Yes, it's the Queen's birthday and she is here in Canada, visiting her peeps. It is also, coincidentally, my parent's 35th anniversary, so Happy Day to mom and dad: congratulations to a couple of Canada geese making it through to the New Millenium in fine style! In celebration of the occasion I threw down some brand new Fakiegrind maneuvers at the Bease. I can't quite remember what they were, but suffice it to say there was a little bit of poetry in motion decorating that particular corner of God's public domain today. I had to hightail it out of there, though, when a few wayward kids showed up with a bag of fireworks. Within moments the park was transformed from a pleasant skating environment to a wizard's battlefield with five or six disheveled Harry Potter's pointing sulphurous wands that spit pyrotechnic projectiles in random directions. A flatlander could loose an eye that way!
As I sit in my hovel writing this, dusk is falling on the North End, and the cool lakeside air is being periodically punctuated by the echos of dollar store explosives. My housemate seems to have taken her kid for a walk, perhaps hoping to catch glimpse of some blazing sparklers or dragon tails. I, however, will lay low and enjoy the relative tranquility: no television or radio to intrude upon these brief musings, no two year old to humour nor holes to dig in the floor of the storage room. Just the keyboard a-clapping, and the ol' mental gristmill fakiegrinding away.
There was an interesting show on CBC this afternoon. Host Sheila Rogers went on a tour of the Manitoba Legislature Building with a scholar who is unravelling the Masonic mysteries to be found in what he called "the North American Parthenon". By the end of the show, after hearing about all the Hermetic, classical and Biblical references that lace the building, I had a great desire to fly out there and take a tour of the place, to feel the mystic vibes. Apparently, Winnipeg is located at about the geographical centre of the continent, so there may be some meridians of geo-energy that converge upon the place--if you believe in those kinds of things.
Well, night is falling and the fireworks are really starting to fly. If there's one thing North Enders like--besides large nasty dogs--it's a civic holiday. And why not? Sounds like the baby is on his way back too; his cries are louder than any fireworks. Maybe I'll stick my head out the door and take a peek...
....well, that was worth the trouble. The moon was coming up over the horizon like a giant orange Petri dish, and the neighbourhood was going off like the movie set for Apocalypse Now. I took my housemate's boy for a walk with me, just to the corner to check things out. He's autistic, so traffic lights lure him on like a will-o-the-wisp; he always has to go to the next one, and if you try to turn back he starts screaming bloody murder. I was only wearing my pajamas and sandals, but I ended up going much further than I had initially intended: up over the railway bridge and along the main street past the prison and abandoned warehouses. I felt kind of funny in my P.J.'s with my little charge in tow, and him screaming his lungs out half the way home when I finally had to turn back, and the full moon hovering, and the fireworks going off atop the escarpment like the technicolour spume of some great whale, but that's life in the North End; step out your front door and you never know where you'll end up.