Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Here, for the first time in my life, I will not dive

straight into the cool, uncalculated waves of despair and self loathing that lap at the edge

There was no personal rebuff this time. I slept in rather, languidly shrouded in the dim gray afternoon light, only disturbed by the gentle rustle of traffic and dishes rattling around in my kitchen.   

Perfectly tempered beer stands cold in the fridge as I dress in the dark room, prepare my body for the ethereal Vancouver cold, one that gently holds you, untill it's pushing you from your own door to the next. I am not going anywhere in particular tonight, so I dress warm in case the walk is long.    

I wear my long mittens, and put on a story from the New Yorker. The Christmas lights that have sprouted up in trees across the city paint the streets with thick ribbons of truth as I trundle down them listening to American tragedies and their analyses. I purse my lips and furrow my brow, deep in thought, trying to broaden my scope.... on cowboys and marriages.   

Pushed by the early hour, needing to pass an entire evening here,  I delve deeper into the westend, curving and twisting around the blocks, avoiding some streets, gingerly padding down others, earnestly continuing among the holiday shoppers and post work revelers. Coming closer to the wall.    

My phone is in my pocket. I turned the vibrate off earlier that afternoon, as it had been silent for what seemed like an eternity. It's painful, to always be so close to your phone, and it to sit there so immobile. Not actually connecting you to anyone, purposeless, defunct metal and glass.  
"You don't need a phone," you sometimes say into the black.  "What you actually do not need, are the people that are ignoring you."  

The frosty air, filled with a silty breathe of the burrard inlet brushes over me as I loosen from the crowd. I can't help but think of the daytime, and the soft decaying smell of leaves, the beautiful leaves that had decorated the city so splendidly in October.There are memories in October, red leaves cascade over them, the mountains in the background, plainly languishing in the light of day. I hustle now past them, walking towards the blue raindrop, alone in the dark.    

The glittery lights from North Vancouver parallel me as I continue westward. My journey is not long tonight, I walk faster, listening intently. It would be awful to slow down and lose the thread of the story, to become enraptured in the view I had pondered lustfully many times before. I lose myself in the darkness, the narrators voice, letting the stillness of a Coal Harbor evening wet the slate.   

There is no one else out, but I don't notice till I reach Denman. My phone starts to hangs heavy in my pocket and I grope it feverishly, all of a sudden chaffing everywhere.  My mouth feels dry, I notice the story has ended and the only thing I can hear is the gently patter of the rain. I look over my shoulder, lights from late night cafes and the small restaurants spill into the street, their patrons probably tucked inaudibly inside. I continue.    

I start to remember how much I want my phone to be alive again, I want it to tell me nice things and beg for my attention. I have now come all the way down to English bay, pan-faced. I slip down to the water, away from the lights. It's easy to be here,moving, alone. In the black. Eventually a runner passes me by, and then another. It's reassuring to a degree that the earth hadn't magically emptied. I am almost home, but I could linger if I needed to here. I realize as the bridges overhead recede into the background, I can see myself, amidst the sparkling city lights, on the ground. I had been on the opposite side of the creek the night before. There had been an oval patch of dusky blue sky left, and i had let it all in, all of downtown and granville island. I had started another story soon after that point, I had been so far away that I had listened to two before i returned home. I must continue in silence tonight.   

A running group passes me by, chatting breathlessly. It dawns on me, perhaps prematurely, that I have done all my talking for the day. I have no one at home waiting for me to return. No more business as usual to do - no phone calls. I had planned to go to bed after a shower and a tea.  When would I speak next?  
The Next day suddenly sprawled out in front of me, on the carefully laid brick that waved around the lush grasses and soft shrubs.  Tomorrow, was desolate looking! I was staying in tomorrow to study and had groceries already... Plenty of caffeine to keep me jived. There was no one to talk to till perhaps the day after that.  And then who was I going to see? A coworker? W would probably talk, but after a whole day of silence it seems absurd to only talk about .what? A bisque?  
I walked incredible fast now. The whole city had it in on me, the expansiveness of false creek only compressed me further.   I eventually can not bare the darkness anymore, pulling up to coopers park.  I am so close, and it seems foolish, to look at it now.  It would be safer inside, but i cant wait. My mitten fingers carefully take out the black thing, that awful oppressive thing. It glistens, gleefully reflecting the light of the city. It lights up, full of brightness.