July 17, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on July 16, 2018

The lovely weather continues. But… it’s early and we slept (relatively badly) with windows open, and I’m at the point where this traffic noise is making me cry. Even with noise-canceling headphones on and Focus@Will climpering away quietly, the roar of traffic is all I hear. Ka-thunk, ka-thunk go cars and trucks, speeding along way above the limit of this 25mph urban stretch, over potholes and badly tamped-down repair seams (ka-thunk, again! again!), a nonstop flow of commuter traffic that starts at 4:30a.m. and doesn’t let up for about five hours. Then, at 3p.m., it begins again, reversed. In between it’s still noisy, albeit not as insistent and voluminous. I think I’m kidding myself if I say or think I can stay here. And I think I’m kidding myself if I say or think I can get out of here. Where would I go?

I looked at B. in Washington State for giggles, which in some ways could fulfill some criteria. Pacific Northwest, so, good to great as far as climate goes. In the US, so, not the restrictions of living in Canada. An hour from Vancouver (by car – or bus?), so, relatively close to a favorite city. A bit further from Seattle, but that’s okay. Seattle isn’t a favorite. Some arts, but not much. But, seriously, B.? Come on… It’s so far from everything, as everything is out there. But the weather… Proximity to Victoria – without having to live in Victoria, with all its problems. When I was waiting to pick up W. at the Depot, I read Gene M.’s latest for Focus on Victoria Magazine. It made me glad-sad not be living there anymore. The obsessive aspect of turning over the same problem(s), again and again, would be (is) like crack cocaine for my trapped mind. And for a while now Gene has had this eschatological aspect, maybe due to his advancing age: over and over, his focus is on Victoria as this numinous, special place. He doesn’t call it aura, but he may as well. And so Victoria is auratic, yet simultaneously beset by innumerable social problems. There’s Paradise (really!, trust me!, it’s Paradise!). And there’s the Devil (really!, trust me!, he’s a-comin’ to git ya!). Agony is truly special in Victoria, I guess. (Wherever you go, there you are.)

And so, when I think of living once again in the Pacific Northwest, in a sliver of paradise that’s quieter-than-this-traffic-corroded place, I can’t help but think, “Yeah, that would be great.” It lasts for a while, that feeling.

I went on Facebook yesterday, saw photos of some young couple’s engagement party in Victoria, posted / shared by C.B. The photos showed an easy mix of ages, young, old, different artsy sorts mingled in with more conventional types (but no polo shirts or front-pleated khakis anywhere in evidence…), and it made me wistful for Victoria-style sociability, its parties, in perfect little Oak Bay-Fairfield-Rockland arts-and-crafts bungalows or “Tudorbethan manors” and evergreen backyards. It lasts for a while, that feeling.

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