Walking down Granville Street today I had an interesting thought. In my mind I composed the perfect sentence to express that thought. It was the start of a poem I knew would be an interesting and eloquent presentation of the thought and, heading towards the bus stop, I worked at the lines of the poem, making them brighter and prettier as I headed out of the shade and into the sunlight and back again into the shade of the bus stop shelter. A woman sat on the bench, inside the shelter, bent over with her back to me, possibly contemplating the poster-sized ad in the lucite window, a luscious young woman in a tight halter-top, advertising fitness.
I hate those ads. Pictures to make you sick with physical longing for perfect youth and beauty which exists nowhere. I’ve seen a million beautiful women, and men, for that matter, and none, gorgeous as they were, even approached the images created by magic in a photo lab. Perfect skin, luscious tits. I waited for the bent old dame to look my way so that I could tell her. But she never turned around, not for a second. Soon the bus came and she never moved, never got on the bus, I never saw her face.
Hours later I tried to recall my brilliant thought but it was gone. Riding the bus home I forgot to keep track of it and then hunger besieged me the way hunger does. Sudden, insistent, relentless. I couldn’t even make it home and had to stop at Mim’s for a burger and fries and sat at an outdoor table breathing fumes from a firetruck idling mere yards away. Paramedics. Someone was sick, having gazed incorrectly at a bus-shelter ad, no doubt, and someone else called the paramedics. Why they show up in a firetruck I don’t know, but they do and they wait for an ambulance, leaving the truck to run, poisoning the atmosphere with fumes and diesel noise. But the burger was good, though the fries less so.
I gaze upon the scene, clamorous with cars and trucks, thick exhaust fumes hard hit by blazing sunlight, and wonder if fifty-one’s too old to begin a diary. By the time I’m sixty or seventy will I care what happened ten or twenty years ago? Not likely. The barren days will be too close together, too barren. It’s the rush of events and people, from birth to the summit of life’s rich hubbub at, say, twenty-two, that will arouse my longings and I will have, I already have, forgotten everything.