Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back in Vancouver on May 12th


I’m off again, this time it’s back to BC for an indefinite period of time. I just made it through check in, what a harrowing experience that is. It was reminiscent of that time in the second grade when someone (probably JA) drew on the walls in the bathroom. There was a lecture about respecting the school property that taxes payed for and how we were highly privileged for having our own bathroom. I remember feeling that destruction of property was the most horrible thing anyone could do and as a group we collectively decided that this sort of behavior ruined it for a us all and that the guilty party must be punished by cleaning up the mess. As I gazed upon the desecrated wall scrawled with blue maker, the guilt trip started to get to me; fabricated memories of my own hand at the end of that instrument of terror started to torment my gut and heart. I cracked, went to the teacher and told her I had something to say, that I thought I had done it. She kneeled down and in a slow serious voice said, are you sure? I replied no, and the false memories dissipated.

I went into my most calm mode of behavior as I checked in my “oversised” baggage, I started sweating as they asked me to unzip the various compartments in my bag. Eventually I mad it through and struck up a conversation with a man with a bushy grey beard, wearing a robe and a large silver medallion around his neck. He turned out to be the Ottawa bishop of the easter orthodox church. On the medallion was the mother of god, which he said was standard for someone in his position. The robes were who he was, he said, he felt comfortable in them, some rejected the garb, but others appreciated the traditional clothes. He was off to toronto then Mexico for the ascension , which is when Christ went up to heaven.

On the plane a stewardess was playing with a baby and asking if it was his first flight. There was an elderly man in front of her putting his bags away when she said stearnly, “sir please be careful of the baby” then “just kidding”. I thought it was a bit of a sick joke. I slept for the first three hours or so, not having slept the night before. A fellow named Andrew, I think, kept me company. He’d coched basketball in england, but was now going back to Korea to teach. I was reading about the New Pornographers and the journalist used the word, Maximalism, and it reminded me that I’ve had dreams about working on my own maximalism music while traveling on a plane. Garageband easily fullfilled thoese dreams as I fuzed together elements of jazz, funk, Indian, Caribbean and hip hop.

The most remarkable thing about the flight was being over the rockies. These massive peaks burst out of the prairies and just keep going, in various forms, all the way to the coast. I was singing show tunes as I bounded towards the baggage pick up. The banjo, longboard and bag all made it safe and sound, I strapped up and took for the road, generally towards the city. I gave my old friend Brian a call, he had just left the airport, it so happened that he was picking up our friend Jason, who had just come back from a year in Australia. The made a Ue, picked up up and we went into the city.

We shot the shoot for a while on the grass in the sun and exchanged stories. Jason has a knack for talking and regaled us with some fascinating insights and tales. Eventually we got some inexpensive yet entirely filling and delicious breakfast at Bon’s restaurant, helped a fellow design a cargo bike, went to an apartment to see a skateboard a random older guy was selling, then back to the pad. I interviewed both Jason and Brian, which you can find in my youtube channel.

I went on a ride along the waterfront and was deterred by the massive industrial complexes that dominate the shoreline. At one point I traveled through parking garages that give access to the new convention centers. When I hit the crab st. park, things started to lighten up, the rich tapestry of Vancouver life became present. I dosed off in the green space leading up to Stanley park where the squeaks of two seatless trial bikes entered my dreams. There was a breeze, but I didn’t feel comfortable breaking out my tarp in the middle of that busy sector; my general goal was to ascend a mountain, make a fire and camp out for the night, I made it deep into the wild park before my tired body begged for a break. In an isolated spot I was toasty wrapped in my green tarp, the criss crossing branches over head seemed to envelop me in their arms and I dozed peacefully; sleeping in the woods has a great calming effect.

A whole bunch more happened after, but I feel like sleeping again, so till tomorrow.


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