Belated Celebration

A couple of days ago I realized that it was a good friends birthday. It’s one of those decade topping ones. The ones that mark a milestone in ones life. It means the attainment of a certain level of maturity and wisdom. I forgot the day that it was on. It happened last week and in my busy state I didn’t even send her a text. 

I was worried that I was in some kind of trouble. We were going to meet up for a going away dinner later on yesterday. I figured it was going to be a good time to make it up to her with some flowers. Flowers seem to do the trick. Women love flowers. Right? 

I was up early. Sleep hasn’t been the restful escape that it usually is. Maybe I have a few things on my mind. I decided to make some use out of it. There was a pile of emails to get through. I made a coffee and proceeded to plow through them. It seems to me that it would be rational to have some work lined up before getting there. That was my task that morning. There are three agencies that I am involved with and some have a line on the same job. I kept stalling one of them to give me more time. They asked me what it would take so I threw out a number and they said ‘yes’ so I said ‘yes.’ Done.

I’ll be going to a small town up in the Midlands. I know what Bernie told me about the north and the towns up there. I know how he feels about them. Still it will give me a time to stabilize myself financially and likely emotionally too. I need a few things or better yet I want a few things so with a job lined up I started browsing. I’m in need of a new bag to carry around with me. The backpack is not going to cut it anymore. I found one but there are none in Vancouver. I’m not going to order it online. What if it doesn’t get here in time. I’ll just wait to get it once I’m accross the pond. 

The sorting or more precisely purging continues. I looked at one of my cards and just now realized that the account was closed a couple of years ago for a fee that they charged for the privilege of lending me money. When I talked to someone there she said that it was so long ago that she doesn’t even have access to the records. Good riddance. 

At some point it was time to go for this dinner. There were a few shops that I wanted to browse to see the style of bags they had there. It’s one thing to see a photo but quite another to touch and feel the product. There is something about the tactile experience that either entices you to buy the product or reject it completely. There is a whole industry geared solely to enticing us to buy. I entered one of these upscale shops. This one has implanted itself at a prominent location in our city. I felt out of place trying to figure out the layout. They didn’t have a section of men’s accessories just areas of designers where each name invoked a particular style. 

The text came in that my friend was on her way. I mentally estimated the time and made my way in a particular direction getting ever closer to the coffee place near the restaurant that we were going to go to that night. My brother and Barbs were going to be there too. 

The path took me through downtown and then through Chinatown. It’s the old Chinatown the one that is gradually loosing its historical appearance in favor of a newer more upscale appearance. There are fewer and fewer Chinese characters and stores lining the streets. There are some still hanging on as a dedicated group continues to frequent there. This area used to be a lot worse with more homeless but now they have moved into other areas. Raindrops fell abundantly throughout my excursion. 

As I sat on the bus I racked my brain as to where the flower shop was. I had a picture in my mind but couldn’t place it. I didn’t want to chance there not being any close shops near the restaurant. As the bus turned into Broadway there it was the flower shop! I was about to get off the next stop to go into the mall. I doubled back and bought a nice bouquet picking out all the elements. That’s when I got the text that she was there at the coffee shop. I scribbled something in the card and was off. 

The bus was packed again and the short lady kept bumping into the bouquet. I almost said something but she got off. Let’s not get angry on the way to a happy occasion. She was waiting there inside a new coffee place pretentious in its unpretentiousness. The staff and place looked exactly like you picture it modern and rustic. One of the customers cave me kudos for buying flowers as he muttered something about romantic gestures being dead under his breath. We let him be. 

Los Cuervos is a cozy little place serving authentic Mexican street food in the heart of Vancouver at an appropriate rate. My brother joined us as we finished our coffee and walked the half block to the restaurant. Oh and did I mention what day it was? It’s international Hug Day! So everyone was met with hugs. 

We are all a bunch of talkers when we get together. We kept chatting and jibing at and with each other. My brother’s wife called to have a small chat with him. It’s part of their keeping in touch with each other through this separation that they have to endure. They are separated for only a short while but with the little one growing fast and becoming more and more mobile it will require two of them to him in line. 

My brother and Sandy were told to discuss my situation with me sitting right here. I wasn’t allowed to join in just listen to what they have to say to each other. Supposedly I am rationalizing too much and not recognizing the change in my happiness lately. I’m fully aware of my happiness thank you very much. The topic changed quickly thankfully and during the course of the dinner we enjoyed the fancy tacos and the other topics of conversation. There was a lot of laughter. Barbs joined us having hurried from work to meet up with us. There was no shortage of friendly antagonism as we searched for spots to insert witty retorts. We sat there long after paying the bill the waitresses eying the table to place incoming customers there. 

So we kept talking outside but time inevitably cought up to us. My brother has school tomorrow and Sandy has a long drive. So soon Barbs and I were left to navigate our way home. We had a good heart to heart about the impending separation. We were just supposed to have fun NSA. Spiders know where to draw a web imperceptibly and incrementally conjuring a web that binds space together. We wear endorphin colored glasses in a shifting landscape guided by a compass that can’t find true north. We are both cycling through emotions with switchbacks on the ascent and descent along this hill. We have to enjoy the experience now and deal with the emotions later…

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