I make my way towards Pacific Central admiring its facade. I think back to the last time I left this particular station: late August, wet and grey. Nevertheless, that awful day was the start of a wonderful, near perfect, school year. Today is a sunny November afternoon: a gift. I start to draw correlations. If last time the weather was shitty and the year was amazing and this time the weather is great, will the trip turn out to be difficult? I sometimes like to believe in omens. This one I’ll choose to ignore.
The station’s exterior looks beautiful lit by the sunlight. I’m on time for my 2:45 bus. I walk into the station with my bags clumsily orbiting around my sides. I’m less impressed by the station’s interior this time around, but impressed nonetheless. The ornate clock suspended from the ceiling still needs to be appreciated. I put my bags down on one of the many old wooden benches that run the station. I pull out some leftover poutine from lunch and take a few forkfuls. I quickly recognize it’s supposed to be a dish served hot. I toss it, something I rarely do with food. I normally frown upon waste, but congealed gravy is not agreeing with me. I’ll only remember later the homeless man who asked for some earlier in the afternoon while I was sitting with my cousin Nathan in a park near Commercial Drive. I’ll only then feel ashamed for saying “no,” even though I was only half finished at the time.
I gather my ticket and passport from various pockets and make my way towards the gate. It’s about 2:30. There is a small East Indian man checking carry-on bags and tickets. I start to unfold my own. I begin to read the information on my ticket and only then do I see the 2pm departure time. I don’t bother reading it again. I know I’ve fucked up, but I say differently.
“I never do this,” I tell the Indian man, “My god, I can’t believe I just did this.”
The Indian man, laughing, says, “Start believing.”