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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Saturday, November 05, 2005

a rainy Saturday

The dying days of Kimmie's vacation. They are rainy, gray, and now cold. Kimmie loves the weather.

We went to IHOP in New West, then walked through the West End of New West, looking at the old houses, sharing the large Knowledge Network umbrella I inherited from Harvey Burt. Our last stop there was Starbucks for a hot chocolate.

Back to Park Royal in West Van, so Kimmie could buy patterns on sale at Fabricland. Even though I spent so much on books yesterday, I went to Coles and wound up buying two: Uriel's Machine by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas (authors of The Hiram Key, a history of the Masons), and The Iraq War by John Keegan, whose History of Warfare I'm enjoying so much right now. (When I saw that Uriel's Machine contains material on the Book of Enoch, an important text underlying my own work, I knew I had to buy it, even though I found The Hiram Key a bit lightweight.)

While Kimmie continued to shop, I sat out in the mall with my prose sketchbook and made this entry:

SAT. 5 NOV 2005 1:55 p.m. PARK ROYAL SOUTH SIDE

Outside the luggage store called Bentley. I'm on a bench by a table set up in the mall for a woman candidate for mayor to meet and greet passersby. A thin blonde woman in a suit, with Remembrance poppy, with a loud false laugh as people tell her things. Women surround the candidate, and a thick-necked, brush-headed young man with his back to me: Down'’s syndrome.

To the left of Bentley: a Bell telephone store; to the right: The Body Shop. A little gray daylight filters down from high windows, beyond the adventure playground nestled below a tangled geometrical strutwork of yellow girders.

A man talks to a group behind me: a woman answers: "It's hard to see the councillors, I think..."

Mega Luggage Sale 60% Off

"...and I said, Great, sure, go ahead!"

The timbre of the man's voice causes his words to be lost; they don'’t carry.

Clusters of people walk by.

Mother-&-teen-daughter, striding quickly.

2 teen girlfriends.

2 middle-aged women, short, one of them Chinese.

Older man stands in front of Bentley, arms folded, waiting. He drifts away.

Young family strolls by: girl in orange T-shirt, husband in green T-shirt; she pushes the luggage-piled stroller while he carries the little daughter.

Chinese couple sits next to me: man grim-mouthed with soft ash-colored hair at the roots, dyed black toward the ends. Now they're gone again.

Now it's a white guy in jeans, maybe 60, with a speckled brush-cut. Simple black shoes, black fleece.

There's the loud forced laugh, somewhere behind me and to my left.

Mr. 60 has risen to meet his wife, a plumper blonde in a big yellow windbreaker.

I'm joined by a short thick-headed Chinese man, rubbing something aromatic into his hands, which he periodically smells.

Through more heavy, rainy, Saturday traffic to Wal-Mart and up to the library to find a movie for tonight. Since none of my holds has come in, I picked another film from slightly farther along Paul's Rom-Com Festival: The Truth About Cats and Dogs.

Now we're home. Time for a fire, and to read some of this pile of books I've bought.


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