Today is on of those miserable wet days that Vancouver is so famous for. Grey and gloomy. There are rivers in the atmosphere that want to rain on our parades. Yet I am happy, which might seem strange.
I have new red Hunter boots. Today is the first rain day since I got them. I am so excited to walk in the rain and not have my feet get wet. The new red Hunter boots have bestowed upon me a new power.
I literally can kick the sodden leaves that dam up the catchment, and suddenly there is a small stream flowing down the hill. This is freedom. As the rivers flow from the sky, I am making my own little rivers here on Earth.
My new red Hunter boots are now covered in leaf debris. This will not do. I find a nearby puddle large enough to wade through. I swirl my new boots in the puddle, and they are new and red again.
Across the street there is a new sinkhole. You can look down and under and see that the earth has been eaten away for about ten feet in all directions. Clearly this little hole is wanting to be a bigger hole. The warning tape only covers the actual entrance to the sinkhole, and not the impending larger disaster waiting to happen.
I walk to the bakery and I buy some decaf coffee, half a loaf of bread and a maple pecan swirl. As any self respecting man over 60, I ask the person behind the till if I can offer a suggestion. Of course she says with a forced enthusiasm.
“ You used to make a pastry with raisins.
An escargot she says.
That is because of the snail shape, not because it includes snails , or slugs.
Raisin aux pain.
She confesses that she loves them, but alas, us poor raisin lovers are few and far between. I commiserate of the tragedy of the shriveled grape, and speak of the travesty that is a butter tart without raisins. It is really a sugar pie!
We laugh and I leave.
A woman is walking a wiener dog. They are always male wiener dogs, have you noticed? How can you not notice. The wiener almost as big as the dog itself. I tell her of my joy in splashing in puddles today. Her dog sharply barks.
It’s always the little ones who make the most noise, I say. I have a cross terrier who frightens small children. They always want to pet the cute little doggy. The woman, who has an English accent, says enjoy your new red Wellies.
Yes I will, I reply.
Yesterday I received the boots in the mail, which is always a delight, receiving things in the mail. It was a dry day yesterday, and I had to go to the local library branch to get my card updated. The one I have is a strange shape, with the corners broken off from time and disuse.
The librarian is from the Maritimes, evidenced by her use of the hard R.
You have fines owing from 2006. $3.
Is there interest, as that would probably be onerous.
No. No interest is charged at the library. You don’t have to pay now, just after you accumulate fines more than $10.
I say, I would prefer to pay now, clear the slate.
I wander the shelves and see a mother towering over her small child who is sitting in the floor, looking at a picture book. I remember all the great times as a child, going to libraries. Wandering through the shelves, no aim in my mind, but wandering. Let’s just see what fate would provide. I could spend so many hours in a library, or later on, bookstores, something my daughter loves as well. Although it is fun to read on tablets, there is nothing is like actually going to the library.
It has been almost 14 years since I was last at the library, out in South Surrey.
There are many young mothers here today with their children, and even babies in strollers. Did I say this was Black Friday? For me it wasn’t Black Friday. It was Red Friday, for my new red boots, and my three dollar fine.
I check out a book, the new James Ellroy, Widespread Panic, which came out this past year. Ellroy created a new shorthand for crime writing in the last 20 years, but recent novels have seemed like rewrites or paler imitations of previous masterworks. Hopefully, this will be a ‘good one’. One thing I do know, is that there is little risk, as the book isn’t costing me anything.
I got it at the LIBRARY.