Thursday, March 12, 2009

this is the drive

the skytrain stinks. literally.

especially commercial drive. it carries delicate notes of weed, mixed with the woodsy scent of mary jane, savoury BO and who-knows-what-but-it's-nasty. My favourite, I think, is the sharp scent of human piss that greets me when i ride down the escalators. yes, it's human because it carries spicy notes of whiskey, sweet earthy herbage and burnt undertones of nicotine. it's one hell of a smell, hardly a mark of territory but a scent that welcomes me home: hurrah for vancouver's lack of public toilets! olfactory graffiti of the best kind.

the best is when it rains. humidity leaches this intoxicating mix from the concrete and reinvigorates its strength ten-fold. sometimes if i'm lucky, yesterday's vomit becomes today's scent of the day. oh and on other days, the station aroma is enhanced with a dreamy blue cloud, laced with a hint of evaporating alcohol. like being hotboxed in the world's most amazing sauna.

i have dreams of this place, dreams of pigeon poop, trash, and piss giving me a loving hug on a wet day.

i've often heard others complain about the smell, calling it disgusting, revolting and other such nonsense. a violation to the nose. an atrocity, etc, etc. they say it should be cleaned up and sprayed out like it were some kind of infestation. bah! only kitsilano yuppies and yaletown schmucks would suggest that we ask the toilet-less population to kindly stop peeing. translink would never do it. they'd never have their station bouncers grab a firehose and start spraying.

outrageous. the smell that hovers around commercial station is an integral part of the drive itself. it marks by way of the nose, an identifying character of the neighbourhood. getting rid of it would wipe out the scented histories of the drive's unique life, from the goings-ons of coke-shooters, the homeless and skytrain passenger alike -
who in their right minds would want to do that?


Maryanne said...

careful who you call a yuppie, i'm a HIPPY in yuppie town... it's different

matthea said...

Oh Maryanne, of course. I didn't say everyone who lives in kits is a yuppie. You, my dear, are a lovely hippy living in yuppie-land. You and Tony should consider living on Commercial - perhaps in a community dream-house one day!