Thursday, 9 April 2015

One less car or one less human being (or Which would be missed more?)

OK, so there is NOT one less car in the city.  Would be nice, but I only injured one but didn't succeed in killing it.
Riding my bicycle deep in thought on a deserted side street, I was violently brought back to reality when the end of my right handlebar crashed into the driver's side mirror of a parked car. 

Not my pic and not me (fortunately)
Doing that with any solid object (i.e. lamp post, parking meter) would cause the bicycle to enter a VERY SHARP right turn and would send me to a hospital without at the very least my front teeth. Fortunately mirrors are now built with predetermined breaking points, otherwise I would not be writing this post now.

At the time I wasn't even aware of how lucky I was to still have a face but was more worried about the damage to the car.  A quick inspection showed that the mirror was dangling from the door at its innards but the rest of the car was fine, i.e. no long scrapes along its paint work.

After a few seconds thought I had scanned the neighbourhood and saw 4 door bells that would give me a high chance of finding the owner of the droopy mirror.  After a lot of peeking through closed blinds and whispering behind the door, the door of the first bell I rang opened and I had indeed found the owner of the car.

His name is the same as this guy's name (NOT Cassius Clay, the other name).

He thanked me for being honest, to which I only replied that if one rides a bike through a city full of cars one shouldn't mess with Karma.

Turns out his car was actually a cheap courtesy car from a body shop and after a short trip to the body shop in question, I was assured by the shop owner that he would find a used replacement for the mirror and call me before he'd charge my credit card.  

Still riding the bike about 10 hours later on the same day and trying to return to North Vancouver over Lions Gate Bridge late at night, I notice that police have blocked of the Stanley Park Causeway with flashing police cruisers at Denman Street. There is no police on the bike path on the seawall, so I keep going and cycle all through Stanley Park without a single car passing me along the way.  Strange ! ;-) But there still is the occasional car coming from then North Van direction, so the bridge doesn't seem to be closed. Of course I didn't account for cars already on the causeway giving up and driving back after a U-turn !!!.  And when I get to the actual bridge a female police officer shouts at me "Hello Sir" to which I reply "I see you and I hear you" 

so she doesn't have a reason to mistake me for an ethnic minority and shoot me. (Not that this particular police officer looked like she would do such a thing, but I'm still livid from reading THIS STORY this morning).  Turns out that another human being feels that no one is listening to their pain that they feel it necessary to stand on the side of a high bridge, threatening to jump.  At least I hope that they were only threatening and did not go through with it.  Vancouver blocks any news in connection with bridge jumpers, so I don't know whether this person is giving life another try, but I sincerely hope so.  Life might suck enormously at times but it might be the only one we have.  
The presence or absence of any flower bouquets on the bridge railings the next day are a good indication that the jumper didn't actually jump. Also, the lack of any drumming from the Native reserve across the street had already  re-assured me that none of their members took that fatal step.

But I'm still faced with a closed bridge and limited charge left on my bike battery. Then I remembered that there is a Seabus and cycle towards it rapidly, hoping it will still run at 11:30 pm.  Turns out I'm in luck and arrive at Lonsdale Quay at midnight. I'm out of cigarettes, so I head for the closest 7/11 store. 

different shopping kart, different homeless person (not my pic)
 A young kid in his late teens or early 20s is sitting on the ground outside next to a shopping cart of junk and is busy filling out a colouring book or cross-word puzzle  He doesn't look up and doesn't ask for anything when I go in and neither does he when I come out of the store. He is making it SOOO easy for me to ignore him and cycle off.  And for a moment I am tempted to because it is awkward handing things to a person that isn't asking for anything.  But I am no longer that person that can see need and ignore it.  Trying not to insult him, I mumble something ignant like "I hope you're not offended if I ask whether you could use this currency bill". Fortunately he doesn't catch this but after hearing me he looks up and says "Whatsup bro?" At the same time he sees the $10 bill I am extending to him and I repeat 'Can you make use of this?", to which a kid that now no longer has to act the cool road warrior says "Are you SERIOUS? I am homeless! Thank you SO much. God bless you!". 

 I'm glad I didn't ignore him.

P.S.:  Any mentioning of noticing other less fortunate beings in no way is  meant to boast/show-off my personal conduct, but solely included here in a diary fashion with the slim hope of encouraging copy-cat  occurrences among the readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment