Thursday, June 21, 2007

Civic Duty, Vancouver-style there I am, walking along what I guess is Sunset Beach - the demarcations between beaches here are not clear to me - and I decide to walk down to the water. It's raining lightly, but I don't mind. As I crest a slight hill I see that there's a large gaggle of geese gathered at water's edge. I gesture my peaceful intent and decide to sit down by a log and observe them. Then I stop.

There, stuck into the log, just where I was planning to sit, are two used syringes. A third is lying on the sand, cap on.

I sit at an adjacent log and contemplate the needles. Would make a hell of a photo, if I had a camera with me; a friend of mine is contemplating starting an ironic postcard series, and the three needles shot against the background of False Creek, with a 'Welcome to Vancouver' emblazoned above it, would definitely work - particularly if you took the photo when the sun was setting. Joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers go by on the walkway, indifferent. I don't really want to turn my morning stroll into an act of civic duty, but how can I not - I'm my father's son, and he wouldn't even hesitate. I pick up an empty cigarette carton - probably left by the same junkies - and put the needles in it, pointy end down. After some indecision, I take them to the Acquatic Center, guessing, correctly, that they might have a sharps disposal bin.

Welcome to Vancouver.

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