Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Seagull, A Sandwich, and Fighting for Happiness

I love free wifi at BC ferries, and the flowers are a nice touch too.

I sit at the ferry terminal in the sunshine, listening to the lap of the ocean and the buzzing of bees gorging themselves on the nectar of nearby flowers. Summer had taken awhile to arrive but here it is, in it's bright, warm glory, warming my skin.

Today I will be happy. It's a choice, really. I can worry and stress about all the bumps in the road, or I can choose to see the silver lining. Granted, some things don't have silver lining, they are just there like a rotten spot in an apple. But even the most perfect apple can have a bit that is less than perfect, and that's okay. Life can't be perfect.

Today is perfect.  Even though there are bits that are sad and hard, it's perfect.  Visiting a friend with cancer reminds me that I'm grateful to the universe for putting us together, that one short school year, in a classroom.  Grateful that even though I commented "I don't make friends at work",  she became the kindred spirit who has buoyed me through difficult times and been my biggest cheering section through all the amazing things that have happened in the last three years.  I am grateful that while our time will be shorter than we hoped, that I know her and have the blessing and privilege of being her friend.

This time, after I hit the sidewalk from her apartment,  I don't fall apart as have every visit before. This time,  I have a mission.  A promise has been made to seek out perfect gelato in downtown Vancouver, taste, and report back.  It's long past lunchtime and my stomach is insisting that gelato alone simply won't do, so before I seek out something cold and sweet, I begin walking down Georgia Street.  Another friend of mine told me a story of how she bought a chicken sandwich from a food truck in downtown; a chicken sandwich so delectable that when a piece of meat fell to the sidewalk as she ate hers, she unabashedly scooped it up and popped it in her mouth.  I was intrigued-something that good needs to be investigated!  I could call it research, after all, couldn't I?

La Brasserie Food Truck
La Brasserie Truck down on Georgia and Granville Street in Vancouver

Sandwich in hand, I find a place nearby to sit and eat, while pigeons wander about aimlessly.  They don't seem to notice as I mull over the giant package in my hands, trying to figure out how I'm going to eat it.

Note to self:  next time, bring napkins.  Maybe even wet wipes.

Chicken Sandwich from La Brasserie
The best chicken sandwich you will ever eat.  Promise

I nibble the crunchy onions, the sweet, delectable meat, the soft, tangy bun.  Now I understand why Lexie didn't leave that piece of chicken on the ground for the birds to scavenge.  It's far too good to let even a single bite go to waste.

A seagull spots my sandwich and lands a few feet away on the pavement, it's beady eyes fixed on the treasure in my hands as it paces back and forth, cocking it's head this way and that.  It's intention is clear; steal a bit of that sandwich.

"Go away, you.  I'm not sharing."  I wave my foot in it's direction and clutch the sandwich a little closer, dripping thick gravy onto my shorts.  The seagull stands defiantly before doing something I've never seen a bird attempt before.

Head down, eyes on the contents of my hands, the bird lunges at me like a battering ram slamming into castle doors.

"Go AWAY!!"  I kick my leg at the bird and this time, wave my water bottle, ready to launch if it tries to peck me.  This is getting serious.  I've been approached by strange people in Vancouver asking for money who became aggressive when refused, but I've never had a bird almost attack me for food before.   With one eye on him, I hunch over and continue to eat my sandwich, reminded of a dog growling at another trying to steal it's dinner.

"It's MINE.  You can't have it.  Stupid bird."  He stands there, white feathers ruffling in the breeze, daring me to look away for even a moment.  Instead I stare him down and lick gravy, warm and sweet, off my fingers before crumpling the bag up and putting it away.

"Ha.  I won.  Go bug someone else."

The seagull eyes me a minute longer before realizing that I no longer have food, then nonchalantly wanders away.   As I watch it go, I am reminded; there are sweet things in life, and occasionally people or events try to steal them.  You have to fight for your happiness; defending it from those who try to take it, bit by bit.  The struggle is never over, but today I am victorious.

Standing and brushing myself off, I watch the seagull go.  I still have a mission to complete, and despite the fact that my stomach is almost at it's limit, I won't let her down. 

"Now. Let's find that gelato for Anne." 

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