ustine is toiling this Sunday morning. She is preparing a hot breakfast as the temperature outside plummets. I am lying on the couch, watching her from the living room. The dog is at my feet. The cat is on my chest. There is no music on the stereo. There is only the gentle slap of her morning feet on the linoleum floor. We are still shaking last night out of our heads, and it might take awhile. It is nearing eleven o’clock and we haven’t done a damn thing except get up. I can smell bacon and toast – two of the most delicious scents on the face of the earth. Justine is making hot chocolate for us. I hear the kettle whistle and the clink of the spoon. She brings two big mugs to the couch as breakfast cooks itself. We share a few quiet sips. The day unfolds slowly, as it should on a Sunday. “Good hot chocolate,” she says. “It is,” I reply, “it is good indeed.” We sit there for awhile, comfortable in a Sunday stall. Our little island is disturbed by nothing, save the cat jumping on the piano and glancing momentarily at the Chopin score on the music stand.
StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook
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?