By Vlad Krakov, Contributor
Cannot remember what I did in the morning but in the afternoon I bussed over to Anna’s to pick my stuff up and more generally to hang out. Jenna and Brenda and Bobby there too. Beautiful sunny hanging-out-in-lush-backyard day. Anna looking so cute in gold-rimmed glasses which I’ve never seen before and really dug, there on the kitchen counter sorting her life out through this device (her future starting-school-in-montreal life) as those with less worries lounge just outside and Jessica beloved sister looks for food and they share strawberry beer and laughter. Anna furthermore looking into same Ayn Rand essay competition which I had earlier been interested in and after reading The Fountainhead angrily rejected, so I warned her of the dangers that lay therein. Afterwards we biked to meet up with her French friend Theo and to look for available basketball court to play basketball, biking all around magnificent upper east side bc at elemntary school the courts occupied by strange on-the-concrete yoga class, and other parks occupied already by basketballers, until finally we arrived at Van Tech highschool of which I have distant memories too bc Jennie went to school here… And all the while on my bike (Anna’s bike technically, mine still trapped in my garage locked up bc I lost the key) my sleeping bag and tent and tarp all bungie-corded to the back bc I’d left them at Anna’s a couple weeks ago so I looked (and felt!) like a rover, a wanderer, living humbly and simply off in my bike-and-tent way. In summary we biked around alot and played basketball in two different places, Van Tech and Trout LAke Park, playing both bump and three-on-three bball with someone always sitting on the sideline (bc 7 of us, with Skye sweet humble Skye) and cheering and making funny commentary or otherwise out of hot baking sun into the cool shade of the narrow hallways of the school, where the squeaking of sneakers upon baskerball court echoing for they were playing inside as well, the highschoolers I mean, and friendly Filipino janitor says warmly, “Feel free to come in, to get water, you need it, it’s real hot out.” and I utilize now-tiny water fountain and urinals and tiny stairs and tiny hallways and when we’re tired of basketball we play hackey sack (which I kick on roof and we have big fun ordeal of first hoisting up Skye and then Bobby up there, in the process Skye holds up my hand as we hoist her up in tender moment) and bike around some more until finally we are sitting in Trout Lake park just exhausted and hot, so hot wanting to get naked, with our slurpees from Husky in our further attempt to recapture our childhoods, which although I did not know the Van TEch team in Marpole childhood is essentially the same as mine, same tropes of rushing around on bikes and saying howdy to Jenna’s mother as we pass by house and she’s gardening there and she yells out “Have you all got your helmets?” But only four of seven do and we bike away laughingly and guiltily and just generally terrorize the neighbourhood and even Skye who makes big mature adult mistake of DRIVING to Van Tech to play basketball with us (with two White Spot coworkers who see us and want no part in our childhood fun) and promptly drives back to get bike, and yes us recreating that shared yet not shared Vancouver childhood and introducing foreign Theo to all of it (his first slurpee) and at the end of it we sit there hot as hell among all these other people sitting there too, also tired from playing basketball or otherwise just lounging in park with picnic blankets and musics, and all of us silently sitting observing sky (and I observing Skye observing sky) and resting with nowhere to be except perhaps getting home in time for dinner and the world warm and comfortable and all us silently proud of our achievement, that we have recaptured the summer essence of our bike-riding and running-into-school-for-some-water childhood, and I personally so excited and so warmed and so inspired that humble happy Anna has shown me that such days are still possible, basketball-and-slurpee days, in your twenties, with everyone wearing simple tee-shirt and shorts and sneakers or otherwise sandals just as in childhood, things I have forgotten after so many glum nights with fashionable Ernesto and Karl, and luckily I had left my sneakers at Anna’s too so I could fit right in. Anna, I will remember this big red letter Basketball Day.