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Grey Escape

images-1On my drive back into Vancouver from teaching in Richmond I stop at a red on Cambie. The driver next to me is gesticulating some kind of wondrous movement with his smooth dark hands to his companion. I am mesmerized. Is he pulling toffee? Is he drawing apart wool? Is he stretching dough? Is he running his hands luxuriously through a woman’s long hair? Right below his window is the name “Escape”. Surely the escape isn’t the gray monstrosity passing for a vehicle…but him. His hands. The color of earth so rich, it releases endorphins just digging into it.

 

I miss my green.

 

Honk.

 

As I cross the intersection and pass the huge liquor store on 42nd, a man in bright red pants staggers towards the stop sign, impossibly drunk or high, or hurting. “Stop stop stop me” he begs as he falls on his knees.

 

The escape passes him. And then, so do I.

 

Down the hill I see the mountains clear and crisp and white. They continue to dazzle me. Twenty years ago I drove down this street for the first time, Vancouver, my great escape, and I gaped in wonder, a wonder that does not cease. Certainly I have staggered towards a few necessary stops. I have missed several greens. But how many dreams have come true in this town since? Plenty. Plenty.

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