Friday, April 1, 2005

fredericton soul

Happy April! I don't know about where you are, but here it's one of those drizzly, chilled days where sitting in the house in a sweater, with a string of Christmas lights plugged in for cheer, and a book in your lap sounds better than anything else. I've got Erykah Badu's live album on, and my bamboo-printed paper lantern is glowing in the corner, and I've just returned from the usual Friday foray, downtown with Patti and Tracy. So, yes. Jazzy soul, light, and the knowledge that you're warm and dry. It is a good day.

So this map is of the little city in the New Brunswick woods where I've been holed up for a whole school year. If you click on the map, it gets bigger and you can see the St. John river snaking through the grid of streets and names. You can see wonderful Odell park, a green patch, and my street (though it's not named), and the section marked "UNB", where St. Thomas also is. Basically, the circle of downtown, Odell, and school is where I spend most of my time. Sometimes I get a little crazy and take a walk on the trail that heads west along the river, parallel to Route 102, and I get to see those islands that are on the map, and the small hills on the opposite bank.

Yesterday, done classes at noon, I came home to shed my bookbag, then slung the cotton grocery bag around me, laced up my walking boots, and took off for downtown. Contrary to today, yesterday's weather was the 'get out the house, yo!' kind, sunny and beautiful, and I needed bread. Downtown's Victory Meat Market sells the best multi-grain stuff from a local bakery, so that's where I went. After there I stopped by Coffee & Company to see if my friend Danielle was working (she was), and saw John and Kim Muise sitting outside at a little table. It was the first day of the year with the tables outside, and Kim was basking like a cat. I splurged on a little Bodum of mint tea, then sat with them. Kim is my Cape Breton friend Kelly's aunt, and I met her here last December in one of those foreseeable coincidences that nevertheless delight. John is her partner, who teaches English at St. Thomas part time, and hangs out at the cafe part time, correcting papers and meeting students. The two of them use bikes to get around and will readily admit they haven't left Fredericton in 4 years. They are wonderful.

So yesterday, after Kim biked off to work, I sat and drank mint tea and talked to John about Nietzsche, paganism, George Bush and puppet theatre, missing two busses and getting a bit of a tan. Then I walked home, carrying two grocery bags, thinking of marvellous life and singing Joni Mitchell songs to myself.

And now, here comes today, full of chill and drizzle! Oh well. I've put on a Bob Dylan album, one of his later ones, where he sounds his age, and I think I'll read.

(Oh yeah, and the map pic is stolen from here.)
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