Jul. 12th, 2009


Jul. 12th, 2009 06:40 pm
My roomates have moved out. No new roomates have moved in. The house is distressingly empty; my roomates owned most of the furniture and most of the kitchen. Distressingly also because it makes me think of The Third Roomate, who remains as-yet unfound. If I stay in my room everything looks the same, and I can pretend they are merely away for a few days.

Went to a party on a suburban hobby farm with eight million raspberry bushes, a giant sauna and some Estonians. It reminded me very strongly of childhood vacations, but only in this extremely indeterminate way. People brought tents and camped overnight in a field full of buttercups. It was pretty great, actually, except that as usual I had trouble coping with the sudden appearance of 40+ strangers. Who are all crazy backwoods mountaineers and/or cycling enthusiasts and/or water polo players -- in other words, I felt insufficiently Vancouver-Exercisey. And some French Canadian dude said he didn't eat avacados because their being grown in Mexico meant an unacceptable carbon footprint. That's pretty hardcore: as far as I'm concerned avacados could be delivered by space-rocket and they would still merit an exception.


On the bus on the way back from the party, semi-exhausted, I was sitting at the front of the bus with a friend and his two kids (5, 8) and all our tents & bags. And a few stops along we are joined by a middle-aged, gray-at-the-temples biker father and his two alterna-daughters -- they were in the 8-11ish range, one with pink-streaked hair a green sundress and fantastically classy glasses and the other sneakers, a worn military cap, two-colour plaid shorts and a t-shirt full of popular movie spoilers. He asks the driver about these directions he has to get off and transfer to another bus to the ferry, and explains that he recently moved to the suburb and doesn't have a car so he is escorting his daughters to the ferry by bus. (Or something; I got a very strong single/divorced-dad-with-visiting-time vibe.) He has a motorcycle helmet with him and black boots and the way he speaks and his eyes remind me very strongly of one of my father's best friends. Something about the way he talks to the driver seems really up-front and open; nobody seems discouraged.

And the kids are tired and have clearly been on several busses before this one and yet they are totally friendly and uncomplaining and alterna-cute and whether it was the lack of sleep or what I just felt this incredible love for this man and his children -- it seemed like what would have been frustrating and tedious in some other situation was instead totally acceptable for them because it meant they got to spend more time together. Everything about their interaction was wonderful to watch; the way they pointed out the window at random things, the way he spoke to them, quiet and occasionally slightly sarcastic but mostly with great attentiveness; the way the pink-haired girl with the glasses eventually took out a pair of hot-pink shoes and clutched them absentmindedly to her chest while yawning. I often feel this way on busses, this unconditional love for strangers, but not quite like this. I just wanted everything to work out for them, because they seemed to deserve it more than anyone else deserved it. I wanted to cry. And I think I kind of wanted to be that guy.



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