Saturday, 14 November 2015

Fine-boned, spectral and skeletal

It's early morning -- for a Saturday, and I find myself being carried through the streets of Lowertown and Sandy Hill on a bus filled with mostly young women with loosely piled-up hair. Outside, it's a world of solitary young men, well, more like a few parallel solitary worlds, each containing a young man out on his own - walking his dog, sitting in shirt-sleeves on the floor of a rickety metal balcony (not even shivering at 0 degrees Celsius), striding along with a coffee, or with earbuds, or with coffee and earbuds.

The young women disembark en masse at the University of Ottawa, dispersing and disappearing along various pathways leading to academic buildings, probably libraries on this Saturday morning as the post-secondary community moves into term essay season.

I see Nordstrom's coming into view, remembering how it was Eaton's when I first arrived in this city, became a ghost-town version of Sears, and now has shed all pretensions of being Canadian. I have a wait between buses, and have had no breakfast, so I grab a coffee and pastry at the quasi-swish department store coffee shop - then make a mental resolution not to do that again. Something that expensive should be reasonably delicious.

Along the Québec bank of the Ottawa River, there are puddles of sunshine. The trees caught in the slanting light are glowing in silvery-white ghostliness, all vestiges of autumn colour vanished, leaving them spectral and skeletal, like fish-bones.

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