Smoke, Drink, Amnesia


We rolled a joint on my book. Stepped out onto the balcony of my one-month rental apartment. 3 degrees Celsius on a Spring night.

North Vancouver and its Alpine peaks spread out in the skyline. Undulating ridges lit by moonlight. Grouse Mountain had extended their operational hours to celebrate 5cm of fresh powder; late in Spring, almost Summer. Their ski-lift fog-lights made dark-red, champagne-yellow and bright-white stars.

We smoked. We talked real estate.

We did not kiss.

It wasn’t a very good unit. The main windows looked out onto the Skytrain tracks. The noise carried upwards, all the way up to the 17th floor. I was a light sleeper. I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since I moved in.

The trains started running early, and ended late. My writing kept me up late, and woke me early. But I loved my apartment. Noise aside, the North-facing windows ran parallel to the service counter in my kitchen. I got to peek at Alpine mountains while I did my dishes and brewed my morning coffee.

The noise was a bother. The screech and clanking of the Skytrain as it charged to and from Burnaby and Vancouver – Burnaby and Downtown.

We drank. Granville Brewery Pale Ale, Honey Lager. Gin-tonics poured with a heavy hand (my fault, of course). We talked real estate and train-track facing units.

We did not kiss.

We repeated this routine: Smoke. Drink. Amnesia. Smoke. Drink. Amnesia. Smoke. Drink. Amnesia.

We did not kiss.

You left past 2am in the morning. I said goodbye at the door and acted stoic. Feigned Amnesia. Numb from Drink. Dulled by Smoke.

You took the lift down, away from my apartment. Away from any possibility. 5 seconds later I put on my sneakers and ran down the lift. 3 degree Celsius on a Spring night. In nothing but cotton pyjama pants, a rotten sweater and sneakers. No socks.

“Hey. Are you ok to drive?” I yelled.

You turned around, “yeah, I’m ok. I told you I was. Are you OK? You ran out in your bed-clothes. It’s freezing. You should go back.”

“Yeah. I’m alright. Was just checking.”

You got into your car and drove off. Same route. Burnaby to Vancouver – Burnaby to Downtown. Your car rolled away. Silent and purring as Beemer engines do. But that silence rang louder than the Skytrain ever did. I could not sleep that night, and it had nothing to do with the train-tracks.

I woke up. Smoke more. Drink more. Pray for Amnesia.

I ended up throwing up right before sunrise and passing out on my bathroom floor. In the morning, my roommate found me and took me to bed. Tucked in and with the shutters drawn, I slept. Temporary Amnesia.

Forgetting how we did not kiss. 

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image – Natalie Nikitovic