In the last 2 months I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my friends. I was working 6 days a week, 10-16 hour days, and met someone I wanted to spend all of my free time with. After the first month I noticed my cell phone wasn't ringing as regularly as it normally would. The texts and invites to parties and social events were growing thin...a very strange thing in Whistler. I couldn't blame my friends. I made it a habit to be absent. Friendships are incredibly important to me but I knew I had to rearrange my priorities in order to focus at work. And focus I did.
Once the two months of hard work had concluded, I felt abandoned. I felt alone. I thought that I'd be happy to take time off for myself and spend some time alone. Oh I was mistaken. Last week was terrible. Down in the gutter of dark thoughts, I dwelled and held my head in my heads several times a day. No work. A man far away. And friends with whom I'd lost touch. As the week came to a close and the melancholy infected my mind, I decided that I would take a trip down to Hongcouver and reconnect with my favourite gay couple, Matt and Adam. The next day I packed a bag and dashed for the city. The moment I entered their apartment I knew I made the right choice to leave Whistler for the night. Warm hugs and incredible conversation came into play immediately. The night flowed splendidly. We inhaled a bottle of rouge and relocated to a live jazz lounge in Yaletown. The band encouraged a sense of time travel...A sense that I had disappeared into an era of flappers and feathered headbands. I ordered a 20$ pizza and two vodka waters. When my pizza arrived I had been prying my eyes open and my cheeks were flustered. I was drunkity drunk drunk. Matt and Adam witnessed my fatigue and suggested we go home once we were finished eating.
When we got back we sparked up a canon of a joint and got silly. I mean really silly. I regret not having had some sort of recording device present. Conversation topics were plentiful. Philosophy was in the air. And laughter was unavoidable. I must have giggled the way I giggled when I was 16 smoking pot in Secret Park (that's a reference for all my Beacon Hill folk). Matt had a particularly productive high as he discovered why he's a writer. "I feel words," he said. Sitting on the chaise by the window I surrendered to dream land and left my wonderful friends behind.
In the morning I saw clouds. Too many! Another gloomy day...I just couldn't take it. I sluggishly got up off the couch and we went out for breakfast. As we walked to the restaurant the clouds parted, as to say "let's give everyone a break, just for today." The afternoon was stunning. We walked the entirety of the sea wall. With my trusty new 150$ digi cam in hand I snapped photos every few steps. I was taken aback by the beauty in Vancouver. Matt and Adam live in English Bay, a truly rewarding place to live. The two of them have created an eden of their own. Floor to ceiling windows that look onto the ocean and a magnificent city scape make for a couple's everyday retreat.
I've spent quite some time in Vancouver, mainly in Gastown and Yaletown and of course doooowntown. But this was my first true Sea Wall and Stanley Park experience. We walked from their front door, over to the Lost Lagoon. It amazed me that within blocks, just minutes from the buzzing of the city, was this incredibly calm land by the water. Matt and Adam, arms linked, walked ahead as I froze to enjoy the scenery. Like a sponge, I soaked it all in. I took a moment to evaluate the last 2 months I spent as an Assistant Producer with a television show. Naturally a deep feeling of nostalgia blew over as the melancholy planned its infiltration. But the sundance on the water and the clean air that I was breathing in formed a moat around me. I was finally able to reflect without tears, without the "poor me" syndrome, and without the feeling of desertion.
Armed with a new sense of triumph, I continued to walk with Matt and Adam who patiently listened to me meander among words about relationships. I had so much to share and their ears were approachable. We reached the Sea Wall somewhere between my babbling and our collective foot steps. Standing in front of me I noticed the oddest structure. Not quite uprigt, and defininitely taken out of context, this structure reminded me of the Crooked Kitchen. For some who aren't familiar with the "Crooked" or the "Crazy Kitchen," allow me to elaborate. The Crazy Kitchen is a very popular installation found at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario. It's designed to give you motion sickness. One corner of the room is slanted by 12 degrees, making it 2 feet higher than the other side of the room. The tiles, the countertops, the table and chairs, are all designed to seem flat and in place. So, your eyes are telling you one thing, and your body is struggling to remain upright. As I stared at this structure along the Sea Wall I couldn't tell if the logs were lopsided, or the railing behind it was angled, or the structure itself was toppling over. But I reverted to a time when I was a child and walking through the Crazy Kitchen was as good as a roller coaster ride.
Next, we decided to walk over to Yaletown, so we headed for Granville. On our way, we ignorantly stumbled onto a film set. Suddenly, all of the vehicles had European license plates, and the street signs were written in German. Even billboards were replaced with ads found in downtown Frankfurt. At a standstill, we finally realized what we'd walked into. A snotty queen asked Adam if he was wearing his sunglasses in the last shot. Confused, he hesitated to respond. The snotty queen then said, without hesitation, "You're going to have to leave." Having just worked on a tv set shot on location, I knew what it was like to tell people they needed to ditch the scene, but I'd always use the word please when asking someone to flee. This man had a chip on his shoulder and a stick so far up his ass I thought I could see it coming out of his mouth. We bitched about him for a few blocks until we arrived at Yaletown.
A little window shopping and the day was complete as we wandered back to English Bay. I collected my things and said my goodbyes and headed for my white van. The two hour drive home was a pensive one. I had a nice little getaway but it was time to return to the bubble that I call home. With honesty and conviction, I would like to say the escape worked. It was probably the perfect combination of great company, red wine, and magnificent sights, that were responsible for the quick resurrection of my fiery soul.