Day 16: The Trampoline Craddle (Calgary)

Dear Diary,

It’s been quite a surprisingly eventful and adventure-driven day I must say.

Auss doesn’t have a phone, so we had an agreement to meet at 11:30am. The eternal struggle to get up led me to running 30 minutes late. But I had faith that even if I were 3 hours late, he’s the kind of man that would still be there awaiting patiently without a word of complaint.Here’s the beginning of my rollerblade training!

We didn’t come up with any concrete route or plan because it was great enough to simply skate around Calgary in good company. Wherever we went, we would run into Auss’ old-time acquaintances. Randomly, these 2 men unloading cargoes of things from the truck outside a house came into sight, so we went up for a friendly chit-chat.  They turned out to be really cool people trying to create this loving community house, welcoming anyone who wishes to sneak a pinch of love. We’re told that we were welcomed to come by any time, any day, so I interjected enthusiastically, “yes! yes! We’ll be back to party tonight!”

Decision was made: we were going to check out the Turkish Festival by Eau Claire Market! I suspected going down this not-far-from-90-degree hill was part of Auss’ plan to peak my adrenaline rush and expose me to the whole new dimension of brake-less full throttle dare. I told him and myself that I was ready as I tightly gripped onto his backpack the same time he began to roll down the daunting hill on the highway. There’s no stopping , no waiting, no mercy. If I had let go, I could’ve risked either being run over by furious cars or crashing hard onto concrete. Lo and behold, we were bombing down the hill at 80 km/hr on these mini wheels. The fast-growing intimacy between my wheels and the highway road sent a trill of storming vibration up through my head. I needed to focus on stabilizing my bending position. I have to admit that a tinge of fear ran through my bloodstream as we snaked through the speeding cars and never once turned our heads to check on the oncoming cars. Never looked back because the only thing that mattered was what’s in front of us in the rollerblading world. The moment we landed safe and sound with a rapid right turn to a flat land at the bottom of the hill, I let off a sigh of relief and glory! I couldn’t believe I conquered the hill as the baby street bastard hanging on the the big fish.

The two big bastards ended up in China Town. Storming into the mall with our rock-star rollerblades, Auss called out “yeah! Hong Kong style now.” I sneered, “well, I kid you not, if it were Hong Kong style now, we would get kicked out in no time because rollerblades are not allowed anywhere but a small designated area within a park in Hong Kong.” Before getting kicked out, we sat next to a simplistic old lady who had the sweetest smile anyone could ever see. In a nutshell, she told me in Cantonese,”you are so beautiful. You will marry a rich, handsome, and loving man! The good man next to you is so lucky to be by your side now. Even from afar, I feel so happy seeing you two swinging along so merrily!” Auss was so in love with her despite the language barrier. He kept expressing his love for her sweet smile and kind attitude.

Riveted by the booth pinned with a big banner saying”Refugee” at the Turkish Festival”,I greeted the refugees and passionately explained my mission and goal to help raise awareness and funds for their fellow refugees who shared a similar predicament. The founder of this organization- WeUnify, came up to us and shared his great visions with us. The both of us as an Asian, a completely unrelated ethnicity to the people we were fighting to help, seemed to be an incredible coincidence that not only did we share similar belief, but we actually ran into each other in this vast world. Perhaps this encounter signified an acknowledgement of what I have been striking a blow for all along?

Auss had me dip my feet into a lake of limpid water to heal my burst blisters. After making friends with a happy mother who longed to organize a flash mop dance and free blind-folded hugs, I received a message that immediately made me downcast. I accidentally shed a few drops of tears reading Mr. Husky’s messages for the second time. Auss ran over and asked what happened. I calmly recounted the stories between Mr. Husky and me and how the message of “sorry it didn’t work out” chipped a tad bit of my heart. Auss, upset to see the disappearance of my ever-lasting smile, pulled me into his embrace, “hey, it’s definitely his loss. Maybe it’s also the blessing from the Chinese angel we met today! You are going to find this capable man she referred to one day.”

I was purely disturbed by the fact that Mr. Husky made me promise not to leave, yet he chose to leave, but soon enough I assured Auss that I was all right. Then we made a small stop at 7-11 reheating pizza pockets and being accused of loitering. At an ice-cream store, Auss utilized his top-notch sugar mouthing skill to get me the biggest ice-cream scoop ever. We took a rest at Peter’s drive-in and then moved on to finding our way back to the community house.

Memory didn’t serve us quite well as it took us a few wrong turns to finally discern the community house. Finally, a young lady stuck her head out and shone a welcoming smile from the patio amongst the sea of untrimmed grass.

“Hi, is this the community house? We were here this morning and were invited to come back,” I inquired.

“Oh the rollerbladers! The guys are waiting for you two in the kitchen.C’mon in,” the girl said with delight.

Neither Auss nor I had expected the guys to take us so seriously and anticipate our arrival. They just knew we would be back no matter how brief and casual the greeting of this morning might have seemed. Tim, the handyman and artist who had a strong distaste for the societal convention and money-driven work force, prepared us some prime ribs and tasty homemade mead.

The peak of the day wasn’t until Tim, Jordan, Richie, and Morgan ignited a bonfire at the backyard. We all circled around the fire pit with the proximity of one another, talking about life, meditation, and different subjects. We had a meditative group hug infused with infinite love over the fire, each and every one of our humming tone that was engendered by our internal feelings hovered within the tight circle. Then we all scampered off to the massive trampoline and bounced hand-in-hand like a group of 6 year-old. Auss and I decided to crash the night at these hippie strangers’ trampoline while the rest hit the sac. How nice it was to be lying on a trampoline under the boundless sky next to your best buddy in town for the night!

And hey, isn’t it funny how life works? Right when I thought my journey would be heavily themed after the idealistic concept of romance, I ran head-on to a dead end, and backed out to the blossoming avenue of friendships.

  • Sidenote: It started pouring and thundering in the middle of the night. I told myself and Auss that we should hung in there as I had faith the rain will pass. But soon enough the blankets were severely soaked up, and we’re forced to seek shelter. Either way, I swear it was my closest experience to feeling the great force of mother earth!


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