Thursday, February 7, 2013


There's two people dancing. It's four in the morning and I'm waiting for the bus at Howe and Robson and there's two people dancing; down in the UBC centre beside that skating rink, they are dancing. It's four in the morning and those morning birds that never stop chirping soon are chirping overtop some sort of hip-hop, inter-mixing with it. It's four in the morning and I'm writing, standing by a railing under a tree, watching these people dance and listening to the birds. From the busstop someone stares at me - wondering what I'm doing. He can't see the dancers. Maybe it's a performance and I can't see the audience. They're good, like the people you see on television. This is passion

A security guard is walking towards me. "Hey, hey whoah", he says and the light shines in my direction before he turns down the staircase. I worry he'll stop the dancers but they finished already, as I was looking away. One pulls on a lime green hoodie and they sit on a bench, relaxing, reflecting. They're about to leave, and I am too - five more minutes for the bus. They must do this often, the security guard didn't glance twice, didn't even acknowledge them. Yes, they must do this every night, an underground dance-off in the heart of the city.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Smokes and ducks

I fall in love with a dozen different girls a day. Right now it's this short-dark-haired girl walking on the opposite side of the road from me. She's all wrapped up in a scarf about three feet longer than a scarf has any business being and it takes her seven strides total, inhale to exhale, to pull from a smoke. I'm too far away to tell but I bet she's got a nose piercing. I hope it's a ring, on the left side of her face. Piercings on the right side always seem a little off.

She tosses the butt away and I want more than anything to get into a fight with her; to yell and lose my mind over something stupid and inconsequential, probably her smoking. She'd counter and say that I drink too much, say that I try different beers not because I'm some fucking connoisseur and care if "the hops in this ale are a bit overpowering", but that I just like being drunk. She'd be right. But instead of admitting it, I'd just get angry, tell her that pointing out someone else's shortcomings is a classic defence for avoiding your own. She'd tell me I just did that, and then she'd storm out - no - I would storm out. I would storm out, run in any direction, run until I keel over the side of some ditch and puke. Then I'd realize I have to find my way back.

Maybe later we would apologize, make up, and hold each other. She would still smell of smoke and it wouldn't matter. Nothing matters anymore; I've found another girl.

This one is feeding ducks. She's walking and dropping breadcrumbs and the ducks are following the trail left behind her. I've only ever seen kids and old people feeding ducks but, by the look of it, she does it regularly. Maybe she's just not old yet, and in fifty years she'll still be feeding ducks. Only then she'll have to sit in a bench because her knees just aren't as good as they used to be, and she'll be as strange and beautiful and curious then as she is now.