeded to read Orwell's introduction and the first several chapters of "The First and Last Freedom." Your characterization of his thought was very accurate. It seems, and tell me if you agree, that what motivates his quest for self-knowledge and open-mindedness is the wretched state of society, wars, discrimination and poverty in particular, that he wants to change that and feels that if all individuals study and know themselves, their society will benefit, too. I found myself identifying with most of what he said, despite my view of myself as a person with very strong opinions and an almost sacrosanct belief in the necessity of economic equality as a precondition of freedom (to study yourself, for example)for everyone. Despite having studied philosophy in college from 1965-1969, I first heard of Krishnamurti after college, in the summer of 1969, when I was visiting an old elementary school friend, Paul Copperman, in Berkeley, who was into him at that time. Since then, according to his brother, Paul has gotten into teaching speed reading and making money, and I haven't seen or heard from him since then despite making several attempts. Remembering Paul's recommendation, I bought this "First and Last Freedom" book when I happened upon it in a used bookstore about ten years ago, looked at it a little, and put it away until last night. It helps and I thank you. Bill.
July 27, 2002
Yes, I agree with you. But I think I should start reading some new people.
I've been using those ideas for a long time. Not that there's anything wrong
with them, but I don't want to become calcified.
Anyway, as I understand it, the intelligence "gap" is produced from
frustrated desires and expectations. And thence comes anger and violence.
Desire is wanting something that is not currently in existence, and if that
something is not possible to attain, frustration, anger and violence ensue.
Even if the desired thing or person is attained, new desires spring up like
weeds - to change the person, to change yourself, change the situation,
obtain more and more, etc.
Expectations are similar to desire. It is an idea that reality "should" be a
certain way. And it produces the corresponding frustration, anger and
violence when reality refuses to conform.
For example, instead of acknowledging that we are greedy, violent, jealous,
or angry, we try to fight and deny such feelings, trying to be a good
person. According to Krishnamurti, this creates a division between what is
and what we think should be. He advocates instead just allowing the feeling
to flower and die naturally, without acting on it. Admit what you are
feeling. Once you are aware of it, it loses power over you. By denying,
controlling, fighting, trying to change it, or intellectualizing it, you
give the feeling power. You feed into it. It takes energy.
Think of how tired you get when you try to block out a loud noise. It's
something like that.
He wants to change the world, yes, but first by admitting that we are
violent, unfair, cruel, greedy, insecure and all that. With awareness comes
intelligence, he believes. Once you are aware that you are greedy, for
example, it is never the same when you want to acquire something. You are
conscious now of what you are doing. The greed has less and less hold on
At least, that is the theory.
I've seen practical examples of this in dieting theories. The idea is to be
aware of why you are eating. Are you hungry, sad, mad, insecure, and so on?
Or some other motivation. Instead of counting calories or going on extreme
regimes, you figure out why you need to eat all the time.
Krishnamurti would say that a controlling religion or political stance is
like a strict diet, that represses and controls, but never addresses the
But I would really like to discover some other interesting philosophers.
July 29, 2002
Dear Peggy, Am I correct in thinking that Krishnamurti's recommendation for an activity in which I could productively engage if my goal, let's say, were to allow the siting of a home for retarded or mentally-ill adults in my neighborhood, when it is opposed by the block club on essentially xenophobic grounds, would be to accept and observe my own basic xenophobic nature, encourage others in my neighborhood to do the same, and then wait? Or maybe I'm simplifying this too much? My theory on a productive course of action in that circumstance would lead me to encourage the potential residents of the home to attend a block club meeting and explain why they would want to live there. That second course, I think, embraces a certain level of acceptance of my own and others' hard-wired fears of the unknown, but at the same time, at another level, it is saying we can work on those fears and through exposure to, and thus familiarity with, that which we had feared, and thereby reduce the violence which the fear leads to. I'm not sure if I can't put that in K's terms because it doesn't jibe with what he's saying or because I'm not quite getting what he says. I think he's saying that the enlightened course is to understand, accept and wait, in which case I would have to disagree with him. Maybe you can help clarify this for me. Foucault describes power relationships and is a philosopher whom I wish were easier to read. Perhaps it's the effect of translation and he is less dense in French. I appreciate your points of view on these matters. Bill.
September 6, 2002
Peggy, I've been away from the computer for two weeks, trying to relax and
have fun---swimming, golfing, kayaking, reading,watching movies and things
like that at my family's cottage about 60 miles southeast of Buffalo. I
experienced "culture shock" coming back to Buffalo and its noise and traffic
and crowdedness, which helps me understand some of the fears rural and
suburban people have of the City. I just read in the paper yesterday how New
York State dropped plans to open a halfway house for recovering mentally-ill
people in a small, rural village south of here because of neighborhood
opposition. It made me wish I had had a chance to speak at the meeting held
in June for the community to air comments on the proposed location, and,
again, made me sad that the same prejudices afflict non-yuppies in the
hinterland. The State had made the point at the meeting that 85% of the 20
or so people to move into the residence would be from that Village! People
even fear their own, unexamined selves! Even sadder, there were no reports
of supporters of the project other than the State presenters. I would have
tried to contact them. I plan to keep in touch with you, anyway, and hope to
write again soon. Bill
September 6, 2002
Today, an ugly incident. I like my landlord a lot. He's a Greek immigrant, a
businessman, but not greedy. I always pay the rent in cash with no receipt,
and it's all very trusting. But this morning he phoned me at 8:00 a.m. to
say that he had counted my rent and it was short $210.00! I couldn't really
understand what could have happened. I told him I had taken out the money
last Friday and kept it in a drawer, and when he came around last night, I
just gave it to him without counting it again. So I wasn't sure. I thought
maybe he had mixed up the rolls or something. Maybe dropped it, or whatever.
He suggested that maybe my roommate had been stealing money from me
regularly, like what happened to a friend of his.
Because he is black, my roommate, from Guinea.
He also assumed that he is my boyfriend, and that therefore I am being taken
Well, I had to ask my roommate, of course, but I was sure in my heart that
he had not stolen or borrowed without my knowledge, and I was sure I had
given some fifties in the roll of money. The landlord, Steve, said there was
only a bunch of twenties and two fives. How could I confuse fifties, which
are orange in Canada, with fives, which are blue? Besides, the bank machine
doesn't give out fives, only twenties, fifties, and up, and I took this
money from the bank machine and kept it specially for the rent.
Anyway, we finally agreed to split the difference and pay about $110 each.
So he came by, and he showed me the twenties and the fives in a bunch, and
then he pulled out a roll with some fifties in it so we could compare the
colours, and I said, that looks more like the rent I gave you. It added up
to exactly $480, the amount of the rent. He was really embarrassed and gave
me back the $110 instantly. It seems he had given the wrong roll to his wife
to count, but when he phoned to tell me that some was missing, and I told
him I had given him the roll I had put in my drawer since last Friday, he
immediately suspected that someone was stealing from me, namely my roommate.
It goes to show that people will always suspect the most recent immigrants,
the darkest ones too, when something goes wrong. But it turned out well. I
was forced to ask my roommate about it, but I also told him that I didn't
believe that he had taken anything, that I was sure that I had given the
landlord the roll with fifties in it, the right amount, and that there were
no fives in the roll, and that I was convinced that something had gone wrong
on the landlord's side. My roommate thanked my over and over for my trust in
him. He said most people would have accused him and not taken his word. I
guess he has had some unpleasant experiences in the past.
And he is not my boyfriend, all appearances aside. It is probably hard for
anyone to believe, since he is 26 and very cute and very well built, that I
am not sleeping with him. But I am not. He pays rent, and we are friends and
confidants. But of course, there are all the sexual stereotypes at play
here. Because he is African, male and young, he must be sleeping with me, a
single woman of 56. People assume that I could not be celibate and there
must be some sort of "agreement" between us. It fulfills the fantasy of the
older woman and the younger gigolo, I guess, and black to boot!
However, he is Muslim, well brought up, and interested in finding a wife and
having kids. We have a special friendship, lots of laughs, do a lot of
dancing together, but we do not have a sexual relationship, and I am
actually helping and encouraging him to meet suitable women.
Although I don't really care what people think, it is sobering to realize
that everyone also probably has a stereotyped scenario in their heads about
our relationship, and it is frightening to think that he could be so readily
accused of a crime. And he doesn't have any papers, so I am afraid about the
immigration authorities at times.
Anyway, just some more examples of the routine prejudices that burden even
very decent people.
So there you have it: the nicest, kindest people have the most irrational
fears about blacks, and, I guess, all other people perceived as "different."
And living in the big city (if you can conceive of Montreal as a big city)
doesn't help, finally.
Good luck with your endeavours. If there is anything I can do to help, count
And I'm glad you had some rest and relaxation.