I hate to admit it, but I need you! All of you! I'm an extravert you see...I know it to be true, my therapist told me so. I traded her $130 for an hour of her time each week and we chatted about me...about you, about all of us. She must be telling the truth right? I can't really put a price on peace of mind mind you, but along the way, she has helped reveal to me the thick meat on the bones that are surrounding my existence. I eat that meat slowly and thouroughly then hand the bones to the crows. I love crows. No shortage of crows around this area...no shortage of bones for them either. I've lots to chew on. Big mouthfuls, slow, deliberate chewing...savouring the flavours I may have been missing for a while.
Tonight, I walked about the local alleys creeping people's windows as they gathered with family, friends and relatives watching that football game. I don't care for sport really, but I love the fact that the spectacle brings people together. Food, drink, tension, anxiety, joy...even that awkward Uncle with the open-ended obligatory invite. (God help you decide should he invite you to his place)
I heard shouts of joy and screams of despair. I could just imagine grown men and women slapping their hands to their heads as their team did something silly. I know the feeling, I support Liverpool FC.
I love going through alleys, never know when I'll notice a derelict motorbike that I can make an offer on if I wasn't in therapy (insert awkward laugh) I like to look at back yard garden plots that are being slowly readied during our Pacific West Coast winter. I sigh when I see cars under carports thick with dust and cat footprints. These machines have been long forgotten I fear. I once saw an early 50's Mercedes that the owner couldn't afford to buy insurance for. There it sat...crying, invisible.
I walked past a funky old house typical of older Eastvan yesteryears that foreign owners hadn't bought, knocked down and built monoliths on the space yet. (oh yes I did) and there was a party going on.
Looking into the yard, the 30-something tenants (educated guess judging by the group) had fastened a tarp to the back of the house, set up tables and mounted a big screen tv to the outer wall. SuperBowl party, COMMUNITY! Looked like there was lots of food and plenty of beer! One lone couple nearest me shared a lingering kiss. The guy was looking deeply into her eyes. I wanted to run over and give him the thumbs up! Funny...don't recall what she looked like? I was taken by the sight of him seeing her I guess.
Eye contact is paramount! The eyes can't lie. I recall these 2 ponces that hung around girls from a group home I once worked at decades ago, they couldn't look me in the eye. I digress...
Buddy had it going on, the tv was invisible, his girl wasn't. (caveat: he WAS holding a beer, brother has to incorporate his loves)
Suddenly, off in the distance, I heard some very anger-inspired shouting. A man was in quite a state. To me, it sounded like a drunken, violent soliloquy more than an argument...alas it was dark out, best to check to be certain no woman was in peril. (What am I? Writing a novel? Bit wordy)
I spotted the brother walking down the street flailing his arms and raging! He had a can in hand, could have been a Redbull but I suspect more like a can of courage. He was alone so I calmed down that part of my chivalrous brain. No damsel to rescue.
My mind however, flashed back to that Lover. SEEING his girl, holding a beer...also a can of courage? You decide. Make it your story.
Anyway...gosh I go on rabbit trails yeah?
This is when I need adult supervision because part of me wants to go tease the shouting nutcase but most of me just wants to hear his story. The battle rages within me. To love or mock, that is the question.
Anyway, it seemed to me that he was on a mission of ill will. P'raps I could spoil it for him if anyone else was in danger. I followed at a distance still peering in windows and smiling.
Side note...simple observation in Eastvan. Asian families seem to have window dressings drawn whilst other cultures do not. Is that a thing? I'll have to ask a couple friends I see each day. Mental note.
Back to anger man...he was shouting very loudly about his "fucking cable provider" and something about how he knew that he was being monitored online. He was shouting how he knew that "you bastards were watching me". I deduced from his paranoia that he was probably visiting Canada from slightly South because Canadians have yet to realize that our Federal Government is monitoring us. Hasn't really sunk in here yet. Maybe buddy was from Seattle?
Well, rage boy was very nearly about to cross the border of Vancouver where East becomes West and I really don't like going there, so I kinda hoped that he'd hurry and attempt to hatch his plan before he crossed Ontario St. He continued to rage, made no threatening comments to people or showed any harmfull actions towards himself so, since I was suddenly bored, I turned back East. He wasn't dangerously drunk, he'll be fine.
I turned just in time...West vs East...it's a thing you know. Look it up!
Wondering up an alley I wandered, (see what I did there?) It was just gone 8:30 and it occurred to me that I hadn't seen a kid or teenager outdoors in the entire time that I was out! Where were they? What were they doing? Surely they weren't all hanging out at Superbowl parties were they?
I began to think about it, looking back on recent walkabouts, I rarely see young people outdoors. I'm outdoors everyday and damned near ever night. These wide, paved alleys are vacant!
Were they all indoors on devices, computers or staring at tv screens? What have we allowed to happen? When did that start?
Members of Think Tanks scratch their heads and spend bags of cash trying to figure out why we keep seeing an increase of childhood diabetes, obesity, rudeness, apathy and shite attitudes in too many young people. Lack of community maybe? Used to be that people would say that Homeschooled kids were social idiots...I'm thinking it's turned to Tech Twits being the social outcasts by choice!
Alas, we're paving the way aren't we? Most parents don't send the kids outdoors anymore do they? Couldn't be bothered to put in the effort, frightened to pull the plug or block the Wifi.
It DOES take a fair bit of effort to drag kids from the group home out into the great outdoors. To be fair, I do cut them a wee bit of slack though. At present, 3 teen girls are heroin addicts, but I STILL manage in most cases to get them outdoors. It takes about an hour of skilled effort on my part but damn it, its worth it in my mind!!. Funny thing is, they LOVE it when we go!
Forgive me...this rant has gone rather sideways.
I guess the title of the post was a clue. These alleys are too quiet. They weren't in our day were they?