Friday night I rode home from work on the top half of a double decker bus.
The weather has been strange here in Edmonton. For the last few days the temperature has been hovering around +10. Aside from the occasional cold snap, we’ve had one of the mildest winters I can recall.
Last night it was pouring rain as I made my way home. All that dirty snow and chunks of brown ice filled with gravel and bits of garbage were sluicing down the gutters and emptying into the sewer. I hopped between puddles as I got off the local bus and onto the 414 commuter.
It was just me and three white boys who were laughing and, almost a little too loudly, rapping Straight Outta Compton with not an ounce of irony. My first reaction was to scowl. Then I did what I’m trying to do now: remember a time when I was young and had more testosterone than brains. Earlier in the transit centre the boy with the stubble and red shoes was doing a funny little dance for his friends. Something must be going right in his life and my heart softened a little. And besides, it was only us boys on the bus.
I got off at the university and walked the couple of blocks home. Tiny rivers of water flowed as the rain kept coming, and it felt like the whole city was being rinsed clean. Asian girls with umbrellas meandered back to student housing. They seemed in no hurry. And the Earls was packed with people eating and drinking and ending the work week.
The sound of raindrops on my coat was music. This night, as I walk home in the rain, I’m alive.
I am a human and this is life. I will never have this moment again.