Tuesday morning last week. Up naturally. No alarm. Weird, I think to myself. I usually don’t wake up without that obnoxious piercing red cube of electronic shit beside my bed. I shake my eyes and rattle my hair, take a gander at the clock. 8:10. Was supposed to be at my desk ten minutes ago. Shite. Up and in the shower, do the deed quick and good (no time to run a batch off this morning, although I suppose a guy could always make time). On the street minutes later, gunning for the 9. Almost tripping over my own legs, gotta catch the next bus, dammit there it goes, cocksucking driver is early, now I’m even more late, fuck this I’m going home, fuck Edmonton Transit, fuck Sony for making my alarm clock, fuck the guy in the Acura who almost sent me crashing into the curb just now, fuck work, fuck money, fuck it. No. Can’t fuck it. Every month the rent comes crashing down like a grad student on Old Grandad. Root Beer costs money. CDs cost money. Get to work, you prats. Stop bitching and get your shit tied. Get on the next fucking bus and get your ass in. Slam $2-1/2 into the seven and head ‘er downtown. Off at 101 and 102. Street bustling with day shifters and Starbucks sniffers. Couple minute’s wait and then I’m on the 3 northbound with a couple of mutants who look fresh off the undead train. Don’t chew my legs off, fuckos. ‘Phones on and sweet guitar damage in the ears. Morning sun beautiful through the bus windows. Head leaning on the window, trying to relax. Close my eyes for a minute. You can’t do this in a car. No sir, you can’t. Pull the cord. Step down on the treadle. Short walk to the office. I may be late for work, but at least I’ve got a story or two. Tuesday, don’t chew off my legs.
Bus traversing the High Level, Nov 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?