For a while, a while ago, I worked in the hospital buildings in downtown Vancouver. Today I was among them again, with time to kill, so decided to check out some of my former haunts: coffee shops, restaurants, book stores... They had all changed hands or disappeared, except for the banks.
I returned to the old, ugly Heather Pavilion, in whose basement the Medical Library had been (and perhaps still is)--where I spent countless mind-numbing hours gathering and checking references (I was, for want of a better job description, a medical ghost-writer)--and was surprised at how long it took me to find the correct entrance. I didn't go in. It felt spooky, somewhat dream-like, revisiting a place of grinding daily routine, a situation I had mostly, probably on purpose, forgotten.
Back then I was a ghost-writer, but today I was a ghost, tapping former me on the shoulder, saying, "Cheer up. Believe it or not, in a few years you're going to be living in the suburbs--with children and a lawn mower and everything."
"And that's a good thing?" doubtful former me would ask.
"It is," ghost me says. "And you'll really get into gardening, too."
And so on.
I vaguely remembered a place where I would eat outside if the weather permitted, a small pedestrian mall with concrete slabs to sit upon. Was there a water feature?
It's very difficult to remember the details of something small and subtle when in its place is a big shiny building with pretty-coloured windows.
The trees are the same. Bigger, but basically the same.