The walk toward Robson Street on Friday morning was a little on the painful side. My hips are on and off again these days. They have loosened up considerably over the past couple of months but some mornings they feel as if they’ve been fused back together.
I’ve been working on my core in the gym, when I walk, when I run yet still the back will kick up a fuss and can be a deal breaker. The ache was there upon waking. I’ll just walk it out I decided.
Construction site abound in the downtown core these days. I walked up Thurlow Street passing the high-rise being built at Alberni St.
As I emerged from the make shift cover over the sidewalk, street crews were digging up the alley alongside the Joe Fortes restaurant.
A flag woman stood gazing vacantly around her.
She had a beautifully formed face. Long neck, defined jaw line with rich dark hair peeking out of the hard hat she is required to wear.
Despite the shapeless work clothes she was in good shape.
I wondered how she’d come to be a flag person and if she liked it.
The expression she wore was far away. She was somewhere else in that head of hers.
An odd sadness washed over me as I passed by.
Then I got to thinking about hell. I do believe I’ve visited it a time or two.
Then again, I guess it depends on your view of what hell actually is.
Is it a destination or a state of mind? Is it simply a fear tactic?
I am not of a religious sect. I am a spiritual being, however, with a deep fascination of the human experience.
There are rules that have been dictated to us for which we live by. You’ve heard it no doubt.
No killing, stealing, cheating, coveting, lusting…etc.
I have an issue being told what I can and cannot do with my body. What I should enjoy and what I shouldn’t.
I understand that if I were endangering myself in a manner that may well threaten my existence that it may prudent for someone to step in see that I get help.
What I don’t understand is being told that having sex and enjoying it completely is a bad thing. That should I choose to have several partners then I’m a sinner and am going straight to hell unless I repent.
Taking something as intimate and life affirming as our sexuality and dividing our sensibilities over it is sacrilege to me.
I turned onto Robson Street and made my way to Starbucks for my morning coffee. No stores are open at this time, just a few people heading to work and shop keepers cleaning their storefronts preparing for the day ahead.
A woman, who I see periodically, was approaching.
Age wise my guess would be in her 70’s? She could be younger or older. It’s a tough call.
Her lips have undergone collagen shots one too many times.
Her hair is orange, her lipstick is orange, her attire is strongly infused with orange and her shoes are orange.
The skin seems frail and paper-thin sagging tiredly in areas that have been exhausted with surgical procedures in an effort to keep everything tight and youthful.
It isn’t working.
She tries to carry herself with an air of elegance and sophistication.
It isn’t working.
I smile at her but she doesn’t see me. She never does.
And I wonder what she sees when she looks in the mirror?
Again I feel an air of sadness emanating from this person. Is she trying to hang onto a life she thought she had? What is she hiding from? Are you scared?
I’m almost at the coffee shop and the mantra to loosen up my body appears to be working. I’m feeling the energy move through me with much more ease. Gravity is near normal. My feet no longer feel as though I have moon boots on.
A petite older woman with dyed black hair and a worn face is approaching. Her eyes tell the tale. She’s a firecracker. Present. In the moment.
She catches my gaze and gives me a sultry grin.
I return it.
And I knew in the brief exchange that this woman had lived a full life. She’d known great times, she’d known pain.
Other than colouring her hair, she hadn’t tried to stop the aging process. Had she aged well?
Many factors come into play. Your gene pool will dictate to some degree how well you manage along with how you lived your life.
Did she live a clean life? Was she unkind to the body she housed? Can’t say.
One thing is certain, we will all grow old.
At 56 I am embracing this notion. It is what it is and I will continue to find a healthy balance between saint and sinner.
We are taught to aspire to certain things in this life.
Marry, have babies, be selfless & sacrifice for the family. Propagate the species.
And what happens when you come from a family where every feeling remained bottled up. I never knew if it was permissible to express myself so I didn’t. I can assure you that this fucked with the human experience.
Then again, perhaps that’s the point of it.
In the last few years I’ve seen a model life that would be so good for me. I’ve tasted it. Liked it. Flirted with it.
So why don’t I just dive in and give myself over to it?
I’ve got thousands of theories on this.
An odd smile is playing about my lips at the moment.
What do I project to this world on any given day? What do you see when you pass by me?
I’ll never know.
Have a great day. Peace.