Today is one of those Vancouver days that you brag to your friends about, where the sky is an infinite sapphire blue and the sun dodges hints of cloud to effectively execute the spring contract that Vancouverites have become accustomed to since we stole this land from the natives.
“Yes exactly Brian, it’s sunny here, nearly 15 degrees I’d estimate.”
“The trees are blooming, the city is turning pink. Pink! Can you believe it? Yeah, like the colour!”
“That’s too bad about New York Susan, I hate the cold.”
“It’s raining in Montreal Dave? Hard to believe because it’s so warm here. How can two cities in one country be so vastly different? Oh c’mon, don’t hate me because I live in Van-Cou-Ver.” The last part I’d drag out a bit, with a whiny, post yoga sigh—just to rub a little salt in the wound. God I love this city.
I’d hate me too. I despised people like me: the one’s who trumpet the greatness their home town in with odd municipal patriotism, like they’re personally responsible for the beautiful weather, or the architecture, or the cultural scene.
But then I moved.
I would however like to know people living in New York and Montreal. How glamorous. Big dark Eastern cities made of concrete, steel, drama and crime instead of glass, yoga mats and cappuccinos. I wish Vancouver could be glamorous too. Well not glamorous maybe but at least interesting. If not that then what is it? A place to raise your family?
I’ve sent letters to publishers in both New York and Montreal, but I’ve never been. My handwriting has traveled more than I have which is a fact that, if one would allow themselves to think about it long enough, is rather depressing. And lately the writing isn’t doing so great either.
I figure it’s been about 25 minutes that I’ve been standing here and I really don’t know why the bus is taking so long because my class starts in 45 minutes. Maybe I’m running early—there certainly isn’t anyone else waiting. I set the clocks in my apartment fast, but not this fast. I’m not kidding, why am I the only one waiting at this stop? I think out loud about whether or not today is actually a civic holiday and then I look up.
Oh-holy-Jesus, this isn’t my bus stop.
It’s not even a bus stop.
I’ve been waiting for almost a half hour beneath a speed limit sign? You’re kidding! You’ve got to be kidding! Something inside of me whimpers with humiliation as I wonder if anyone has noticed this crippling social faux pas. How embarrassing. Maybe everyone will just think that I was waiting for a friend or that I’m “special”—a mere fool waiting for absolutely nothing because she has nothing to do and no real mental capacity with which to do it if she did. Poor girl. I could garner a little sympathy. Or maybe they’d think I’m eccentric—an savant (artist obviously). It’s fitting: writers and artists are allowed to be odd, it’s scientists that need to worry.
My parents had originally wanted me to go to law school and would rejoice were I to suddenly inform them my new decision is to follow in my father’s footsteps. It would have been easy too I think, the getting in, not the school. My dad has strong connections still with his university and my grades have always been strong up until now. I love to argue and I’m convincingly articulate but I have a distinct feeling that I am meant to do something much greater. The conviction that I will eventually have my writing out there in the world and known by people is strong within me. The artsy, bohemian writer thing is where I’ve landed and it’s brought me here…underneath the speed limit sign.
I feel sorry medical school students, they have to wait at actual bus stops. Gufaw! Much pompous laughter at the A Types. Law students aren’t any better off. If you’re a lawyer you’re not allowed to make mistakes. At least not big ones like this. They have to line up at the bus with everyone else, carrying their briefcases or whatever it is they carry and talk about torts or “throwing the book.” I’m allowed to fuck up though. Hell, it’s expected.