I like watching him hold a cigarette. Downtown shines below us, Granville street lined with tiny people, “extras in our movie,” flirtations of humanity. We’re talking about celebrity, the breath of fame that doesn’t exist anymore. People are famous for being famous, but it doesn’t last. The meta time, idol tenacity, that fresh new wonder, is gone. There will never again be a Beatlemania or a name as household as Madonna. We only have this life. Globalization washed away all of the sixties tears, leaving instead a wide wash of sand, every grain a name slipping through our fingers. Commercialized and replaced by interstitial realities, it’s all quick cuts, colour filtered music videos, shadows of elusive hard rock cocaine and a glossy ten minutes before the sad talk show circuit takes over. Media immortality has been transformed, an object of passion and fury re-made into the sort of pleasing detail you do not seem to notice until it is gone.
A ray of sunlight has thrust through the clouds to perfectly illuminate just the cherry tree outside my window. The blossoms shine pink like it was newly invented for precisely this moment. It glows, separate from the street.
My bus came early this morning, Sunday schedule, holiday. I kissed him goodbye, then ran in the other direction, stopping only to turn and watch (admire) his profile walking at twenty paces. In this quintessential Vancouver light, soft and unearthy, lacking shadows, he seemed like the scribble of a soundtrack, something kind used to emphasize the loneliness of industrial neighborhoods. I looked away, suddenly shy. Kittens were waiting, Alastair, messages at home, work. On the bus the driver liked my hair, like everyone does. Six comments a day, all this week.
The skytrain felt like a truck stop, empty and laminated, like there might be heart healthy options and too pale coffee waiting when I got off. Briefly I wondered how I would have to change my schedule to run into Troll, but the thought didn’t survive to the top of the stairs. I was too busy engraving my week into my skin, tracing conversations into my brain. A girl on the bus smiled to herself and crossed her legs, innocent but for the slight blush and a tell-tale whitening of knuckles as she looked down. I caught her eye and smiled back, confident that we shared a secret, the anonymous enjoyment of private reminiscence. Out of silence, we shared a (random) laugh. I think we felt beautiful. She said, “It’s been a long time.” I said, “It has.”