Welcome To the Neighbourhood

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Alice



Darkened city streets linger with the ghosts of the day, night has fallen and the pitter patter of rain fills my ears. Its 3 am and i am alone as i glide down the alleyways. They are absent except for a few stray cats, homeless and others like me wandering the night content in the emptyness. I pause occasionally to look in dumpsters and find treasures that others have tossed away. Some of the things i find i dont understand why they are unwanted, like the green corona shirt slung to the side of the wet dumpster with nothing wrong with it. Perhaps some drunk decided to get naked and run down the alleyways, or some one was ridding themselves of an old lovers clothes, who really knows either way if its useful to me i will stowe it into my bag and move on.

The rain is lightening so i pull down my hood and enjoy the light sprinkle; almost refreshing. Everything smells better after the rain comes. I stop an lean against the entrance to the alleyway, pull out my pack of cinnamon dentyne and place the remaining piece in my mouth. I adjust my bag that is growing heavy and change the tunes on my walkman. A trip to the store would be in order. As the sounds of Damaged Goods- Gang of Four hit my ears i hit the pavement and cruise towards my destination. Alone with the thoughts inside my head.

With the music cranked, flying down the alleys i dont hear the approaching car untill it is too late. To avoid the collision i jump off and roll across the ground, nearly missing being run over. Wheels screech and a tall balding man, dressed in a suit jumps out yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names, shaking with anger that i may of scratched his fancy new car with my board and no care as to weither or not i am ok.

"Fucken Kids!" he exclaimes as he gets back in then drives off.
I pull myself to the curb and sit looking at the new rips in my thights. I sigh and pull out the duct tape and repair them grumbling to myself about the human race.


I enter the 7-11 with the whirr of the automatic doors, not looking up as i know Mike is there watching me as usual. He knows what im about to do but never says anything just stares at me like a wounded puppy. He thinks i dont know about his affections for me but in fact i do, the matter is that i dont care. Though i know his wife does. I have seen them arguing a few of the times i have stopped in here and overheard enough though i pretend i dont know anything. It is easier that way. I head to the coffee, pour myself a cup of the dark roast, fashion on the lid and catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the window. Red dreads in a chaotic mess with bits of leaves stuck in it from the fall amoungst the metal bits i have carefully intwinded amoung them. A smudge of dirt across my cheeck and smeared eyeliner making me look like a raccoon about to become roadkill. I make faces at myself in the reflection, how charming i think before i walk past mike and out the door without paying. Sure you'd think hed stop me or care that i was stealing coffee, but it has been our routine. The first time he stopped me and got mad at me, making me give him the 80 cents or whatever it was. Now he just realizes its easier to just not bother me. I sit outside on my board sipping the coffee, as i lean forward to dig something out of my bag any passerby can see reflected in the windows mirrored mylar the words stuck in duct tape on the back of my jacket " wake up". Depending on my mood that can mean several things, something about socitey and the blindness they live in, or just literally wake the fuck up. Make whatever of it that you can, i often change the message as i see fit. I cant find what im looking for so i give up and lean back against the wall, brush my hair out of my face and take a deep breath.


I remember when things were different, when mom was still around and dad didnt drink so much. We used to be happy, we used to be a family, now it is just him and i. I wouls rather spend my days alone wandering the city then sitting in our house listen to him crying about her. Sometimes i think about getting out of this city and trying to find her, though im still unsure what she would say to me when i did find her. The thoughts linger there in the back of my mind. All the what if's, the how come's and the why's. One day i woke up and she was just gone, though i dont remember what set it off, it seemed like a dream. Its been 4 years now and ive grown used to it i guess, solitude and having to figure out things on my own. In many ways i dont mind but at the same time i feel there is something missing, alot of questions floating around with no answers.


I am startled from my thoughts by an old lady standing in front of me. White hair in a tangled mess under her oversized sun hat. Smears of blue and pink makeup, done half hazardly almost like a clown though i know that is not the intent. She is dressed in a pink ballgown and has no shoes on, she moves slowly pushing her cart with a duck in it out of the way. There is a sign on the cart saying "dont pet the duck, he might not bite, but i do!" Its clare, she bends down, taps me on the shoulder and tells me that "they are here", who they are i dont know but each time she has a message seemingly for me. Everyone i talk to tells me shes crazy, im not sure she is though. The things she says seem to ring true when i think about them. Its like she is more connected to the collective conciousness them most people. Often her messages tell me something that has not come to pass and sometimes she tells me things i have not said out loud to anyone. I thank her and she moves on down the street. I watch her wander further and further away as i sip at my coffee. I shrug my shoulders as she passes out of sight and get up to move on. It has gotten much later and twilight morning hours are apon us. I decide to skate to the skytrain station at main and go sit and watch the sunrise as there is a good view from there.


When i arrive at the station it is just opening up and the skytrain officer eyes me up as i purchase a ticket and climb the escalator. The station is empty except for a few groggy eyed people heading to their workplace, i assume and the hungover heading back to the burbs after a weekend of partying. I take a seat on one of the benches and sit and watch people wander past. They pace and grumble while waiting for the train to come, always in a hurry. I turn up my walkman and wait for the sun to rise. Below on the street i can see the traffic starting to build up as mondays early morning rush beggings, squiggie punks trying to make a few bucks off the cars, and homeless sleeping in the park covered with wet cardboard boxes and liter from the night before. The rain has fully stopped and the sky is becoming bright. As the sky changes from a mellow light to the bright light of day i realize i have been sitting there for way to long. I stand up board in hand and head back down the escalator. Time to head home, its not far and my neighboorhood streets are still fairly empty. I skate, relaxed and content as i know sleep will come soon. As i look at my shadow i see my hair sticking out of my hood, it looks like the intennae of some strange cockroach as i glide down the street blowing in the wind.

3 Comments:

  • Who is she? She seems like a raver/EMO/skater girl who dumpster-dives for supper. She seems also to have a philosophy of trying to get anything and everything she can for free.

    An interesting and realistic character.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 6/04/2005 03:29:00 PM  

  • Could this be the character we saw on the bus awhile back?

    By Blogger Lowly Scribe, at 6/04/2005 07:20:00 PM  

  • shes not the person on the bus, though she is her own person, more of a wanderer who spends more time alone then with other, she doesnt like to talk for she thinks words are for the most part not needed. she mostly meets strange people in the street and has interactions with them.

    By Blogger me, at 6/05/2005 06:39:00 PM  

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