I have three or four different things I want to write about, all unrelated, and all in different…moods. Some of them will have to wait.
Yesterday morning I came back from my Rock to find a great message on my machine. It was a 403 area code, so I thought it was my sister Sarah, but it ended up being Bob and Brandon Webber. (You may remember them from such posts as “Homowebmape” in May 2006). They were in Vancouver on a father-son road trip to see Sufjan Stevens in concert, and they wanted to hang out. And since they’re almost the closest thing to family next to my family, and I had a free night, I was thrilled.
So they picked me up and asked me if I knew of any restaurants nearby. I told them I don’t get out much, but I’d heard Regent students (and probably Danice) mention “The Naam” on 4th. So I accompanied these two Alberta farm boys to “The Naam”. (If you live in Vancouver and you’re more cultured than me, you may already be laughing). The waiter who seated us had a very thin, braided goatee. This should have been my first clue. We opened the menus. I scanned the menu items. Bob and Brandon were silent, with quizzical looks on their faces. “Wait a minute,” Bob said, “…where’s the beef?” He was right. There was no beef. And no chicken. And no pork. This menu was starting to look, shall we say, tofu-ey. Under the “Burgers” heading, there were veggie burgers and tofu burgers and veggie-tofu burgers. I looked more closely at the front of the menu. “The Naam: Vancouver’s Oldest Vegetarian Restaurant”. Yes, of all the myriads of eateries in Vancouver, I, Beth Malena, took two beef-loving Albertans to a vegetarian restaurant. We had a great time joking around with gravelly soldier voices: “Yeah, I was in ’Naam. I had the miso gravy.”
So yeah, it turned out fine. Then Brandon took me to a movie. (Incidentally, this is the second time a boy has taken me to a movie in the past three days… I’m becoming quite a player. I’ll tell you about the first movie next time.) We saw “The Illusionist”, which Jordan and Chris told me was good, and it was good. I came home and my roommates were watching “Speed”. I got ready for bed, and the boiler furnace thing, which is right off my room, made loud banging noises and I thought it was going to explode. My roommates assured me that if it exploded, we’d probably all die, but I would die the most. How reassuring. Thankfully it hasn’t yet exploded.
I tell you all this to set up my final story, which took place this morning, but likely very much as a result of the weird, mysterious, expect-the-unexpected sort of mood I was in. And it was slightly foggy, which also makes things feel more surreal. I was sitting on my Rock, looking out at the ocean, like I do every morning. I saw a seal, and then it dove again. Then it resurfaced, and I saw more seals pop their heads up – there must have been at least four. I’ve seen seals in groups before, but this was different. They were swimming around like crazy, and there were some things that popped up out of the water that didn’t fit. One of them seemed to have something white in its mouth, which I thought was a fish. There was so much splashing. And then something weird jabbed out of the water suddenly – I swear it was a human leg. I think I saw a foot. “Oh my goodness… the seals are murdering somebody!” I thought. Then everything stopped, as quickly as it started. They all dove down, taking this poor soul to their secret undersea lair, presumably to eat him. I have a lot more sympathy for people who think they see sea monsters. The ocean can be very confusing. I was seriously disturbed.
I thought about telling the people at the yacht club, but they probably already think I’m crazy. Some of them are usually working on (sitting on, looking really cool in) their docked sailboats when I arrive at the beach, and they see me stumble down the hill with grubby clothes on and messy hair (because I wake up and go to the beach without combing it), sitting on this big rock with my binoculars, occasionally dancing (thanks to the suggestion of a friend). I wonder if they have names for me. They probably call me “beachcomber”, because many mornings, like today, I spend the first 15 minutes of beach time picking up after the previous night’s beach partiers. It’s so aggravating. There must have been 30 beer cans this morning, a couple of them floating in the water, and those 6-pack rings that choke sea animals (though maybe the murderous seals need to be choked…). I always bring the cans to my house and leave them in the alley for the shopping cart guys in the neighborhood. Occasionally I glean more exciting things… like when I find unopened beer cans (I guess the party people are too plastered to realize they’re leaving beer behind) – I usually give those to Danice, because I hate the taste of beer. And this morning I found a Nalgene bottle, which I think was a gift from God because I don’t have a water bottle here. Sometimes my conscience gets to me, and I wonder if I should leave these things on the beach in case their owners return (my bottle has “Marina” written in white out on it…), but my logic is that I’m cleaning up their gross mess, so I deserve to keep whatever I find in it. Tell me if you think I’m wrong…or crazy.