It’s closing in on two am and it’s too hot to sleep. My bed is a rotating pool of sweat and temporary madness. Vessel of terrible dreams and sheet-ripping frustration. The late-nighters with their busted headlights and fluorescent badges are crawling around out there. I can hear bottles tinkling and girls laughing. Faint red aircraft lights bounce from the tops of buildings into my tired eyes. I can’t get that certain song out of my head and if I don’t hear it now, at two am, I just might have to check into the bin. I’m having this dream that I’m on a ranch with all these people and hundreds of horses. At least I think it’s a dream. I take a few photos of the horses, just to find out.
The horses. And the sleeping pills. I’m thinking about the sleeping pills in the cupboard. They don’t resemble those red aircraft lights. I should take a couple. Up out of bed. 1/2 liter of water. Two pills blinding white on my sunburned palm. Slap of palm to mouth. Wash of water. There’s that song again. Maybe I should take a spoon so that I can dig my brain out of my head, if it comes down to that. I notice that a certain glass has been resting on the counter for a week, forlorn and unamused. I should really put it away. Only three hours until sunrise. Three hours of madness, unless the little red lights do their thing. And dammit, I did see horses. Fucked if I can’t sleep.
Horses on the ranch july 2006
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?