Gay Austin August, 1978
continued from page 7
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Today is my birthday. I am 24, a good age to live. I
have yet to worry about the possibility of non-existent wrinkles. But how quickly time moves!
Ah, Vancouver, how I fold my heart to you. Wreck
Beach directly behind the University of B.C., where
one may sunbathe nude and venture into the waters and
smoke some recreational weed and meet and relate. And
all your other beaches. And a few miles north, Highway 1 weaves on the landward side of the forested
cliffs and down below the islands and channels of an
incredible deep blue offward and rich forested growth
to snow-packed summits. Horseshoe Bay and its ferries
which lead you through the waters and about the islands to wherever in the late evening fog or day-sun
you wish to go.
Last night, I sat myself at a picnic table overlooking the waters surrounding Stanley Park. On three
sides the harbour waters. The sun at about 10:00 p.m.
began its slow descent, that orange gold goblet. Twilight gleams, that intercessory prayer, like sonorous
globed goblets. A hue of tan moist orange red keening
behind the west-edged mountains, the low mountain
hills dropping into the waters, the bay's end. The
tanned cool heat of desert sandy sky red contrasting,
setting off blue steepness of pin- hills. Twilight,
0 chant, that gold goblet circuiting the hills and
the bay over-reaching it and passenger cruising ships
moored amongst the waters, sun long gone, but not
that incredible glow slowly dissipating, and moon already risen hours or days or weeks ago...
1 watch ship lights promenade. I feel com-lete. It is
10:45 p.m. The white sheet in front has altered to a
pale, now darker blue. I feel at peace. I shall not
forget where I am; I thrust myself to feel. I know I
shall eventually return to Vancouver to witness this
all again and this peace.
I am seated with the blue shed befor. me when the
two arrive. One asks me what 1 am doiag with that
sheet of paper. They are lovers from Montreal who
had moved to escape the political dilemmas there.
We speak on issues, on American and Soviet propaganda, and I listen attentively as one tells me his
experiences in a Montreal that once had included
They are waiting for friends to appear and I have no
doubt that I shall be included. It is cool, cold,
perhaps, the temperature 55 with the ocean wind
streaming. We shiver and watch the moving lights on
the waters. Their friends, their straight friends,
arrive. We all shiver and say we wish to go and
have a coffee somewhere, but we remain at the bay,
commenting on the lights and the political situation and the moon's full-moon-shine and a harbor-
light-house across the sound bleating and deep
throaty calls of ships. I mention that all businesses
in Canada shoul- be 100 percent Canadian. One of the
lovers gives me a suspicious look, then assumes I
have not simply parroted the line and the group
discusses the Canadian situation.
With his friends seated about his stance he points to
the sky. There, above us all, a thin sheer of white
like a maple leaf shimmers. He opens his arms and
cries, "0 Canada...", and again, "0 Canada..." and
the group basks happily in his words. He turns back
at them and says, "Now if the government should
start dropping maple leaves over Quebec, you can be
sure something is about to hap pen that might not be
very pleasant." He turns his face toward the apparition of the leaf and smiles another, "0 Canada..."
and rejoins the group. "Besides," his lover informs
me, "if Quebec secedes, Canada would lose such
beauty." Looking upon the site of the maple leaf and
the people. I wish to alter my circumstances immediately. To carry a bottle of wine out and build a
fire and watch the sun setting on the beach, ah...
A sweltering 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees)
brings everyone out to the beach. And especially with
the strikes going on the beaches are packed. At
Wrecker Beach, I meet a guy. Tonight, we have gone to
see COMING HOME and to hold each other tight with
each successive horror. We walk arm-in-arm on the
downtown streets and watch liberals avert their eyes.
How we enjoy it!
This night we see a mediocre (well, alright) comedy
after having toasted over steak and wine. How warm we
are with each other, and how beautiful.
I cross the border and return to a monstrous America.
I shall stop in San Francisco before leaving the West
Coast entirely. I shall find means to return.