February 25, 2012

Vancouver is fickle in the winter.  Often, locals walk around smugly with winter sunshine warming their shoulders then followed soon after with bitter winds chasing up the streets looking to impale the first person it can find with icy tendrils.  
Yesterday morning was such a day.  I met my friend Gillian downtown at 9 am at our “usual” spot, and part of the usual spot process is to spend about 10-15 mins at what we both think is the usual spot while thinking ‘That’s strange, Susan/Gillian isn’t often late”.  While I stood near the Bay corner of Georgia and Granville, she stood at the Bay near the corner of Seymour and Granville.    I say stand near the corner because I was huddled in behind a pillar on the Bay building tucking my hands in my jacket and peering around the pillar to see if she had arrived.  She was doing the same thing except huddled in Granville Skytrain exit on Seymour.  Every now and then we would both take a run up to the corner to see if we had missed the other – apparently not at the same time.  Smart phone technology saved the day eventually.
Both of us stood near homeless men who – at least in my case – seemed much more prepared for the wailing winds.  He had a sleeping bag, tarp, and was snuggled against the Bay building and was sleeping the morning away as Vancouverites were just beginning the day.   I couldn’t see any part of his face or body, and as I stood there getting colder, I examined the scene.  I noticed people had started leaving some change for him – even a toonie and a loonie – and someone had left a Large (I guess now it is a Medium) Tim Horton’s coffee for him.  I hope it was still warm when he woke up.
February 25th Extra-Ordinary Event:  A faceless homeless man getting his caffeine fix just like the rest of us.