Life Can be Pitiless and Life Can be Beautiful

Early one morning about a week prior to Christmas, I pulled up to Metrovino with a van full wine that had just been liberated from our warehouse. With All Kindsa Girls by the Real Kids blasting from the van speakers, I began hoisting the cases up onto the loading dock - one of December’s delightfully Sisyphean acts.

After a few moments, I noticed a bedraggled figure in my peripheral vision. It was a man about my age who I inferred to be a nomad of Calgary's chilly streets, his gaze fixed on me with unbridled elation. He was entirely possessed by the music, childlike in his imperviousness to embarrassment as he gyrated unreservedly with limbs flailing like possessed nunchaku.

In awe of his enthusiasm, I stopped what I was doing for a moment to shake it up with him which made him even more excited! As the song came to a close I resumed my lifting at which time the gentleman of the alley professed to me in an infernal, saliva-spattering croak that he loves punk rock and that it probably saved his life. I shared with him that it had done similarly for me, which inspired him to start bellowing, “NOOOOOOOOO FUTURE!!!! NOOOOOOOOO FUTURE!!!!!!!” while showering the general area with a veritable deluge of spittle.

As the Real Kids kicked into Solid Gold, the stranger erupted into an unhinged and indecipherable disquisition, resumed his brazenly arrhythmic exhibition and danced his way eastwards down the alley. I watched the glacial sunrise swallow his disheveled form and suddenly overcome with melancholy, mused upon a curious dilemma – namely, how should one proceed with one’s day when such an insuperable highlight has transpired so early.

Life can be pitiless and life can be beautiful. Every so often it is both simultaneously, and perhaps it’s at these times that we feel most acutely alive.