this burger tastes like nostalgia

I just traipsed across East Mall to Buchanan D, eating an AMS burger enroute. Mmm. Nostalgia tastes like discount relish.

I was also breathing very deeply while outside. Does anyone realize how incredible that cold wind off the mountain smells? Does anyone realize how wonderful it is to breathe in that much oxygen and clean air after coming up from L.A.? There really is no place like home.

I have a couple hours to kill on UBC campus while I wait for my mom to get here (we’re all staying in the Gage West Coast Suites tonight), so I’m doing it in Buchanan. After all, this is my home turf, as an Artsie, the five monstrous blocks and the ugly Soviet tower. And it’s where I know all the places to sleep and access e-mail, because when you’re in this building as much as I was, you learn these things.


It also made me a little sad, coming up on the bus an hour ago, because I had a memory for almost every place I passed. Tea at “T” with Farshad. Coffee with mhalachai at Benny’s. ACF post-Fair snacks at Calhoun’s (one of many, MANY Calhoun’s memories). Shopping with chuckyx or sharolyn at the discount shoe store on Broadway at Macdonald. Buying books at Pulp Fiction, cards at Loulou, working out at Body & Soul and walking home past the bookstore, to my home on West 10th.

And, of course, the hangouts. Martinis at Fiction. Long Islands at Lou’s. Mixed drinks and creative sushi at the Eatery. Cherry lambick at Baru. heeeraldo‘s 19th birthday at the Wolf and Hound.

More memories: 7-11 runs, some of which involved a bullhorn. Brownie meetings just off 10th and Discovery. Subway runs to the 10th & Sasamat Subway on Tuesdays. A dinner at Some Kinda Pasta with flying_rat last year. My grad day lunch at that soup place I can’t remember the name of now. Working at the Starbucks by campus in 1995. Running into some guy I knew I’d met before at the Safeway by campus in late 2002, trying desperately to place him, and finally coming up with UBC, an Arts beer garden, and the fact that he was the ex-EUS president who thought I was cute.

I have a memory for almost every place along the road to UBC. That just isn’t something I have in Los Angeles. I haven’t been there long enough, and all my friends aren’t centered around the same few buildings at one end of the city, on a university campus, like they were here. Still, it does make me a bit sad, to be here, to have that kind of tapestry of memory and association with everything around me, and know that I’m going back in a week to a city that I have yet to build that deep a relationship with.

So here I am. It is a little strange, because I really don’t belong here any more…but I think, when you love a place like I loved UBC, like I loved Vancouver, and you have as much happiness and love as I did my last couple years here, part of you just doesn’t leave.

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