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Day 16

Vancouver, Canada

I admit this is a poor image of the breadth of family I experienced though it is just uncomfortable enough to be genuine. Here is a small moment we shared. Sister was covering for the office receptionist, step mom is the regional manager (or some such high level), dad is visiting with me behind the camera. Do notice there are very few pictures of me in this thing. I'm not one to pose with cardboard cutouts or wax figures. Man, wax figures freak my shit. When my dad and I walked into the building there was the strong smell of paint. I thought it was latex based, he said water based. It wasn't overwhelming, but it was pervasive. The kind of smell you get used to after a few hours. The kind of smell that reminds me of summers painting houses, summers long ago.

I did say that I was looking forward to not driving today. Sadly I forgot about that and volunteered to drive us around town running errands and visiting his coworkers (he does tig welding). So, here's a couple dudes in a car. He wanted to go over the boarder to get gas. I was having none of that. They stopped me last time going US-CA. Didn't need to do that again. We did stop frequently which was a relief against the 2 hour bursts of the previous few trips.

Here is the machine shop where he works part time. There was the smell of oil, ozone, graphite, and what I now think was a melange of atomized metal. There was a large vertical lathe, there were several drill presses. The men who worked there, their blue overalls were splattered with black stains and pockmarked with holes and rips, their hands were roughly callused and scarred. Sadly the work board was mostly empty.
Looking back on it I think it was a bit of dog-and-pony show with me. All I wanted to do was go to the park, but whatever.

My step-grandmother had a quadruple bypass surgery a month ago. We stopped at the florist he frequents to pick up a bouquet for her. I smelled patchouli, cinnamon, winter holidays, sweet florals, scented candles, more perfume than alive. The smell of a pleasant death.

When we stopped by their pace to drop off the flowers I got to quickly see her scars on her pale wrinkled legs. Very impressive, lots of black stitches and puckered wound edges. Grandpa gave some good hugs. There was an old snoring beagle in there too. The place was as clean as the prototypical grandparents place, a little sterile and well dusted.

We stopped for lunch at an Indian buffet. Before the meal I washed my hands. There, hidden under the soap dispenser, was this strange little sticker. Sanitation is such a fleeting thing. Why would there be a sticker to loudly announce the obviously false claim of cleanliness? A perfectly and beautifully absurd little nugget of filth.
Lunch was pompadoms, dal, chicken curry, chutney, pickle, paneer. They had chow-mein in a warming dish next to the curry. Eeew.

My dad is a jack of many trades. He's done contracting, construction, sales, charity work, painting, pressure washing, and general all around hustling. When I was born he was working on the Alaskan pipeline. One of his newest hobbies is wine making. The wine cellar was just around from my room. I smelled dust and fermentation, a little bit of old saw dust as well.

I'm just not really into the story. It wasn't traumatic, I swear. I'm just trying to let out that last bit of steam. Go see the movie, The Tale of Despereaux. It'll be ok, I swear. Don't expect it to resemble the book, if you've read the book. I hear the book is good, but I never finished it. If you want to know what I worked on, it was the candle flames and the cobwebs, some torches, and lots of web surfing. Ha.

permalink written by  kleer001 on December 1, 2008 from Vancouver, Canada
from the travel blog: Tijuana to Vancouver
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u never know what your son will do? :( what can i say? Live is to damn short 2 know me is 2 ________ me.

permalink written by  All Menser on December 5, 2008

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