Monday, April 25, 2011

Missing, Presumed Left Behind

The last few days here in Vancouver have been glorious outside. The sun radiates warmly from bright, clear blue skies. Everyone is outside enjoying themselves and making the most of the early summer. From our apartment I can hear children playing in a nearby park, laughing and having fun.

So I went for a walk. A long walk.

I walked from where we live to Granville Street, putting me near the end of it, by 70th Avenue. I then walked straight up Granville as far as Granville Island. The last street number I passed before hitting the island was 4th Avenue. It took me about an hour. It was glorious. I wore my Rocketeer jacket because, despite it's weight, I was able to protect my neck from the sun beating down on my back the whole way up.

People have been telling me to visit Granville Island since I arrived, and I finally got to. The place was amazing. Markets of every kind sold everything I could need. There was delicious, ready to eat foods, fresh fruit and vegetables to take home, trinkets and kitschy junk to litter the house or send to friends.

There was an entire market called the Kids Market, filled with toy shops that sold all kinds of wondrous items. One sold the latest two Lego Mini-Figure series, from which I managed to get the pulp-era pilot and the awesome and much sought-after Hazmat guy thanks to the help of the staff. Another was filled floor to ceiling with puppets of every kind, from the simple finger puppet to the huge character puppets that made me long to have my Ernie to play with. They even had Fraggle Rock puppets! They had Mokey, Red, Wembley and Boober, but no Gobo. It took every ounce of will power not to buy any, especially Red or Wembley.

I dragged myself away from the Kids Market to explore the rest of the island, finding food and entertainment at every turn. By the time I decided to move on, I was completely lost and wandered in what I thought was the generally right direction until I found familiar territory again.

Getting back off Granville Island, I headed right looking for a popular gaming store, Drexoll Games. I wandered until I got to the end of the line of shops and decided I was on the wrong street (checking when I got home, I was). But it was the best mistake I ever made. Walking along what I later learned was 7th Avenue, I glanced down a side street at a crossing to check for traffic and my eyes popped. My brain misfired and a I stood motionless for a moment. This was parked just a few feet down the street.

Now, for those who may not be aware, "this" is a Ferrari F430. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering and design in the world. As I fell in love with Vancouver thanks to MacGyver, I fell in love with the Ferrari brand around the same age thanks to Magnum P.I. I walked over to it, looking around to see if the owner was nearby and discovered it was parked outside a very nice car dealership. A very nice car dealership. I spent a good ten minutes walking around and admiring this dream machine, taking a handful of photographs and even a short video.

But I never touched it. Not a finger. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not that there were burly security men surrounding it, or staff from the dealership throwing me dirty looks. There weren't. I could have just reached out at any point and run my hand across the surface. But I didn't. Seeing it was special. Touching it was something beyond my comprehension. For me, that would be like touching the scales of a living dragon. This vehicle is a dream that I've had since I was a child. It held a magical place in my heart back then, and still does today.

So I just photographed it and walked away. Back out of the shade of the side street into the sun, now a little brighter, a little warmer, a little more awesome.

I headed south as far as Broadway and then walked that back as far as Granville. Once there, my legs finally gave up and screamed at me to take the bus home. I was honestly thinking of walking back still, but it was 6pm by now. I had been walking non-stop for five hours. The sun was still out, but low enough that cool shadows flooded the sidewalks. And so, a little reluctantly, I paid for the bus and headed home.

I got home and collapsed. I did laundry and started to organize my thought on my day and realized something.

Despite the sun, the markets, the toys and the car my day was missing something vital. Claire had stayed at home. I had no-one to share it with. I had no friends. No family. No-one that, in years to come, can say "Remember the day when we..." I miss my friends. I miss the times we shared. I miss barbeques on sunny days, walks in the park, coffee in town. I miss Sunday breakfast and hanging out.

Some days, I feel very alone.


Hazel said...

We miss you too. Hugs.

zinead said...

It's ok I also remember Kids Market and the puppets, oh and you can get a boat bus across to downtown from there, so you can always share those memories with us!!!

Julie Ann said...

Ah thinking of you here in cork! wish we were all at that market with you, we are just a thought away!!hugs