Last week was spent where blue meets blue: Vancouver. I bounced around from discussing medical pedagogy to particular forms of literary criticism to eating fresh Pacific salmon. I walked along a beach. I stood at the base of mountains.
I had never been to Vancouver before. The brush of green against gray, the inevitable rain that cleansed the slab of geography, the sun that came out afterwards – all of it felt familiar, yet different, as though I was looking at a still stick only to find it vibrating in my hands. I walked as I always walked, though the hills and inclines made me painfully aware of my physical depreciation. I talked as I always talked – in long, breathless pants. And I was myself through myself because of myself.
But I was anyone but in Vancouver. I saw a Kacper that could be etched out elsewhere than Toronto or Hamilton. I saw him in the puddle of rain. He was wearing sweatpants still, but he was jogging alongside the ocean, racing the waves maybe. His face was a mess of hair and his hair was a mess of more hair. He wasn’t listening to music. He was older, certainly older than I am now, and he didn’t look at me. He didn’t have to. There was a place to go towards, some place I didn’t know, wouldn’t know, and a place that he may not know either. But it was a place nonetheless, even if it wasn’t.
A car splashed Kacper and my pants became wet in the aftermath. I looked to my cell phone. I had to return to the conference. Lunch was ending soon. Then there was my projects. And my work. And the nonfiction. Did I write that article yet? What about that email to that editor? If only lunch was longer.