Tonight, rather than work on the NASCA report, I headed downtown after work to give Tristan a proper friend’s send-off before he leaves for Toronto. Around 9:30, I met Alison at the Starbucks at Georgia and Granville, where we were joined shortly thereafter by Tristan. From there, it was off to Granville Island beer at Cafe Crepe on Granville, where Meaghan Beattie joined our group. Perhaps the social context helped, but it definitely seemed to me that relations between her and I have softened a bit: slipping back towards some kind of friendly comfort. Also noteworthy was our group’s conversation with our server, Marcus, with whom an unexpected camaraderie developed. I’ve always found it rewarding to get to a level more fundamental and substantial that than at which a person’s job requires them to deal with you. It’s a refreshing demonstration of common humanity, and our ability to communicate.
After a couple of shared pitchers and crepes, my three companions decided that five-pin bowling underneath Granville Street was a good plan. Now, I have been visiting Granville Street ever since my parents began discouraging it in grade four, but I have never seen, much less bowled in, the set of subterranean lanes that exist beneath. While our bowling skills would have impressed nobody, it was a grand time (only mildly and indirectly reminiscent of one part of an Ondaatje novel).
At the alley, we were joined by Aoife. As far as I can recall, I hadn’t seen her since the Brother’s Creek hike of about a year before. For the rest of the night, especially after a fairly emotional parting of ways with Tristan, I definitely felt like an awkward appendage to her and Alison’s indistinct coupledom. I certainly don’t object to any aspect of their conduct; it was merely a reminder of the extent to which I am presently alone.
The prospect of not seeing Tristan for two years, or even one, is astonishing. I have no doubt that my relationship with him will prove to be the among the most comprehensive and long-lasting of those which evolved while I was at UBC. As has been the case with Alison, the confidence that such a statement is justified provides considerable comfort, in the context of coming separation. Things founded on something more enduring than a temporary confluence of interests can survive long separation – especially when there are crutches like our respective blogs to keep us hobbling forward.
With work tomorrow – and a real need to make up for my report dalliance tonight – the idea of going to sleep earlier than normal seems like a good one. Tomorrow night, I am meant to meet Sarah P.: a plan conceived on the basis that tonight would bring with it the completion of version 1.0 of the NASCA report, the version meant to be submitted to the group for scrutiny. As much as tonight may have tossed a small spanner into that plan, no synapse, axon, or dendrite in my brain thinks it was unjustified.