…when this guy comes up and asks me if I wanna buy some pot. No I say, I can’t brook that shit these days. He seems faintly embarrassed by this, but christ, this is a bus stop not the basement of the PO. Speaking of the PO, I was kicked out of there once. What must a man do to get kicked out of the Onion, you ask? You have to show up pissed with six of your friends who are equally pissed, but with one guy (not you) who is really pissed. And that one guy has to drink six triples (‘cause they’re on special) in about two hours. Then he has to ask the bartender for a knife because he wants to kill his friends, the rotten fucks who drug him out to the shittiest bar in Edmonton on a Thursday night. Astonishingly, and this would only happen at the PO, the bartender gives him a dull blade. The knife isn’t sharp enough. Then he snaps. Throws an ashtray at the bouncer. Falls down. End. That’s how you get bounced from the Purple Onion.
But yeah, I still don’t need any pot. Thanks anyways, pal. Try that guy over there in the fake Oakleys and the Stanley thermos (it’s 7:00am and the sun hasn’t shown her skirt yet), he looks like he could use a top up, or as we say in the trades, an “adjustment”. Maybe try the underage mujer over there, the one with the tragic bleach job. She looks like a Saturday night left hander enjoyer. And hell, why not hit up the bus drivers. They’re driven to the brink of homicide on a daily basis. They could use some weed. Maybe we all could but it’s too early for me, sailor. The day is young and I like to keep it that way. I age a year with every puff. But enough of this horseshit. My bus is late and I am lamentably unenthusiastic today. Is it Monday? If all goes as planned, if the headphone music goes down just right, if everything noble about working day in and day out hammers together something beautiful, I should be cogent by Thursday night.
And fuck Thursday. Who needs it. Day before Friday is all it has going for it. If I spend a hundred Thursdays rambling on about some woman I knew once, it would be time well spent because the day’s a write off. A blight on the week. Putting in time until Friday is all I ever do. It’s all anybody ever does, yeah? Maybe. When we’re not waiting for the bus. Or falling in love. Or trying to duck a guy selling pot.
Street outside my window
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?