I should write this before I get too tired. It might be even more of an addition (or testament) to my shamelessness to write this, post this, even think that this part of the story needs to be told. But I think, at least for accuracy’s sake, or history’s sake, for the sake of having the whole(r) picture/story, I should talk of how things played out for me over the course of these current events.
I signed up for some volunteer organizations, put up my availability, preferences, abilities. But I never got out there. Half the reason I wanted to volunteer was to rubberneck like the rest. Have a little adventure. Wrong? Or not?
It just seemed like such a hassle to ride a bus, train, and another bus in order to help people out.
I went through my closet, rounded up the clothes I didn’t want anymore, thought to donate them. Now they’re sitting in a plastic bag in the basement. Not even sure where. The donations were an after-thought. Initially, I just wanted to get some cleaning done.
I mean, I don’t have a car or anything. Would be trouble to walk around and take transit carrying such a load.
This could be a testament to how terrible I am. It could also be seen as a point of perspective. “Look at me, I’m a decent human being but I didn’t go out of my way to help people in need. Therefore, those who did help are angels. They’re great, you should thank them greatly.” But that’s lame, ain’t it? Perhaps they’re normal, and I’m just underneath the threshold of human decency.
I thought a great one-liner up while standing around at work today. Had nothing to write it down on. Lemme try to remember.
“I label myself as inferior because I don’t want to put the effort into finding out where I really stand.”
Digression: I even took advantage of my rubbernecking/concerned friends from the internet, got a bit more famous for one night. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, if the water reached my street, the rest of the city would be under metres of water.” This is how it is. This is who I am.
Epilogue: Y’know, I sorta blame my geographical (and thus, cultural) situation for how little I’ve been emotionally shaken by things. I live in the immigrant house-farm (read: urban sprawl) quadrant of the city. I don’t feel as if Calgary is really *my* city. I don’t feel like I entirely belong here. I don’t feel like it gives to me.
Walking between the neon-lit food stalls and plushie-prize games of Stampede, I realized that I really like it here. I thought I’d leave for Vancouver next year, never to return, but Stampede really changed my mind. Must be such a contrast to people, that the place was under 15 feet of water just weeks ago, that now it’s people flooding the concrete instead. Smiling, happy people. Ironic water show in a 3-foot deep pool featuring a guy rocking a water-powered hoverboard, and a few guys on jet skis. But still, at that moment, I didn’t feel a part of it all. Great fun, but none profound.
I think I’ve stumbled upon something grand. You’re not part of a community when it gives itself to you. You’re part of it when you give it something it can’t give back.
12 years I’ve lived here. Felt nothing. I think I’ve been missing out.