Step out of my office after eight hours of shit. Outside it’s warm and light at the same time for the first time in months. Bus doesn’t shag past for another twenty six minutes, so I decide to walk up the route a ways. And a fine walk it is, even in the toolshed machinery of the west end. The road is populated by small lakes of meltwater, likely collected and formed within the past 24 hours. I pass a small pool sporting a touch of lingering ice and a rainbow of gear oil. It’s a beautiful mess out here, but I’m reluctant to utter the word “spring”. In these parts, Mother Nature is a mercurial wench with no regard for propriety or comfort. We could be back in the tank in no time. Bus rolls up and I get on. It’s one of the old red seaters with lots of character. Cut seats. Sharpie grafitti. Old bus smell. Almost no one on here. Take a seat near the back, on the sunlit side of the rig. Errant sunbeams hit the chrome window slider and make a nice display. The window I am presently looking through is dirty. It’s a fine dirty, though. The sun is trying her damndest to squeeze through the dirt and grime before she sinks. On my way home with bus transfer in hand, beautiful evening ahead. Spring, delicious spring. Burning her tires at the mark.
Bus #52 Edmonton January 2007
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?