After one intensely trying game of bowling with our afternoon “boyfriends”, it was decided that we probably couldn’t manage another. Instead we went to the J.J. Beans across the street and settled in to try and talk. (The staff thought we were brilliant). Conversation with Memo was pleasant, his default seems sweetly liberal, stone-faced or cheerfully surprised, but attempting to discuss the world with Francesco was too socially dysphoric to succeed for very long. His views are almost traumatizing to encounter. Thankfully, Oliver was there with a friend, and joined us before we got desperate. (When Francesco said, “I’m certain I speak for all the guys here when I say that naked men are disgusting.” it was like time stumbled over his tongue and slapped us all in the face.)
We sat together for almost an hour before Francesco left. Dominique admits that she worries now about encountering him. She thinks to cross the street before going past Abruzzio’s. I told her I have no such worry, being distinctive gives a girl practice dealing with strangers. Later I saw him across the street when I was shopping for nectarines and I almost waved, just to be contrary, but instead decided it wouldn’t be politic after he’d called me creepy so many times.
Memo we brought with us to Korean Movie Night and I plan on dropping by Penelope’s the next time I go and asking if he’d like to come again. He added himself to my messenger after I sent him a zipped folder of the documenting pictures so practicing the sloshing dregs of my spanish, (scraping off the rust with the lingual sandpaper of babelfish), is on the agenda.
We got my favourite picture of the event, (posted here, to the lower left), before we left Oliver behind. He had things to do, people to see, a bag to pack for a month in Italy. Friday was his last day here. His time was less flexible. Coming with us to KMM would have been too much procrastination to easily brush off, especially with La Fete de la Musique events later in the week. (He’s the raison d’être behind Toot-a-Lute, Vancouver’s awesomely eccentric folk-group.)
Tuesday I had a really good job interview. Good people, good company. A respectable reprographics firm tucked in across the street from BJ’s house, over between Main and Cambie. Quick to get to, easy atmosphere. It gave me hope. Some of the other places I’ve been having interviews have been vaguely terrifying. The last one I had, on Friday, was in an office that so reeked of papertrail graveyard that my initial impulse was to turn around and walk back onto Kingsway. A small tele-company, the interview impressed upon me why people popularly use offices as metaphor for prisons. I kept in mind the reprographics firm the entire time I was there, using the memory of their professionalism as a life-raft. “Not everyone is like this.”
Wednesday I applied for my daily minimum of ten jobs, then was shut down at the park for attempting to barter my inelegant collection of uncomplicated fantasy novels for muffins and pocket change until Toot-A-Lute came to play. It was alright, the man who bashfully threatened me with a fine was very apologetic, and Paula arrived before I’d managed to drag my heavy bags to the bus-stop. She helped me carry them across to Turks coffeeshop, which is where the rest of the band was collecting, and bought me a tasty breakfast slice of lemon chocolate cheesecake, for which very kind things should happen to her. (Get on that, won’t you?) I was meant to meet them at the park after dropping my groaning bags of books home, but I missed them, getting too involved talking with James. By the time I got back to Grandview Park, the stage had been taken over by a salsa class with a boombox.
The likelihood of finding them again was similar to snow here in July, but running into Oliver on Monday had reminded me of the Morris performance promised on the Musique Day press package. Kits Point, 8:30, I’d asked Liam about it. Without really thinking, I steered my way to Hastings and caught the first bus downtown. Five hundred steps to Burrard, caught the 22 and wondered what I was doing. Warm sky, crossing the bridge, I remembered talking to someone who used to think Vancouver was a famous city, “Only for our science fiction authors.”
Walking through Kitsilano was like remembering a song I always used to sing in my room, something in my head fighting to accurately recall the lyrics, the names of the streets, instead of what life I used to wear. I found the one street, that against all emotional logic, runs all the way down to the end of the point. It ends at the tall totem pole by the Maritime Museum. They weren’t so far east, however, they were closer to Kits beach, still dancing. The Morris was over, but everyone had been comfortably sucked into dancing. It was fun. Vicky was there, bouncing away with her friend who plays banjo, and Troll and I fell and scraped so badly that people are still asking what I did to myself. “Oh, these wounds? I went folk-dancing.“