Indifference in Spring

Nelson Street from Bidwell Street, in Vancouver's West End. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Nelson Street from Bidwell Street, in Vancouver’s West End. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Nelson Street from Bidwell. West End, Vancouver. I had been at the firehall a few blocks further south to inquire how best to obtain images of the fire trucks for the cover of one of my four books on municipal government that I have in pre-publication, probably for release by the end of August. One of the books contains material on fire-fighting in municipalities.

After useful discussions with the firefighters on how best to obtain and use images of selected municipal operations in this city, I sat down on a bench to make some notes.

Several moments later, a homeless woman, whom I’ve often seen in the neighbourhood, about mid-50s or early 60s, lugging half a dozen parcels with her, sits beside me. She has a habit of crossing the street anywhere along it without regard to traffic. Her face and her hands are worn. She is exhausted by time, situation, and the heat of the day. I almost never carry cash so I had no money to give her. I attempted conversation. But she had selected silence.

I doubt that she was enjoying the view down the street in the manner I was. There is a lot of this desperation in Vancouver. Too much of it. And it can come to anyone. Most of the politicians simply keep on talking. This, in a city so full of riches.

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