The Perfect Hem.

December 20, 2005

The train is going north and a bit of snow is hitting the window. A woman in jeans is sitting across from me. I can see the night blur in the window behind her. Her hair dangles to her glasses as she reads “Catcher in the Rye”. The not-so-gentle bump of the train pushes people together, and when we go through the tunnel I watch the standing riders sway. At Government Center Station, the woman folds her book into her leather bag. She rises to exit the train and for the first time I see her in stature. The first thing I notice is her shoes – patent pumps worn and creased by years. The second thing is the way her jeans hang at perfect length over her shoes, almost touching the ground but not quite. As she leaves the train, I note how much depends on a perfect denim hem as seen on a woman’s leg.

Vignette #13

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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