The White Olds.

December 15, 2005

Out in the driveway, she sits deader than a month of Mondays. Fuel pump blown years ago. Gaskets worn to shit from years of overextending the small V6. Rust around the wheel wells. Hazy mags begging for some polish. She was somebody’s baby once. She was new once. Someone spent a bunch of years loading bricks into the back of a truck in order to buy her. Or maybe someone busted their ass pulling twelves, ten-in-four-out on a highway crew just to throw enough down on her. Maybe someone bought her with cash, ‘cause that’s the way it had to be.

That cigarette burn on the passenger’s seat is the only taint on the interior, save the permanent and endearing stench of DuMaurier. She was a beaut back in the day, but now she’s all but spent; a white elephant taking up space in a gravel driveway. Even though she hasn’t moved in years; even though she’s an inch away from the wreckers, someone always sweeps her windows clean after a snowfall. And I never see who it is.

Vignette #11

StreetRag, An Urban Notebook

StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook

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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.

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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?

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