even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance,
about a generation that has been taught that rain is
poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal
and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can
turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison
right in front of your eyes, there is not much left
except TV and relentless masturbation. It's a strange world.
Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”
– H. S. T., Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine
We drove west from Chinatown, towards the ocean, towards conversations we never had, along the road that curves around the edge of downtown and leads from the city into the thick wet woods of Stanley Park. Under eaves of trees older than any of the buildings we’ve stepped into since New York City, I kept the car slow, the road stretching like a way out to a better place, curling in arcs against the lip of the water, these hands on the wheel both gifted to me by my mother, this calm desire to keep driving from my mother across the hall. Spontaneously, we decided to twist off the road to the Lion’s Gate bridge, a green span across the river, marble white cats guarding the passage North. Once upon a time, I thought, people did this with broken wagons and small boats they had to build from the forest themselves.
Cruising through Deep Cove, more roads that didn’t seem to lead anywhere in particular, the blind gates and driveways of the unrestricted rich. Houses for sale like the neighborhood’s burning, flicking through photos of their interiors on a realty app, the cheapest starting at 1.4 million. We were a paragraph of a Douglas Coupland novel left behind on the cutting room floor, plagiarized and duplicated in flesh, inhabiting the same city he always seems to, gray skies, big houses, ranting about god while ankle deep in freezing streams, going door to door examining imaginary commodities, judging their terrible furniture, their boring kitchens, the diffusion of their reality too thin to feel, surely people don’t actually inhabit these places? That fireplace is a travesty, at least there’s plenty of windows, shame about the rusty tanker drifting by outside. Cryptic throwaways, the coastal combination of struggle, money, and our sharp talons.
We walk his dog through the park, idly debating the merits of these places with basketball courts and built in boathouses. How much is it worth to put down roots so deep? We would rather travel, take that investment and run, live in a thousand places. The doughnut shop sells deep fried muffins, the fountain looks like a gate to some underworld of a story that everyone’s forgotten.