Suddenly we were upon it and drove around the crescent that was at its entrance – filled with taxis and other vehicles from which people were disembarking.
Rebecca asked an attendant, “Where is the parking lot?” He answered, “To the left … if you want to park your own van.” I should have written, he answered with attitude. As we drove down the ramp we both burst out laughing and mocking him. “If you want to park your own van.” That is what we do every time we drive somewhere – park our own cars. No used giving us attitude over that.
This was not a foretelling of what was to come. The rest of the stay was absolutely pleasant: the check-in, the ride up the elevator, the walk to the end of the hall, the far end. The one thing about having an end room is that there is a view both to the south and the east in our experience.
Then I turned a chair around and gazed out the window as the sun was beginning to set.
Rebecca showed me that we could see all of the way down to the harbour, see the water, see the mountains, and enjoy the images of other buildings in the wonderful glass facia that surrounded us.
Some of the buses still run on trolley wires, so I would watch the careful right hand turns that they would make on streets.
And I was reminded of the street cars of my youth.
|... straight down the street to the harbour ...|
Later as I walked by them, I noticed that they are orderly, getting on the buses as though they have numbered tickets, only a few being able to squeeze on at a time for the buses are already full by the time they get to that stop during the Friday evening rush of people hoping to get back home from work as quickly as possible.
It wasn’t until the last day that I saw a beggar on the street holding a paper cup and jangling it through the day. He began his shift before 8 am and was still there at 5:30 pm. “Homeless and 60+”, read the cardboard sign. He sat cross-legged on the sidewalk, rocking back and forth, sometimes smoking a roll-your own cigarette, maybe from butts he had found on the street.
For most of the day his shirt was off, aging wrinkled skin on a skeleton of bones.
His body was a sharp contrast to the images in the window across the street, the supple female skin of the young models in the Victoria’s Secret window. In the evening the pink of the windows on that large shop blaze out on the darkness.
I have never been in a Victoria's Secret store that large.
I saw another old man in there. He was slouched in a large comfy arm chair and ahead of him was a magnificent stair case leading to the basement of the store. I wondered if his wife was shopping. On the wall as you walked down the stairs and also at least one storey above were pictures of the lingerie being flashed on the screen. Many pics, in random order. Gorgeous colours. Of course the lingerie products were on the exquisite bodies of beautiful models. The models were wearing glitter, feathers, costume jewelry, beautiful shoes, flowing sheer gowns -- anything to make the lingerie seem like a must-have product. He didn't look as though he was enjoying the show as much as I was. He only felt lethargy, it seemed, slouched there, bored.
I also walked to the Harbour, along the breezeway, through the cruise liner facilities, down to Chinatown, through Granville Island.
My first trip back to Vancouver after about 35 years, and that trip is one to a trip even 35 years before that.
Time marches on as did I.