I awoke today to find it was raining outside… and in. I am now experiencing the flip side of yesterdays euphoria. Whether it is a simple case of what goes up, coming back down or the slow dawning realisation that Vancouver was our utopia, ours together and now here I am alone, I don’t know.
Feeling a little too tender hearted, I resolved to spend the day exploring this new area and getting some supplies in. I was grateful to be staying somewhere new that didn’t exist in our previous world as I was feeling trepadatious about making new footprints on this sacred ground for fear of eradicating old ones. In that way, I was pleased to find the city so changed from the little I’d revisited yesterday.
I set out, deciding to take the scenic route along the seawall for a stretch before getting to the nearby shops. But as soon as my feet hit that pathway, it was like a magnet was switched on and I knew exactly where it was pulling me to. I walked and walked and walked until I reached Granville Island, not really an island, it’s a small peninsula and shopping area famous for its public market. I used to go there on weekends while Matthew was at work and pick up bits and pieces for an evening picnic at our little beach. I didn’t buy anything today. I did a lap of the market and then headed to the ferry terminal to get a little bath-tub-toy-like ferry across to the other side as I’d done so many times before.
On the other side, my feet resumed their mission seemingly without my consent as they trod a familiar path past the beach and up a couple of blocks to Harwood Street – and there it was, our old apartment building. I just stood and looked up seeing vividly the life that was lived there and the two happy souls who would never have imagined this future. I felt spectral, like a thing that had no right to intrude on such former happiness so after my little weep, I left the place to return to its glory days.
I walked up to Davie Street, our old local shopping strip to find it largely unchanged, so much so, I just had to keep my head down and press on against the onslaught of memories until I reached Granville Street, one of the main downtown arteries. Needing to just stop for a while and catch my breath, I sought out another old faithful haunt, The Templeton Diner, still as we left it nestled in between 25c Peep Show venues (to this day, no one can tell me what you get for your quarter and I’m not brave or curious enough to find out for myself) and tattoo parlours – bad food, good times, great fit original 1950’s fit out.
Feeling a little revived, I pressed on to explore Yaletown which was a new development when we lived here that hadn’t yet taken off. Apparently it has in the in between years and has since become the trendy part of town it was designed to be. From there I returned to the seawall and completed the loop back to Science World and my place to call home for the next month.
It may seem like today was a mistake given the fragility I set out with and carried all day but it was also inevitable. This city is going to be full of fond memories of happier days, I just hope that I’m not overwriting them with current sadness. I want to end on a hopeful note but the rain is still falling, more gently now but perhaps tomorrow the sun will shine again.