Sunday, Alma Street

The homeless guy who hangs out by Seven Eleven is playing his guitar, pacing aggressively across the parking lot. I’ve seen him walk between cars at the intersection – this is new, since he found the guitar I guess, as he used to just sit by the door and requisition our spare change as we came out of the store. It’s Sunday morning – I’m seeing this through the big open window as the guy in Grounds for Coffee prepares my almond mocha. We are at Alma Street; disparaged travellers wait outside for the number 99 Express bus, or maybe the less frequent number 7 to Dunbar. It’s the dividing line between Kitsilano and Point Grey. Between gentrified hippies, baby boomers and families with kids and cash, the Kits crowd, and those who say they “have really made it.” One way or another, whether aspiring for decades to shift from beginnings in East Van to those from China, Africa, Everywhere, who made their fortunes or brought them along to spend. The interior of what was once Divine Design on Tenth is reduced to rubble and plaster. As I turn the corner I see a humble but serviceable small wooden house – like mine – has been torn down and turned to matchwood, revealing a gaping hole to the alley beyond. Something grander will follow, someone’s dream will plug the gap. Climbing the hill I pass small courtyards with running fountains, tiny faux English gardens, MacMansions big enough to house dynasties to my left. My Chinese neighbours bring their small dog out for a walk in the drizzle. They do not say hello.

About Helen

Writer, coffee drinker, yarn wrangler and parent. Living in rural Dorset, England and trying to make things slowly, by hand...
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2 Responses to Sunday, Alma Street

  1. Jake Birkett says:

    Yes the guitar is a new thing. If he plays all day he could get pretty good. Also people may feel more compelled to donate as he is now “busking” not “begging”.

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