More photos at Street Anatomy.
An excerpt example of reason eight million five thousand and fourty three why I’m not-so-secretly sideways a little bit in love with my friend Kevin, who I am pleased to say I licked once on the side of the head:
So we get to set early and Reel EFX are overseeing the first segment of the show (Fire vs. Ice) One kid on a snow maker and the other on a flame thrower doing the whole “Woo-Hoo Awesome!” thing. But the kid on the flamethrower keeps complaining that “Oh…It’s HOT, It’s HOT… And we’re all thinking “Kid….you’re 16 and you’re getting to set off a flamethrower. No one bitches when you get to set off a flamethrower. Ever. It’s a fundamental principle. There are 5 billion flamethrowerless children in the world who would trade spots with you this very second. Have some respect….”
The original plan was only for Nicole and I to head over to LIME, a Japanese restaurant that used to be a Turkish restaurant named RIME, (just because, that’s why), for a friend’s gig and some GirlTalktm, but by the time Thursday rolled around Nick, (who I had sort of not-quite-secretly set her up with), was part of the party and I had agreed to pick up cat supplies from Dominique, who had put her suddenly feral kitty to sleep. So instead of taking Nicole’s little car and heading straight to the restaurant, we ducked through downtown to Dominique and David’s place with Nick’s van and visited with their new tiny little wonder for a bit before hauling the cat stuff out to the van and heading back to the Drive.
It was incredibly cold out, with a thick cake of ice on almost every side-street, the result of cars packing down snow. Nick’s a fairly good driver though, so it wasn’t until we got stuck on a surprisingly steep bit of low hill near Commercial Drive that we started worrying. Nicole and I were all for slowly backing up the way we came and trying another street, one with a shallower slope, but Nick had tire chains in the van and decided to use those. Or rather, one of them.
Truthfully, if he’d used all his chains it likely would have worked, but it was freezing out and he didn’t have gloves so he only used the one, leaving his other front tire to spin wildly as he floored the gas, trying to get some forward momentum going. Within a minute, at the same time Nicole’s phone rang, dark clouds began pouring out of the hood and a pedestrian ran up to us shouting, “Fire!”.
Black smoke started pooling in the van almost immediately. Nick, ever able, quickly popped the hood and jumped out to discover incredible flames licking his engine, so I grabbed my camera bag, yanked myself out of the van, and tore Nicole’s door open as soon as I could stand on the ice, “Nicole, time to get out.” Once she was clear, (explaining to her friend on the phone, “Sorry, can’t talk, car’s on fire!!”), I reached across and turned off the engine as Nick used frantic handfuls of snow to put out the crackling fire. Exciting times!
Lucky us, the disaster was a small one. By the time a local resident ran up with a fire extinguisher, we’d already doused all of the flames we could see, rolled down the windows to let the smoke out, and started laughing the adrenalin off. We were fine. It was Nick’s new van that was in trouble. The fire had been behind the engine where we couldn’t make a closer inspection, so we could only theorize at the damage. Our guess, based on the horror movie strobe of the dashboard lights, was that maybe a wire had been sitting somewhere it shouldn’t and caught fire when part of the engine overheated.
We moved the van as soon as we felt it was safe, gently rolling it back down the hill to a corner parking spot out of the way. Except for aforementioned flickering lights and some strange sizzling noises, it seemed fine, so we looked under the hood again, trying to figure out what was hissing, a futile thing, and decided what to do next. Nicole’s suggestion, “Gently drive it home”, was a great idea, except it wouldn’t turn on again. When Nick tried the ignition, all the internal lights went out with a very quiet pop. Somewhere in all of the uneasy hissing engine sounds, the electricals had given up the ghost. We couldn’t even roll the windows back up.
After a bit of talking and a bit of sitting and a bit of turning into ice, we decided to simply abandon the vehicle for a tow truck in the morning and continue on foot. Nick wrote a note that said ENGINE DEAD, ALL VALUABLES REMOVED, I left it pinned to the dash, and we walked the rest of the way to the restaurant where it turned out the food was delicious and the company even better. Thank mercy we’re all cheerful people. The End.
Jeepers, I thought last night was unexpectedly exciting, what with successfully hooking Nicole up with Nick for the holidays, finally meeting Dominique‘s new little baby, SURVIVING NICK’S NEW VAN CATCHING FIRE, (no one was hurt. I pulled Nicole out and we put the fire out with snow), and admitting rather bashfully to someone that I wrote about our personal life on the interblags, but today’s news sort of trumps it, so I’ll just get it out of the way and talk about yesterday in the next post…
“Skate to Chanukah music or watch and nosh latkes and doughnuts.
Monday, December 22, 2008, 6:00-7:30 pm.
West End Ice Rink, 1750 Haro Street (Between Denman & Bidwell).
Admission: By donation. Skates are free.”
Which sounds, on the surface, like it’s going to be a Yiddish Icecapades, people dressed as sparkling, spinning dreidel, singing songs and throwing glitter under a rainbow of lights, but apparently it’s something a thousand times more hard-core bizarre. Something I would never have the wit or imagination to think up myself.
Did you get that? Shaped like hockey sticks.
Oliver made our relationship over into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (The only person to dare claim I would ‘understand when I was older,’ he would constantly harp on my age, instead of realizing that his sheltered, unscarred perception was the emotional problem). I realized I had his number when my friend Stephen, Michael‘s father, asked after him last night. One of those well-whatever-happened-anyway questions. Tears sprang stinging to my eyes and I quietly said, “I didn’t expect him to be so faint of heart.” The instant I made my reply, the curtain sighed as it fell to the stage. I grasped the explosive charge and extinguished it with my bare hands. Stephen looked up from the ice-cream he was inspecting in time to look at me, understand, and say, “I don’t know you incredibly well, all things considered, but I do know that you’re most certainly not for the faint of heart.” The release, a statement of the obvious, as I rose out of my post-glory depression from Saturday night. (It’s terrible, how after I felt like falling down and crying. I wanted a kiss so bloody badly, some way to celebrate, some incredible smile to drown myself in, to let go of the show by unwinding out of my body around someone else. I’ve never had that, you know. No one has ever stayed long enough for me to share a victory. Not once.)
The fire and fireworks went so bloody well that I was almost amazed. It was a potential disaster of the worst sort. We almost didn’t have a finale. Those rather essential things we needed to make a show? Gone. All our fire torches, staves, etcetera, got themselves misplaced between Thursday night after dress rehearsal and when I arrived Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock.
No one could tell me a thing. I arranged search parties for hours, grasping for any clues, any ideas as to where our kit went. After I vowed vengeance several times, and condemned our ridiculously poor security to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes, we managed to borrow some odds and ends off Elliot Neck at the very last minute. Less than twenty minutes before curtain, gear finally arrived. By the time gear arrived, we’d used all our fuel filling Tiki torches. Which meant that we ended up lighting with Citronella. Yes, Citronella. That’s what the gas station had. As if to add insult to injury, the delinquent half of my crew didn’t arrive until five minutes before call. Except the arsonist, who’d been there since five in the afternoon. It was like I pulled the entire show from the air.
However, so was my show.
We went up the mountain this morning to watch the dawn. We sang in the car and wore my beaver fur hat. Earlier there were hot dogs, a birthday thing with different people. I brought an incense holder in the shape of a ying and yang together in gray glazed and fired clay. First, however, was Rabbit Hole Day, then work, then home. The lusciously soft plush roses, the isopropynol alcohol, the whipping chemical fire on the back porch was after the sausages came and before we stood in the rain for an hour waiting for the city to rescue strangers from an accidental deathly chasm-trap where a fence fell down on the edge of a construction site, leaving behind a two story cliff on the bare edge of a sidewalk. What a night. I feel like myself again.
No sleep, of course, but that can wait.
I was meant to go to Seattle today, drop by the Roq La Rue, but instead I double-booked plans with a friend here and decided it would be kinder to stay. My ferret, Skatia, is looking at me, asking silently when I will come to sleep, and Michael is lightly snoring, somewhat like I imagine a child might when they want their parents to believe them asleep.
I don’t know you, but we refuse to go placidly amid the noise, which is good. For once, the haste is ours. I warn you, however, this is familiar; how I bring joy. You’ve crawled into my life smiling with a whimper and the promise of bang, both unexpected, and I find myself bound to your responsibilities because I like you in spite of them. Unexpected is understatement. You steal what I steal and replace it with truth spoken quietly with affection. We avoid the loud and the aggressive, and violence escapes us, vexations to the spirit, except in our hands clutching at each others hair. That knowledge is comforting to me. If you don’t look to force your religious opinions or your political surfeits upon others, than I will keep respect in my heart warm and welcoming and stand with you as far as possible without surrender. As long as those traps remain empty, it is not my business how you continue your life apart from me. As long as there is love there, I need not concern myself. If you choose to adopt a child and raise it, you have my utmost respect. My concerns will remain with myself and I will offer as placid a pool as possible and attempt to rinse myself of my frustrations. If you choose to raise that child into a specific lifestyle, that’s fine, as long as religion is not an excuse for intolerance. You are already braver than I. (When half a million people led by their religious leaders gather in a 21st century city to protest a law that gives opportunity for two people who love each other to raise a child, it gives me pause as to whether this is a world that I would ever want to introduce a child to.)
I am usually complicit in the world, not comparing myself to others, for there are always be greater persons than myself in my estimation, and I make every effort to know as diverse a group of people as I possibly can. Diversity brings the new, insights and experiences that I would never have discovered had I remained wrapped in my own existence. But fundamentally, I don’t know why you like me. My mien’s been trampled, there are only a fistful of similarities left; we are on good terms with most people, we find good humour in the world, we listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. My skeleton is not made of such fine stuff as yours, it was spun messily and without comfort. I feel outdistanced.
My employment leaves much to be desired, but I do my best when I am present, however much I would wish to be elsewhere. When I leave, I wish to leave a positive impression and a place where I remain accepted. The world is a frequently hostile place, I want to have as little negative impact as possible. If I am to raise my voice, it should be to combat intolerance and promote distinctiveness. It is my own blindness to virtue that gives me discomfort where I’m positioned, not a lack in the striving industry of local friends. I want that as clear as the happiness in your eyes when you see me smiling back at you, granting without cynicism that you are not enough for me to stay as much as I am not enough for you to leave. In my adoration is hard knowledge sharpened on ‘I should have known better’ that states with great clarity that there can always be another human being to capture me, that there are enough souls alive to capture you as well, that we can’t find ourselves alone unless we choose to be, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. I was not raised to be a child, though I had a right to be, instead I was raised to be strong in spirit. It may yet save me, but not from you. You are a piece of the universe unfolding the same way I am. It would be a gift to let go of everything I hold so tightly, but I don’t know how.
I knew I went down with the ship when he turned to me with a radiant smile and said, “I’m happy.”
When his eyes looked at me and the sun caved in like a cathedral.
I wanted to say, “when you let your hair fall down, rapunzel cried.”
Instead I turned and walked away, beginning to choke when his hand touched my arm.
I missed posting on September 11th, which is likely for the best, considering how dour my humour has been today. Now it is September the twelfth, and Ryan’s birthday. I found him a present in my room while I was sorting today. I’m minimizing, paring down my possessions as best I can. I want to be down to one box of miscellany, one of books, a computer, a lava lamp, and my mouse with wings by the next month. The furniture will be dealt with according to piece when the time comes. I want out of here. I’ll post what I find that can be given away. Today I threw out a colouring book from when I was young enough to have a sister still, (I was five, she was four, that story may still end with I never saw her again), and the top half of a musical china clown my father gave me when I entered kindergarten. It used to be that you would wind it and it would play The Lovers Song, sort of an Italian answer to Greensleeves.
My city is burning. It smells a little like every neighbor I have is smoking a very chemically treated marijuana outside my window, and ash is drifting down from the sky. At first we thought it was a chemical accident, a nasty edged flame burning plastics somewhere by the water, but the internet told us otherwise. Burns Bog has caught on fire. The last time, almost ten years ago, Vancouver was blanketed in ash for two days. The methane-rich peat can smoulder underground almost indefinitely. This is especially nasty, as that’s one of our most protected pieces of wild preserve. It’s rather essential to our local environment. For one, it’s where almost all of our crows live. They commute every morning to scatter over the city and gather every evening to fly back in an immense trail of flapping black. They’re beautiful.