What’s that poster you’re putting up there? his name is Brent. and he spins around abruptly to my side. at first glance he’s in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube resting on his upper lip. he’s quick and he’s surprising. Media Democracy Day, he reads. Yeah, it’s a public event, you should come! School of Communication… he reads, and what do you do? I’m a student there. Oh yeah? And then he whips out the name Roman Onufrijchuk, a name I struggle to pronounce, and asks if I know him. He’s a prof at SFU. I’ve always wanted to take one of Roman’s classes. How do you know him? Oh we go back 30 years, he tells me. Old friends. And there you have it. Brent and I have studied the same program, 20 years apart. He continues… Barry Truax, do you know him? Only through textbook. His class got me a job managing the Folk Fest. And then I ran The Cultch from ’89-’94. And then things went to shit, as they often do. I assume he’s referencing his condition. We talk more. Well, you should come to MDD then, I suggest. It’s two weeks from today, at the library, and it’s free, and there are really interesting speakers. And maybe you’ll see Roman. Part nodding head, part distant look – it seems as though he’ll be there. I hope so. Really, truly. We shake hands and exchange names. How do you spell that? G.A.L.A. Oh, just like it sounds. Well, I’ll give you your poster back. Bye. And he zooms away again.
Two broken rims on cobblestone. A visit to Solder and Sons for the first time in 2 years. A bag of chocolate chip cookies on an outdoor chair. A man smoking outside Gallery Gachet agrees to put a poster in their window. I talk to two other strangers about the poster, and our conversations both converge onto capitalism, fate of my generation. It’s fucked, right? // I tell my daughter, your generation has to come together, says the owner of Bambo cafe, with her South American accent, as she fuses her fingers into a clasped ball. i know, i know.
we love you is spray-painted everywhere. and i believe them, whoever they are.
my roll of tape is dry and Josephine meets me just as the rain touches down again. The sunny morning was a trick. The trees on my street are more yellow than green. I forgot it’s almost winter again.