The sand’s heat has relaxed through the long afternoon, and a faint sliver of a moon has made its way over the trees, wriggling in between the stars. The bonfire has slow-burned through the night, down to embers, and our bellies are full when the three of us venture out into the dunes. Flip-flops are abandoned in the dark. Matt carries a Tupperware of cool white wine as our feet sink, silent, into liquid white sand.
There’s something about waking before morning does. Not the process of it – the alarm’s incessant beeping, staggering to the bathroom in the dark, the sting of contact lenses biting raw eyes. Yawning despite the coffee as you move around with lead feet.
You creep from dread to a sleepy anticipation slowly, like water warming. You see the car pull up outside, tires crunching frozen snow, leaving ripples in puddles. You hurry down the slushy driveway with selective steps, sucking in the hollow-wet Vancouver air, but then you’re curled into the front seat with another half-asleep human. He drives. You watch the sky start its slow glow in the distance, lazy window wipers erasing the last few falling snowflakes.
I recently made the trip from Canada to the Dominican Republic, which always ends up being over 24 hours and makes me lose faith in humanity. Humans have the mental capacity to figure out how to get a 400-tonne metal cylinder into the air, but they consistently fail at the most mundane tasks in the airline business.
In the time between living in Ottawa and moving into my new place in Victoria, I’ve spent a couple of days with my brother Eric. For those of you who don’t know Eric, picture a tall, grown-up version of Calvin (from Calvin & Hobbes) with a penchant for doing asinine things despite being smart enough to build a robot. Don’t understand it? Don’t worry, I don’t either, and I’ve spent 19 years around the kid.