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A dear friend of mine is going through a huge amount of emotional turmoil at the moment – a friend of his has been missing for a couple of weeks and there has been a poster campaign, to help find this friend. Skanda is quite popular in the Toronto Gay Community – well liked, sociable from what I understand. He was last seen leaving Zippers, which is a local bar, and no one has seen him since.

This has caused me to ponder who well do we know each other, and how connected are we to each other? I remember growing up where we knew each other, and we sort of kept tabs on each other; if a friend hadn’t been outside to play for a day or two we kids would knock on their door and ask their parent(s) if everything was okay. Our parents could depend on neighbours and friends, without having to actually say anything .. cos we were all in constant contact with each other we could tell when something was wrong. And when my sister died in ’83 the entire neighbourhood rallied to help us through that difficult time. I seriously doubt that would happen nowadays.

I live in the city centre/downtown core of Toronto. I can see the roof of Maple Leaf Gardens from my balcony and hear the melodic thumping from Church Street whenever there is some street party there. But do I know my neighbours? Would they notice if I wasn’t seen for a few days? Not really.

I know I harp on about this, but when I rushed myself to the ER last year, a friend was to show up later that day with some groceries for me. He showed up, knocked and got worried that all he could hear were the pathetic “mews” of my new kitten. He promptly got in touch with Tarotcub and between the two of them they managed to figure out where I was. Christmas 2007 I rushed myself to the ER with severe abdominal pain and ended being admitted with MRSA and a UTI for 3 weeks. I was conscious enough to ring my parents, but I admit it sucked having to spend Christmas in the hospital being poked & prodded. But again, I had the wherewithal to ring for family.

What is odd and pleasantly so is that my building’s super & security guards notice when I’m not around. Back to Christmas 2007 my homecare nurse showed up to do my daily dressing and the security guard told her that I wasn’t in, that I had rushed myself to the ER – I actually never tell the security guard where I’m going, but I guess with my waiting for a taxi at 3am in the morning wearing nothing but slippers and a couple hospital gowns, this is an indication that I am going somewhere antiseptic & hospital-like. During my convalescence from the Nov’07 surgery security & the super were so understanding of my medical situation that my homecare nurses never had to ring up, they would just show up at the door and security would let them in.

So I guess I am lucky that there are a number of people who do notice when I’m not around. Cat is one those, who stalks my Facebook activity. They have all learnt that if there is no activity to start calling Sunnybrook (my hospital).

But that is me – what about the rest of the peeps out there. Would anyone notice if you were missing for a day or two?