flapping and crashing and mayhem.
•June 21, 2008 •
I don’t know how, but I fear that I have disrupted the delicate karmic pigeon balance in my life. A few short hours after sharing the story of the hissing pigeon, I returned home from running errands to discover that there was a pigeon in my apartment. After some expletives and a brief moment of panic (my panic, not the birds’), the pigeon calmly walked across my living room floor, hopped onto the ledge of the open balcony door and let himself out. I had been pigeon’d.
My friend, who had helped me bring my long-lost mattress over from the infamous Blue House, had come into the apartment behind me and watched the whole scene unfold. After composing ourselves, I went into the bedroom to clear a space for the bed, and my friend went to grab my box spring from the hallway. He came back into the apartment a few seconds later and discovered a second pigeon. Apparently, when pigeons go adventuring, they take a buddy. Safety in numbers, you know. The second pigeon, after wandering out of my bathroom, discovered that there were intruders in his midst, panicked and tried to fly out the sliding doors. As I had closed the door after the first pigeon left, this posed a problem. There was lots of flapping and crashing and general mayhem. Then the first pigeon returned to the window and tried to reach his friend who was still trapped inside. It felt like a scene from a Hitchcock film. My friend, always calm in a crisis, slowly made his way to the balcony door, and managed to let the pigeon out. I, generally calm in a crisis, was hiding behind a curtain.
After declaring the apartment de-pigeoned, my friend went home and I was left alone with my much-deserved mattress, and wing marks on my glass doors.
Today I awoke to the sound of pigeons quietly cooing at my bedroom window.
I am not amused.
•June 20, 2008 •
I walked home from work a few nights ago, in my own little daydreamy world, exhausted from a long day, but in a good mood. I had just started walking down Davie St. when my distracted thoughts were interrupted by hissing. I looked around, thinking that I was perhaps the newest target of a crazy person, when I realized that the only thing near me was a pigeon. It took a few seconds to sink in that I was actually being hissed at by a pigeon. By a PIGEON. What the hell?! Is this normal? Maybe I have led a sheltered life, and haven’t spent enough time around the pigeon. This is quite possible. But seriously, hissing? Really? The bird and I shared a moment when I stared at him with a confused and surprised look on my face and he cocked his head to the side in a knowing way, and for a few seconds, we were silent. And then he uncocked his head, looked me straight in the eye, and hissed. He then continued on his merry way along the sidewalk, just hissing and walking. After composing myself and trying not to burst out laughing for fear that I would appear deranged, I also continued on my way.
About a block later, my world was shaken again when I encountered the love child of David Suzuki and Richard Simmons. He was so unassuming, just sitting on a bench, waiting for a bus. Just sitting there, with his David Suzuki face and his Richard Simmons hair, and his terry cloth wrist bands wearing a Hawaiian shirt and jean cutoffs.
Ten minutes later I arrived home to discover that a movie was being filmed in my back alley.
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
a cop who looks like Matt Damon and my new friend Leon.
•June 16, 2008 •
Ah, 911. So we meet again. It seems that every time I move to a new place in Vancouver, I end up having to call 911 within the first few weeks of living there. The first time, I had lived at the Blue House for a week. This is week three in my new apartment. One of my friends suggested that I don’t move for awhile to avoid anymore incidences, but another friend thought that maybe I was some sort of superhero sent to save the world, one crazy/homeless person at a time.
My first experience with 911 was with the crazy, bad drug-tripping, eventually naked, Jess. Jess was a lovely girl. Except for when she was attacking cars and yelling about some guy named Luke. When I called 911, after the usual formalities and explanation as to why I had a Saskatchewan phone number, the woman welcomed me to the city. When people talk about the welcome wagon, I never thought it meant a cop car. The dispatcher didn’t quite know what to think when I started giving her the play-by-play of what was happening in front of me: “Oh. Alright, it would appear that she’s taking off her shirt. And her pants. Ok, she’s not wearing a shirt or pants. She’s in her underwear standing in the middle of the road. Oh. Ok, now she’s laying on the road. Yes, that’s correct, she’s taken off her clothes and is now laying on the road.” It was about this time that the cops pulled up. After a bit more yelling about Luke and an escape attempt, Jess was put in handcuffs and given a blanket. After the handcuffs went on, she turned her attentions on one of the cops yelling “Ok, Matt Damon. You fucking look like Matt Damon” and then she proceeded to try and kick him while being loaded onto a stretcher and into restraints. As soon as the doors closed, and the ambulance drove off, the crowd dispersed. After a few questions from the cops, I made my way into my yard where my roommates had gathered to watch the scene unfold. As I walked up my front steps, all I could do was shake my head and laugh in disbelief.
On my walk home today, I saw a man laying on the sidewalk. Another woman and I stopped to see if he was ok and asked if he needed help. He replied with “would I be laying on the sidewalk if I didn’t need help?” He cracked a joke and then proceeded to hit on all the ladies that stopped. He was obviously in pain and was having a hard time breathing so I called for an ambulance. I kept my new friend Leon company while we waited and had a lovely chat about the beautiful weather. The paramedics showed up in under a minute and a half (one of the benefits of needing help while downtown) and after asking me a few questions, they took over and sent me on my way. As I walked the rest of the way home, all I could do was shake my head and laugh in disbelief. Again. Then I proceeded to call all of my friends and tell them about my newest 911 adventure.
I love this city.
notes from the floor.
•June 14, 2008 •
I woke up this morning much the same way that I’ve woken up for the last two weeks – tangled in my sleeping bag with a camping mattress and my Thai floor cushions beneath me. It’s a strange feeling to sleep three inches off the floor.
I forgot how many things one actually needs when they move into a new place. I currently don’t have a couch, or a bed, or plates. God, I miss plates. I finally got my internet hooked up which means I no longer have to sit on the floor in front of my apartment door so that I can steal internet from my friend who lives in the building. I don’t have pots to cook with and I have to eat supper out of a plastic container, but I do have internet. It’s all about priorities.
I don’t mind the feeling of camping in my apartment – it sure beats being homeless and having to sleep on a friend’s couch. This is like an adventure. And a little like summer camp. Except unlike camp, there’s no curfew here and I don’t have to shower with my bathing suit on.
consider this the start of something new.
•June 7, 2008 •
And it begins. My so-called fresh start. A lot has happened in the last year – some good, some bad and some better than I ever could have imagined. I’ve loved, lost and started again. I moved to Vancouver. I found a job I like. After several months of not having an actual address, I have recently moved into an apartment that makes me happy every time I walk in the door even though I don’t really have any furniture yet. I have been reacquainted with old friends who have once again become important people in my life. I have found new people who have changed my life and the way I look at the world. I have new friends, new acquaintances, and people I see everyday who will never be anything other than a familiar face on the street. All of these people make Vancouver feel like home.
Uprooting my life on a spur of the moment decision was the best thing I have ever done. As those people who know me well will attest to, hasty decisions I do not make. Taking the time to make the right decision has always served me well. I have been prone to terrible bouts of inner turmoil many times because of some of these decisions, but in the end, going with what feels right hasn’t failed me yet. But every once in awhile, you have to dive in without thinking; make a life decision without weighing the pros and cons. I’m still not generally inclined to make rash decisions, but sometimes no inner turmoil is needed.
What follows will be my adventures, stories and rants. I hope you enjoy them.
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