Creatures of the Ocean

The grey sky carried along with it a damp chill that projected its effect upon the day. I was weary since opening my eyes. Those crusty bits that sometimes form overnight near the ducts washed away by a steady stream of caffeinated beverages. 


There were things to do like get a haircut, get the rent, walk through the park. Yeah it was going to be a crazy day. So I went about completing my tasks one by one with different scenarios playing around in my mind causing a slight sway in my trajectories. I could have just stayed in as I surveyed the sky from the warmer confines of this interior space. I figured that I needed to give my eyes a rest from starring at that screen for so long. 

I’m trying to recollect the events of two days ago. Sitting here on the ferry waiting to set off for the island. We disembark as I write these lines. 

Had some new guy cut my hair. He was a stylish young Chinese gentleman. I didn’t have to wait too long. As I walked in and took off my jacket and backpack I asked for the bag sitting there in the middle of the couch in my seat. I asked if it was one of the two guy’s sitting there on either side. It was the man’s who was actually getting a haircut from the muscle bound barber. By the time it was sorted the young man asked me to sit down in the chair. 

He was still setting up. He had a runny nose allergy? Cold? Something else. He had a minimal accessories but they were of good quality. The way he moved and set up the haircut was a bit different from the other guy who cut my hair the last time. I’m still debating whether or not it’s good. 😉

The teller was new. I waited there in line the only one as from a distance every other teller seemed to be quite involved in their customer service. Acknowledge first and then continue getting the lesson. Still when she asked me what she could help me with I had to remember that I was in a bank. I had to get the cash for the rent. We had a brief chat and that’s how I learned of her newness. She kept talking to the teller next to her in what I believe was Spanish. Those shouldering eyes and long dark hair raised my suspicion that indeed was the case. I wonder if she’ll help me next time it is time to get the rent?

After restocking on my coffee beans I sat there enjoying the free coffee that comes with it I decided to have a walk around the park. Not the greatest weather but a short excursion will do me some good. As I neared the park near the sea wall I noticed some commotion in the water. A spray of water burst into the air and it appeared as if something was moving in the water. It’s probably a whale! I rushed towards it. Some others were also of the same mind. Soon there was a bunch of people watching as the mammal frolicked in the waters close to the shore. I watched for a while and then it seemed to be swimming away. The rain was falling now. The crowd that gathered slowly moved away as did I. I still had the idea to walk through the park. I climbed the hill to cut into the park and looked back to see the whale swimming away and then swimming back. From this higher vantage point I saw how big this grey whale was. It made one of those sleek diving motions in and out of the water. I continued to watch. I wanted to get a better photo of it spewing of the water from its spout. I followed it further in as it swam into English Bay. Many stood with me watching and documenting the scene. The pictures never quite do it justice. Needless to say after a while both the whale and myself got tired of the attention. I became hungry and decided on a meal instead of the park. I had plans to go out later. 

After finishing and getting back I chatted with my flatmate. He was off on his weekly travel back to the country. Had to give him the rent. I would have left it in the usual spot but there was a leak downstairs that had to be fixed. When the building manager showed up earlier I showed her the leak that started in out shower head. It looked like they fixed it. There was no way I was leaving cash laying about. 

As time got closer to get ready I became more uninspired to go out. I was going out to meet up with one person in particular. She wasn’t going to get there until late. I didn’t really want to party that much. I may need it but I’ve got to be smart right now. Not the funnest choice to make but I did make plans to meet up with another friend on Saturday. We may still have been on for dinner maybe. 

I was asleep before ten. Well they say that getting plenty of rest is good for you. I tend to believe that. My day started off like many others. Plenty of reading and a bit of of a work out. Had the most basic of breakfasts boiled eggs. My spartan lifestyle expressed by the few condiments and ingredients found in my fridge. I used the last of my honey my sweetener of choice. 

On my way back to the lower mainland on the ferry. Moments of quiet contemplation as I recall the events of a few days back. I went and had some lunch with Danny Boy a friend from a long time back. We talked about how time has changed our perspective and how things have changed in our lives. I presented my case. He also asked me if Vancouver is all it’s cracked up to be. This is in the sense of how the city is being sold to its citizens. Is it as beautiful as they say it is? It’s hard to really know if you’ve lived here all of your life. I would say that it is. The combination of mountains and the ocean does give it that spectacular feel. The problem is that it is really expensive. The size of the city and the opportunities that I thought or imagined and probably hoped that would materialize here have not. Did I not search enough? What kind of a wage do I have to have in order to be content? What else … We talked about where others are in the greater scheme of things. Many with children and some that we somehow lost contact with. Friends seem to come and go in and out of our lives. We had lunch together as we discussed all these things. The waitress was a bit cheeky so we had some fun as she came around asking us how we were out here on the patio. 


We went to a dispensary I wanted to get my photo taken so that my membership would be official. Dan was amazed at the operation. It runs the way as youth we hoped that it would. You enter as you would a liquor store and purchase the flavor that you want. It’s a civilized operation. We sat in the park afterwards as I sampled my choice of th moment and watched the busy park and its people enjoying themselves. Danny Boy had to go and pick up his girlfriend from works and I suggested he check out my place. I showed him the small cute place that I now inhabit. Until next time as we parted. 

I later met up with another friend and we met up for dinner. She had just finished writing a test to see if she would get into school. We have known each other for a while and so the conversation was able to take silly turns as we teased each other back and forth. I had to get up the next day and in the morning the bus route to the ferry was busier than I expected. I had to stand and the bus made its way through the city and eventually over the bridge and the north shore. When we stopped at Park Royal a big crowd left the bus and I teased the old ladies that were sitting there by alsaying “Are we at the ferry now?” They looked around and told me I was cheeky. 😀

There was plenty of time before the ferry departure from Horseshoe Bay. I walked around in a happy daze admiring the view and digesting the recent events that have happened. Sometimes all that is needed is a little bit of a release to make things feel better again. Still I wondered what I was going to say. I had to approach the subject tentatively. Matters of belief that are tied to traditions have a lot of weight to them. This thorn in our side is a collective burden that we carry around with us. In a way this imperative to pass on the knowledge and history has significance but on the other we have adapted to a new culture and thus we straddle cultures and borders. The strings that bind are tenuous some have broken as others have formed. Ties it seems change with the passage of time. 

The ride across to the island was spent in concerted effort to continue this story. The sunny skies and the crisp ocean wind beaconed to be savoured. There were many on the sun deck enjoying the ride across. I got a message from my brother that he was running behind. It’s not raining and I’m fine with a bit of a wait. It wasn’t a long one. We haven’t seen each other in a long time. He told me that he has had some close calls with the power tools. Temporary lapses in judgement brought on be sleep deprivation. “Hi little one how have you been?” He responded with giggles and a little smile. The little nephew is growing up quickly. We are off to Duncan as we catch up on some gossip that has been happening in our lives. 

We then headed to “the” breakfast place in town. It featured a bar that was imported from Bute Montana. It “probably bore witness to a few gun fights” according to the history printed on the menu. It was rescued by a local who happened to be traveling through there in the fifties or sixties. He dismantled it from the relapse aged building it was sitting in and brought it here. He bequeathed the bar to the land which it occupies stipulating that a worthy building should house the bar. The Pioneer is a large cavenous restaurant that now houses this bar and it serves brunch until four p.m.

My brother’s wife joined us for brunch. She took time from her work at Time to Heal in order to meet up so that we could share a meal all together. The waitresses were fawning over the little guy who was really impressed with the fan on the ceiling. He ate the assorted pieces of food that was placed in front of him and kept us entertained as we talked about things that were going on in our lives. So much has been happening and yet not much at all. They have been busy with the baby and I have been busy with work and living too. 

We were baby free for about an hour and a half after breakfast so my brother suggested that we go up to Mount Provost and take in the view from up there. It’s a bit of a drive but not too far. In the summertime when I visited this mountain was closed due to the fire risk because of the dry weather. It’s been a while since even he has been there. We navigated the dirt roads quickly making our way up there. The peak is a short walk from the small parking spot at the top. It was a spectacular view. My brother asked me how I thought the giant boulder got up to here. It was obviously dropped by the retreating glacier I responded. No one really knows for sure though. 

We spent ten minutes up there mostly taking photos against a beautiful backdrop. We had to pick up or take care of the baby as mama was going out to dinner to meet with some clients. We spent the afternoon watching him play and playing along with him. He is a quiet baby. He kept knocking down the tower we constructed with these small plastic cups. I’ve never had an extensive time with babies. I’ve seen many in my time in the hospital but those were a bit different and as far as my friends’ babies it hasn’t been very extensive. They study me and I study them it’s no different with him. He crawls around and changes his focus dropping and returning to different activities. He can stand now and I see in my brother a joy that I haven’t seen in a long time if ever. All those hormones have had their effect. Speaking from a strictly observational view. 

This conversation that I wanted to have would have to wait until Monday. Mamma didn’t return until late too late for my planned return to the mainland on the last ferry. The phone was pressed to her ear as she dealt with some issue. I was tired too from the day and my brother wanted and needed to sleep as did I. I got a ride in the morning. Went to get some coffee for the ride and sat on the patio overhearing a conversation between a man and a woman sitting there. He wasn’t happy with his daughters boyfriend. Wanted to knock him out. I guess he wasn’t happy with how things were going with them. He said that he didn’t talk to his kids much. They began to act too much like “their mother”. 

The little guy sure likes to eat. I was watching him consume all that was placed in front of him. Don’t drink the water too fast little guy! He coughs and chokes a bit. Don’t pull the books down! As I watch him as him mom was getting ready. He turns to me confused and with a cheeky grin proceeds to pull on another book. He’s too cute to be angry at. 

As we headed to Nanaimo we finally had a chance to talk. I approached the subject tentatively. There is a discord between the generations centering around the issue of baptism. Next week on Sunday the big day will happen but there is a displeasure in the decision to hold the ceremony in another denomination’s church.  The change doesn’t sit well with my folks and there have been many a discussions regarding this. This is the beginning step in the breaking of long running traditions that have been passed down and fostered by our families. Interdenominational unions or interfaith unions have this dilemma all the time. On the one hand they have been what created us and formed our personalities and yet we have also grown so much outside of them. I speak now of my brother sister and I. Each of us holds a different understanding. Do others views have less meaning? Is it so wrong to comply with the parents’ wishes? The answer to both is no. It will be a cloud though. Regardless. 

Next weekend is Thanksgiving long weekend. Somewhat appropriate timing. There seems to be so much that is going on and will we be able to get everyone together? There will be some people missing. There is the issue with mammas’ grandma being in the hospital. There is the issue of having coverage for my parents to get there. Then there is how it will all unfold. 

I made it back to Vancouver within three hours after the ferry disembarked from the dock on the island. I’ve been fighting my battery on the phone. This program uses a lot of juice and it seems I have a lot to say about the last few days. Should get ready soon going out for a pint. 

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