Sunday, March 28, 2010

Winnipeg

Yet another sleepless night. My mind was loco. Thoughts in the dark. I keep myself up. Out of nowhere I thought of Winnipeg.

It was June, I was 21 and having been as far East as the Alberta-Saskachewan border, excited to be venturing out, looking out a window on a nearly deserted plane. I was on my way to a leadership development course through the Centre for Christian Studies at the University of Winnipeg (for at that time I was highly involved in the music and youth activities at 'my mother's church').

This indie guy behind me struck up conversation as we gathered luggage from overhead compartments. We walked and laughed by the baggage carousel and his name was Cory.

I was arriving. He was arriving home. I had no idea where I was going. He knew the town like the back of his hand. He suggested we share a cab. I considered my options. It was a short long ride and at the end he offered his number. Said to call, he'd show me around. I did.

We met for an early dinner. He was a traveller, been all around the world and met people of all kinds. An interesting and cultured fellow. I was a wide-eyed girl from a big city. We drank some beer and wandered the streets of downtown, heritage Winnipeg. Past the parliament across the bridge. Admiring buildings. Stopping for coconut Gelato. Playing trivial pursuit with one another's history and budding philosophies. He was a few years older. But not by much. He walked me back to the entrance of my building where we shared an embrace and continued on. Mother-like figures awaited, worried but relieved.

We met again. He introduced me to his sister, in their home. We walked and talked and laughed some more. Chilled to the sounds of an ecclectic funk band with a female singer. Downed coke and rye and were consumed by giddiness. Pure and innocent fun between two souls who became fast friends for two weeks. We said we'd keep in touch. But, like others, ours had come to its end... full circle. And we moved on.

I met others during my time in Winnipeg... where I spread my wings and investigated my faith amongst a memorable group of coloured characters, a very liberal and feminist group of mostly women, a gay dude and a transvestite, where we challenged biblical patriarchy and partook in the gay pride parade and festivities. Few of us stayed in touch over the years... getting together for coffee and music, and writing emails. I learned of the suicide of one and wondered what went wrong, though we will never know. Gradually, we have all lost touch with each other. But have perhaps found more of ourselves along the way. These are some of the people that influence our lives, that challenge our views and give us more insight into life than we could ever hope to find by ourselves. People we share only a brief span of time with, but their memories and influence last a lifetime, if only just to remember here and there along the way.

For them, I'm grateful.

4 comments:

zachary said...

Your friendship with Cory reminded me of the movie Lost In Translation...i don't know why though..

I love mingling with the locals when i travel, I love people a lot, they make me feel alive:)

Trouble.Thinks said...

You know what, I've never seen that movie, but I noticed it on the tv guide on the weekend and ALMOST watched it, so I almost know what you're talking about but not really.
ha.

People are amazing. It's a lively world out there.

les jeune fille à les oiseaux said...

i'm a little jealous you got to go to Winnipeg. it sounds absolutely scandalous ;) and i love the part about challenging the Bible and the different types of people and different types of Christians you met. i love Jesus and i think it's important to remember ALL kinds of people love Him too. :)

Kyle said...

This is just lovely.