The sights you see, the sights you don’t

Although I’ve lived the majority of my life on one coast or the other, generally within walking distance of the ocean, never until this morning did I see a working submarine, hawling along through the harbour, half emerged. A couple small military craft hoved along protectively, but the ferries skirted through as well–just one big happy watercraft family.

When I got to work, the internet was down and out for the count, which I took personally as I had emailed myself a presentation in need of completion and couldn’t pull it from the ether to complete…until the ever enterprising admin assistant pulled a laptop from up her sleeve and pushed me along outdoors–warm enough even before 9 am for shirtsleeves–to locate a random wifi in the neighbourhood. We did, but the sun was so bright neither of us could see the screen to manipulate the cursor appropriately, until she had yet another brain wave and about stood on her head to create an arch of shadow. This is so above and beyond the call of duty! By 9, we were back in the office, feeling victorious–and only a few people had seen us while passing by on their way to work and wondered at us as to what in the heck circus art we thought we were performing on the street corner.

Eventually, connectivity returned inhouse–just in time for me to read a brand new email from Berkeley High, which started with an appallingly ominous subject line announcing that a lockdown called due to gunman was now over. The brief message offered even more grimness, referencing the INS (I thought the INS had been renamed?) visiting campus yesterday. This was an impossible story to try to explain to my Canadian colleagues, yet equally impossible to digest in solitude.

To extend the cultural bifurcation–albeit by accident–I ducked into a pub for supper en route to my next-to-final appointment for the day and was confronted by two enormous screens playing dueling sports. On one, Finland and Slovakia were deep into hockey while on the other the Dodgers and the Mets were lined up against each other. I looked for a third screen so that Mexico and soccer could get equal NAFTA time.

Home again, home again, where the police seem to be interested in the building this evening, and wearing flak jackets to boot. Sometimes, you just have to shut the door.


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