I was walking positively into the late night, talking
and thinking and smoking. It had been a clean night;
no coat and the little bit I was cold made me happy;
an awake I hadn't felt in some time.
On the way back there were shadows lurking, playing hide and seek with me, not taunting so much as letting their presence be known. I was smoking inhaling more than just the weed. I was breathing a little easier and even thought about running.
Between 10th and 12th there is an old rock elementary school, Lord Tennyson. I walked up the stairs, finding both my footing and some new ivory on the passage.
In the doorway there was a single caged lamp. I looked at it for what seemed like a long time (not long though, not really).
The Vancouver International Airport at night is not
even step-brother to its daytime character. It's a hollow;
none of the fastidiousness that earmarks the movements
one makes to drop offor more intensely when one
goes to fly, during the light-day.
You can make it from Coquitlam to the airportwhich
is in Richmond no matter who claims it is in North Vancouver,
or whyin a polite half an hour. Less if you are
feeling sinister and don't fear the police.
Tonight we are fearing no one. Both windows are open more than most of the way; and we are stabbing our hands out into the air, deflecting the wind into our faces.
This makes it even harder for my brother to read.
Plus we are both laughing. He is reading from a book
called Me Talk Pretty One Day; failing to read
more; because the instant the next line registers in
his head it provokes a laughter than interferes with
the actual saying of the words. It's frustrating, but
it makes me laugh with him.
If in the middle of the evening you are tired and winking for home. You can decide to just sleep. Just drink down the evening, the water, the possibilities. Monuments.
The movements of land, of feet, of memory: you can make peace with them all, in half a breath. And nod together to sleep. And dream.
I'm not trying to breathe at the same time as you.
It's falling that way-like chasing one leaf across a
raised backyard when I was a boy.
We played football and street hockey in the afternoons; and at night I would lie starfished on the front yard, beside (never beneath) that oak tree that seemed a billion years old to me then; count things I saw: stars, leaves, cars, random noises.
Make perfect round numbers from each circumstance and pass them off, when done, in my mind, like autumn in the maritimes. A suggestion less than a promise.
As now when I count the trails of your breath, next to mine or not, and each one eases out of this room, up the stairs. Lays its shoulders flat against some cement wall.
Kent Bruyneel is on the black couch in the basement.