Suzanne and I slack over a landscaped breakfast lunch. Avocado burger for her, eggs benedict for me. English Bay bubbles and squeaks inside a yawning domed stadium, incinerator waters crowded by weekend sailors. Skateboarders cannonball the concrete blowway in padded extremity, blazing by a creaky bugger dragging a decayed dog before the sea rises to meet a glasseyed Hong Kong canyon. Sandwiched waiters ballpoint fresh squeezed whatever, plus bennies, margarita scrambles, smoked salmon omelets. The thinnest forces a commercial laugh beside a gold chain table, where the brothers favor hiphop baseball gear over oversized shorts. Bathed in unripe grapefruit sunlight, two Japanese girls in beige bucket hats chat at the corner, speaking into another world. A chain gang member, thick arms folded across a Houston Astros sweater, waits with a thousand yard stare. Meanwhile, maple leaf flags also kill time, flapping beside an orange, purple and green gay pride banner. Rancid cabbage diesel exhaust temporarily trumps espresso fumes and frying bacon after a blue garbage rollodex turns about its business. Overhead, gulls circle, searching for what morning fishermen left behind. Below, laid back freighters circle rusty anchor chains, untuned with pumping seniors powerwalking the sea wall treadmill. Everybody flinches when a homeless foulmouth pulls up beside the iron class barrier, trys to bum a fag, then hauls ass back to an abandoned church under a smokeless cloud of toothless cursing. North Van gal drives by in a gorilla chaser with monkey bars, sunglasses posing for a fashion shot atop mustard brown hair. Halfway through my benny, the gold chain order arrives: Double charburgers resting beside onion ring engine blocks. As the brothers trencher down, two overcarbed his and hers waddle by hauling half drained water bottles. Everything feels peaceful. Orderly. Even the odor of industrial hydrocarbons, oozing out onion ring engine blocks, adds to the mystical sheen.

Vancouver Sat 07/19/03