October 31, 2014
I stare across the lunch table and there, my colleague Sharisse is sitting with her face covered-up in paint to fashion herself as what look to me as Skeletor’s bride in red. I see she’s suffering through it. But she’s holding on. Apparently, she cannot ever wash it off as it would shoo away the spirit that is living in her for the day. I don’t really get it. It’s halloween today and some people in the office decided to dress-up in costumes out of their own whim. I forewent the tradition. I find it corny, really. But because I haven’t shaved in days, I am wearing a comfy H&M sweater, a semi-faded Levi’s, my almost worn-out Vans sneakers that I bought in Bangkok a few years ago, and I reek of cigarettes, I decided my official costume would be that of a “stay at home dad who has nothing else to do but smoke.” Everyone gets a hoot as I declare what I came to office as.
The time couldn’t move any faster. I want to leave the office now. Not so I can start partying like the rest of Vancouver is going to do in this hallow’s eve. In fact, I am skipping my usual Friday night socializing. I am not feeling like seeing anyone tonight. I wish to be alone for once. Since moving to Vancouver, I feel that my days have been one social party after another. There’s always someone to see, someone to meet, someone to console, drink beer with, smoke with, have fun with etc. Gone are the days of my loner/introvert evenings that I have gotten myself so used to when I was still living in Toronto. Not that I complain at all. I love all the attention, in fact. But I also know I am always going to be a loner/introvert by heart. I like myself as such.
It’s 5 pm finally. I leave the office in total elation. I take out a stick of cigarette from my pack of Next menthol, light it up, and walk to the bus stop. The first cigarette after work is for me, always, always the best one though through the course of the day, it would normally be my third or fourth. What I find so joyful about having a cigarette after work is as if letting myself know that I worked hard today so much that I deserve this cigarette. Even though in the process, I burn my lungs and push myself closer to death. Lol. Who cares?
I hop on the Skytrain immediately after the 410 bus that I was riding parks by the train station. I am thinking of what to do or where to go this evening. I am too bored to go home and too brain dead to do anything else. My instinct naturally says watch a movie downtown. It would be fun to be in downtown strolling amongst all the drunkards in costume. I like sarcasm. But I really do want to see a movie as usual. I have 2 choices: Dracula Untold or St. Vincent. One is showing at Scotiabank Theatre on Burrard the other is at the International Village on West Pender. I am coming from 22nd Street Station and will have to stop by Metrotown as I need to buy a cheap belt at H&M because my leather Topman belt decided to destroy itself this afternoon at work. My pants are nearly falling and I have to keep pulling it up. I’ll never be able to make it downtown like this. So if I make the 7:50 pm Dracula at Burrard then good. But West Pender is closer and St. Vincent is showing at 7:50 pm too.
I grab some chinese food at T&T in Metrotown after buying a 6-dollar army belt at H&M. I decided not to go fancy. I just need to make it downtown without mooning random strangers. I couldn’t eat any faster and I am unsure if I can ever make the 7:50 pm on either movie. I hope so as the schedule shows that the next showing would be for 10:10 pm. I do not plan to be around downtown at that hour anymore. So off I go.
I made it to West Pender just 15 minutes before 7:50 pm. Since I have time to burn, I decide to burn my lungs once more. As I enjoy the evil goodness of nicotine, a nicely dressed man approaches me and asks if he can buy a stick of cigarette from me. I am no pusher of habits that are known to destroy people’s lives, but I give in anyway. I sell him a stick and lent my lighter. He says thanks. I finish mine and I go up to the cinema.
St. Vincent was such a good movie. It’s a comedy but I ended-up crying. As in I took-out a piece of tissue from the right back pocket of my Levi’s and wiped away tears. Why this is so, I cannot explain. But maybe I can. I have so much emotions tonight. In fact, I chose to be alone because I need to ponder on a few things. I wrote and sent someone a lovingly written letter a few days ago. I poured my heart out and included all the bottled up feelings that I have been meaning to let her know for a few years now. I deserve to be heard and she must know that. After getting out of the cinema, I head to Burrard because walking helps me think and so I can grab a bottled rootbeer, my favourite after movie drink from Market Place. As well so I can check-out the YCMA where I plan to sign-up in the next few days. And check-out the drunkards in costume.
After having the rootbeer, checking-out YMCA, and checking-out the drunkards in costume, I find myself inside a Tim Hortons just whiling the time away. I keep thinking of what lies ahead for me with, hopefully her by my side in some form or another. I know it would be difficult to plan-out such things because I live too far away. But I also know I need her so badly. To think of comprises is too soon to do but I start pondering nevertheless. Then the drunkards infiltrate the Tim’s that I am hanging out in. I leave and light up another cigarette.
I receive a text message from a friend while smoking asking where I was. I reply saying I just came from a movie and hanging-out downtown. I don’t receive a reply back. I figure I have upset her as she’s one of those I needed to ignore earlier so I can have this time all to me. She’ll be fine. I’ll see her in a few days.
Tomorrow I have a few things to do and a few people to see. As mentioned, my life here has become one social event after another. I love it really. So before I find myself finishing my pack of Next menthol or freak myself too much with all the drunkards in costume that I have been staring at, I decide to call it a night and hop on the train at Burrard station.
I walk to my house finally. I am so tired. I worked too much, thought too much, smoked too much. I just want to lay in bed and do nothing now. Not even breath.
As I walk towards the door, I reach into my pockets and realize, my keys have been left at work.