Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yellow Rose of Elmdale

About a year ago, my trusted friend dropped by one night, and invited me to the Elmdale Tavern.

"Oh, but I'm not a fan of country music," I apologized.

"Don't worry, it's Ball and Chain. You'll like them, I promise you!"

I have been back six times since, and not just because I keep missing Jody Benjamin flashing us her frilly underwear!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Bus Tickets

He is a young lad - he is maybe fourteen. He walks up to me and quietly asks if I would be kind enough to trade his two bus tickets for a loonie, "They are worth two dollars, you know."
Yes, I know.

I let him down for a second when I tell him that I don't need the tickets. "But wait," I say and encourage him with a smile. "I think I have a loonie that you can have." I search my wallet well aware that he can see that I have a couple of bills. I find three quarters, a dime and a penny. I place them in his slender hand.

"Here, you should have the tickets," he repeats.

"No, I really don't need them. What are you up to?" I ask cautiously, "Do you have a home to go to?"

"I'm just wandering around killing time before my curfew."

"Can't you go home before your curfew?"

"No, it's a shelter. I can't get in before ten."

As I write this, I've been home safe and comfortable for over two hours. He has just been allowed into the shelter.

He's about to walk away and I say, "Wait", and I give him five dollars. It seems such a pittance, but then I remember when five dollars was a fortune to me - it wasn't that that long ago.

We look at each other for a few seconds - he has gentle intelligent eyes shaded by a lock of blond hair.

He tries to give me the tickets a third time.

"I'll make you a deal," I tell him. He looks at me suspiciously. "Keep the tickets, and instead, one day when you are doing well, and I have a good feeling you will do well one day, I want you to pass on the favour to someone else, OK?"

He hesitates only a second, "I will."

I think that he believes me that I believe in him. And, I do.

As he walks away he shares his faith with me, "God Bless."

(In memory of Steven (Cactus) Beriault)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Get a Kick Out of You

I get a kick out of walking behind these guys. Sometimes I imagine that they are holding hands and strolling along singing a little love duet.

I stopped a pair of them recently, and commented on my appreciation of their presence in the downtown core.

One of the two laughed, and responded by repeating my words teasingly, "Ya, we think it's cool too."

Darn, I hadn't noticed that I had used hippie talk to address them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it Art?

My instant reaction when I saw the black ink splash on the orange newspaper box and grey sidewalk was, "Oh, cool, guerrilla art!"

Well, maybe it was just someone having a klutzy day, but as my favorite band, Astronaut Love Triangle, would certainly say, "If you see it as art, then it is art!"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coyotes' Viewpoint

When I become familiar with the sights on my walking route and there are no people to strike up a conversation with, I look up.

It is interesting to see what I pass by every day and don't notice because I am looking at life at street level.

It has come to my attention that Coyotes also have a fondness for gazing upwards.

Recently, while looking up I saw sky high gardens,

a romantic looking balcony,

a cool tin cat on a roof,

swanky wonky reflections,

and a coyote's breakfast - pigeons!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Duty Calls

So, what do you call a congregation of bicycle policemen other then the obvious, "sexy"?