you must be kidding.. great. that’s just great.

Listening to Christine‘s music in her beautiful St. Denis studio flat, the balcony door open, the sun shining down, I can’t figure out why it’s imperative we leave, and yet we must. Katie‘s wedding is this Saturday, and then October looms, and with it, the need for paying rent. We are quick blooming flowers here, due to vanish any minute. It makes me sad, in a far off sort of way, because I know I’m happier here, it’s far more beautiful, living expenses are seriously cheaper, (rent is how much??!?!??), and yet, I know I’m stuck existing awhile more in Vancouver.

Ah well. Once crisis at a time. As is, possibly only I will be going to the wedding, while David stays behind in Montreal, as Katie’s offer of a place to stay fell through at the very last minute. That way we only have to pay for one ticket, he can stay in the land of light and architecture with my friends who are now his friends as well, and I can brave the unexpected knocking on doors for a couch alone, which should drastically improve my chances. I’ve a proven track record of finding overnight lodging with friendly strangers in Toronto. David, not so much. Then, hypothetically, after the wedding, I come straight back, and we stay in Montreal until it’s time to go down to Toronto for Nuit Blanche, and our inevitable bus-ride home.

It all depends if I can find a place to stay at all. The ticket(s) have to be bought today, and yet, as of this afternoon, we still have nowhere. If, in a few hours, we still haven’t made contact with an available couch, I’m not sure what else we could do, except to split up and reconnect in a few days. Two people stranded in Toronto with luggage is a far more depressing picture than just me alone with an over-night bag.

oh, to stand tall, to stretch, to dream!

Things I Have Learned On My Summer Autumn Vacation 72 Hour Bus-Trip

  • If the bus contains a man who coughs with the sound of a wet rag being dragged through a dog, he will sit directly behind you.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables do not exist. All food is fried.
  • All ice-cream parlours in Saskatchewan sell Fireworks.
  • People who Talk To Themselves are likely dangerous. Other good clues are an obsession with silly putty, matching camo-wear clothing and luggage, and unexpected children’s toys.
  • The Rocky Mountain glaciers are almost gone. This is incredibly scary.
  • Small towns contain odd statues of Big Things. They are not good Statues, or even interesting, they are merely odd.
  • Small towns only exist on the prairies as a tangential side-effect of the gravity around granaries.
  • There really is nothing for 50 miles in every direction.
  • Your Time will never be the same Time as when the bus leaves. And, in the same vein, breakfast is regularly at 4:10 in the morning.
  • Calgary smells like cinnamon.
  • Manitoba Bikers have progressed from being people who hit you with crowbars to people who dance to Barbie Girl in A&W parking lots.
  • Trees become exciting half-way across Canada.
  • Winnipeg becomes attractive under the threat of a Bus Strike.
  • Bus drivers are all jolly, except for that one exception to the rule. Even coffee does not help him.
  • Pin-ball machines are perpetually, mysteriously free.
  • Husky Station Restaurants remain the holy grail mecca of truck stop diners.
  • well damn

    Until I double-checked our tickets tonight to see exactly when our stop-overs are, David and I had mistaken our departure for Friday morning, not tomorrow morning.

    Lucky thing I checked. Sort of.

    Now, very suddenly, we only have seven hours to pack and get to the bus station…

    Also, for the record, our stop-overs are:

    Calgary, Sept 18, 10:45 pm
    Regina, Sept 19, 10:30 am
    Winnipeg, Sept 19, 9:40 pm
    Thunder Bay, Sept 20, 7:55 am
    Sudbury, Sept 20, 11:50 pm
    Ottawa, Sept 21, 7:05 am

    We arrive in Montreal Sept 21, at 10:20 am.

    Got friends any of those places, send them down to the bus-station.

    Lung is trying to talk me into being a lap-dancer

    Sam sells Samsung as Ted Brown. My favourite part is that he doesn’t know the slightest thing about football, and his instructions were to ad-lib, so when he told the director, the director wrote a batch of post-it notes of football sounding factoids and stuck them to the green screens for him.

    I love my friends.

    How to Sell Your Uterus, Eggs, Kidney, Liver, Spleen, Plasma, Sperm, Hair & Body for Cash.

    Listening to unreleased Coldplay at work, some follow up thing to the new album, wondering what it’s going to be like traveling across the prairies. I took this trip before, once, a very long time ago, to visit my grandmother in Winnipeg with my father. He bought me a milk carton full of gumballs somewhere half-way through Saskatchewan and made me promise I wouldn’t tell my mother. I bit into them like tiny, hollow, miniature apples in rainbow colours, orange, green, yellow, blue and red. They were white inside and stale, chewy. If I sucked on them, they painted my lips like convenience store make-up. They tasted like childhood, even then, as if I already understood that cheap sugar and heavy dyes are basic ingredients in the manufacture of poor children. Some moments, twenty years later, I can still taste them, the candy flavour echo like sad edges of broken smiles.

    I expect this trip to be more memorable, though perhaps in twenty years it too will only survive as one thematic memory, a single ikon that encapsulates the entire six days in transit.