The University of Victoria has a Ring Road and I have determined this to be a damned shame, consistently warping my sense of direction and claiming the distinction of long-standing university political contention. Why aren’t we on the inside of The Ring? like academics don’t have enough things to bitch about. The best green buildings, the better view, the parking lot not so far off you’re forced to exercise twice a day. Half the drivers on Ring Road are lost and pissed off, the other half just mad, trapped on this 1.4 mile roundabout punctuated with crosswalks and hordes of student traffic backing up vehicles twenty-six deep.
Despite a plenitude of crosswalks, many bisecting pathways lack them, too—and given that drivers insist on reaching maximum velocity between each safe crossing, in unprotected zones many a pedestrian patiently waits not to die.
So imagine my surprise after nearly a year of working here that as I prepared to cool my heels approaching such a spot, an oncoming vehicle… stopped. And I fell into a crosswalk that wasn’t there the day before. Well, half a crosswalk. Okay, a half-assed two bars, a crosswalk dock, but throwing the driver enough to make her reduce speed. (Despite aggressive driving necessitated by a lack of left turning lanes and green arrows, Canadian drivers vigorously respect crosswalks. Crosswalks are king. A crosswalk could’ve stopped a Canadian OJ, for reals.)
Having just passed the visual and performing arts facilities, I am credit-blaming them. Those crazy art students, subverting how I walk! What will they think of next?
Next they will think of an appropriated City of Victoria construction sign that appeared the next morning, in case I didn’t realize I was safe, and that safety is temporary—safety will be paved or painted over or power-washed away.
I have two weeks remaining at the University of Victoria and Victoria, BC, at large. I’ve enjoyed myself a lot, but I’m not thinking about it thoroughly, haven’t been feeling deeply—a lack of comprehension of what it’s going to mean to leave. What am I, suddenly unused to change? to uprooting, to rummaging through my baggage har har and tossing the trash, scrapping the scrapes and putting myself in another place where I can be new again, with unknown roommates, different classmates, all the old moved on.
Or maybe that’s my own protection. Don’t want to think too hard just yet. Embrace another volley of goodbyes then push the sad aside for the next round of introductions. Knowing I signed up for it won’t stop me from getting old of this. Safety for a limited time only.
“Stuff!” I say. “Things. Words.” Molotov mixed metaphor cocktails, Here Comes Trouble. Here it comes.
With much happening in the coming weeks and months, I may not be posting for awhile—hard to say, we’ll see. I’ll be in Fargo mid-December then in Minneapolis post-Christmas for a few days until January 1. After that, it’s back to Vancouver for my final semester of library school. Get in touch, wherever whoever youse are, for holiday libations, New Year’s cheer, back-to-Van jubilation, undsoweiter.
Also, fun: I’m seeing Nine Inch Nails next Friday. I haven’t been to a show of any kind for months and haven’t gone dancing since May. The lights are going to be so pretty.