Lonely Vancouver

Lonely Vancouver

I was on CBC this morning talking about shared workspace as a way to mitigate the modern epidemic of social isolation. The host of the show chortled and scoffed at my “utopian” vision.

After listening to the broadcast tonight, I go to buy cigarettes at my corner store. There’s an Indigenous woman in a wheelchair outside the shop and she asks me for money. I don’t have any on me so I offer her a cigarette and hang around for a minute, asking if she lives nearby, she says modular housing on Powell. Neighbours.

She asks me for a toke and I think cannabis but I don’t have any, and she corrects me – crack. Never heard “toke” for crack before.

A guy rolls up to the store and she asks him too, and he says “I only do side and heroin these days”. Side is new slang for me too, and he explains “it’s meth. With a rebrand.” He also says that he’s not allowed to be homeless anymore, because he was walking around in Chinatown and the Lookout picked him up when he was tweakin. I ask him if that’s a good thing and he says “hell yeah. I have a home.”

And another guy rolls up to chat with Sharon, and she says “Hey Antonio, you should meet D. She’s looking for a friend.”

Touché, Sharon.


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