Twice, now, I have walked across the Granville Street Bridge here in Vancouver. The first out of necessity, this second out of desire.
My first journey across the bridge was during the first month I was in Vancouver, after a concert that I went to with Ben. Due to some unfortunate mix-ups, misunderstandings and miscommunications, I was left stranded at UBC (a significant distance from downtown where I lived) with no cash, an ATM card that did not function in 90% of the ATMs in Vancouver, an empty phone with a handful of prepaid minutes, and a nearly drained phone with a $.70+/minute rate to the U.S. I took the free bus as far as it would go and then walked my ass over that bridge.
When speaking with Ben a few days earlier about the subject of being out of cash, he told me to ‘enjoy’ it while it lasted because in a couple of weeks I would probably never be broke again. As I sit here exactly five months later, he has been correct. While at the time the concept of enjoying having to walk to somewhere I was unsure how to get to from another place I had never been before did not seem quite so compelling, in retrospect it had a certain beauty.
It was still warm out those days, being mid-July, and I spent most of the walk using all of my minutes and battery power to talk to a girl back in San Jose who certainly deserved that much and more, but even with the distraction I was impressed with the bridge and the city lights.
San Jose doesn’t have bridges, San Jose doesn’t have many city lights. A lot of lights, certainly, and maybe a freeway overpass or two that might come off as a bridge, but nothing like a real bridge or a real set of downtown lights. There is never any reason why I would be forced to walk home over the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge. Nay, this bridge-between-here-and-my-house business is quite a unique experience in my life, going-towards-the-shiny-lights-to-find-my-way-home even more so.
Tonight I savored my walk, ignoring the busses slowing down as they passed. Inhaling the chill air and gazing upon the cranes lit up for the holidays, the construction aglow with colors, and the millions of lights that now point my way home, well, as feelings go, tonight was a first. I’ve walked home alone many times, and I’ve enjoyed my solitude, but this new city, this new life, lights up my eyes the way I only ever imagined someplace could.