The man sits at the table with his blonde consort. The two have just been seated at the table beside and slightly in front of me. He fiddles with his cell phone for several minutes before glancing up to his woman. He says nothing and she says nothing. This silence continues for several minutes until the man receives a call. He gets up and walks to the restaurant entrance. He has a ten minute conversation. The girl orders her meal during this time. When the man gets back to the table, he orders his food with a dissociated air. While waiting for their meals, the cellphone is put away and the two sit in silence. They avoid looking at each other. Waitresses stream past and finally their plates are delivered. Silence throughout the feed. It is difficult to tell if they are enjoying this. Man asks for the check before the girl is done eating. Pays cash, waits for her to finish. They get up and walk out, not a word between them.
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?