Kelly and I try to get out for at least one long walk each weekend, and Saturday we set out south. The thought was we’d go up to the high point on Clark Drive–where one of Vancouver’s best views can be had–then take the bike path east to Main Street. I don’t usually spend much time on Main, but the past few weekends I’ve been there a lot, and Saturday’s excuse was that I had a gift certificate from Front & Company. Also key to the whole scheme was a stop at the soon to be closed Re-entry Espresso for a last banana chocolate muffin.
We were on 29th & John when the first flakes started coming down, tiny barely visible bits of ice, so sparse you could count them. Here a flake, there a flake, not a threat of snow, barely a tease. The light had the uncompromising steely palette of a horror movie and it was quiet, but for the periodic caw of a crow.
We got to Reentry to find a wake in progress; all the neighborhood regulars were in for a last shot of decent espresso and to write up good wishes on brightly colored pieces of paper. The farewell notes got stuck to the window as patrons were leaving. We arrived just as someone vacated one of their mini-booths so I parked my butt, claiming the space…
…where I immediately attracted a bright-eyed four year old girl, who began petting the other seat–where K would eventually sit–covetously. She had the charming, hopeful gleam of a baby bird spotting a worm.
“You can sit for awhile,” I told her.
She slid in all the way to the wall. Introduced herself as Kimmy, shook my hand with enough vigor that I was afraid she’d smack my overworked, chronically sore paw into the table, and yanked up her skirt to show me her tights. They were very fine tights, pink, with both stripes and hearts. I told her I’d wear them.
She then cast those hopeful peepers on my hat.
It is quite the fab hat. Barb bought it for me a few Christmases ago, and it is colorful and reversible.
I told Kimmy she could try it on. She did, with great delight, and suddenly I had three kids in the bench across from me… another girl had joined us along with a slightly younger boy. They seemed into the hat but lacked Kimmy’s fashion initative. I flipped it inside out, turning it to a less intimidating black fleece objet, with pink brim. Nope. Kimmy was wild with delirium, but her sidekicks were content to stare.
(I figured hauling out the camera would change the chemistry or there would be pictures).
Then K turned and set our muffins on the table. Boychild snagged the plate, casual as anything. Like: thanks, lady! I had to move fast to rescue our pastries. He didn’t seem to take it personally.
The kids’ fathers–it was a very dad and tot crowd–retrieved them as soon as K was ready to sit. She heard one of of the guys say the cafe was the first place he’d taken his baby by himself. Awww!
So, Reentry, I barely knew ye, but I can see you are already missed.