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Take a walk on the sunny side

August 31, 2014

Poking my head out of my sleeping bag to see what could be making all that noise.

The whooshing sound I heard as I woke up this morning was surely the sound of autumn revving its motor.

Down cane the rain — like stair rods, I think people used to say.

Torrential rain can be fun so I was up like a shot. It only takes me about ten minutes to get up, pack up and be on my way from my sleeping spot.

I paused at the mouth of the parkade — I always take a deep breath before I go swimming.

And I took the time to admire the one hapless resident from the area who obviously thought he could get himself some easy money collecting returnable beverage containers (how hard can it be?). He certainly hadn’t planned on the heavy rain. Without a jacket or even an umbrella he was at least soaking up a lot of water. But his two-wheeled steel wire shopping basket rattled with only a few cans and bottles.

The heavier the rain the lighter the binning

I generally clear the lane of returnables before I bed down for the night in my parkade. I do this because I”m a binner and because over time other binners learn they won’t find much in the lane overnight. It makes for a quieter lane and a better night’s sleep.

There just wasn’t anything left in the morning for this guy to find. And there is another thing to be said for binning in a torrential downpour.

Binning in the rain can be good business but you can get too much of a good thing. In the really heavy rain you’ll have that much less competition from other binners but even fewer residents will brave torrential rain just to put out their returnable containers — it can be a bit of a zero sum gain.

I wish my torrent downloads were this fast!

A pedestrian sloshes past the bit of the 1970s that is the 24-hours Dennys restaurant on West Broadway.

A fellow sloshes towards the bit of 1970s that is the 24-hour Denny’s on W.Broadway.

I dove in to the warm wetness and paddled pedaled my way towards breakfast.

My seatmate while I drank my coffee and ate my McDonald’s Big Breakfast (sub round eggs) was my friend and fellow homeless binner Henry. He was just nursing a small coffee and waiting out the worst of the rain before he planned to head back into the alleys.

“Where’s the sun”? he asked derisively — more to express his contempt for the sunny forecast in the morning newspaper than anything else.

“It’s up there”, I replied. “Above the clouds. It’s always sunny.”

“You just have to be high enough”, Henry guessed.

Pause as we both flashed on the same thought: the “high” concentration of drug addicts across the bridge downtown. It was still only four days since the monthly government welfare and disability monies had been paid paid out. “Mardi Gras” wasn’t quite over.

“The Downtown Eastside is getting lots of sunshine right now”, I said, declaring the obvious and beating Henry to the punch. Click the image to enlarge it.

From → Personal

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