I am sitting beside her. She is reading. I steal quick glances at her, being careful to not be too obvious, but never getting a really good look at her. Once in a while I notice her glancing at me. I see that she just started Chapter 28. She shifts her crossed legs a few times. I watch her foot move slowly through the air. Black shoes that look like slippers. At one point, she moves her foot just enough to reveal her black ankle-height socks and her whiter-than-the-page leg. I smile at the contrast. She flips a few pages. I finally turn to look at her face directly and deliberately, but find that it is obscured by tumbles of brown hair. I watch her hold the book with one hand; the white flesh of her palm resting against a scribbled page.
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?