Friday, October 15, 2004

After work Tuesday I took advantage of the fine weather to mow my folks’ lawn. The light wasn’t as cooperative; it was almost completely dark by 7:00, when I finished. I’ll need to rig the mower with headlights if the grass keeps growing into the fall. Perhaps my dad could lay off the fertilizer earlier in the season and prevent the freakish sprouting we’re seeing now…

It’s a little heartbreaking to visit the house now because Electronic Arts, feeling the need to expand, has razed the bush on the other side of the street. They left a row of trees along the edge, but everything 15 feet beyond the curb is gone—chainsawed, bulldozed and fenced off. Some local residents, including Joe Keithley, did their best for years to save it. I guess Burnaby council got sick of listening to them and started thinking about all those lovely taxes. What use is green space when the world needs more video games?

I won’t say anything else about EA because I might need them to give me a job someday.

I guess the bush really has outlived its usefulness, a certain kind of usefulness anyway. The neighbourhood’s population of kids has dwindled since Willingdon Black’s and my fort-building days. We’ve moved on…in my case, alarmingly recently. People starting out raising a family can’t afford to live there. I imagine that the few kids left in the neighbourhood aren’t allowed to play outside without knee and elbow pads, reflective vests, breadbin-sized helmets, pepper spray and surgical masks. Their parents certainly wouldn’t allow them to venture into the trees. No, it’s far safer for kids to stay inside, on the couch, thumbing game controllers till supper time.

I notice a lot more crows flying around the area in recent weeks. Huge flocks of them used to appear out of nowhere. They'd have a crow convention in the bush for an hour, then move on. Now they’re always overhead, like they’re confused at having nowhere to land.

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