Day Sixteen … Maple Leaf and Star Spangled Banner

Yesterday was a totally immense day for me, in one way or the other.  First off, I went to the office of Maple Leaf Adventures in Victoria.  I talked to a woman named Jaz.  I pretended that I didn’t know much about the tall ship cruises.  “What about a trip next June, in the middle?”  “Yes, there’s a sailing from June 11-19 to Haida Gwaii.”  “That sounds good.  Has anyone signed up for it yet?”  “Just one person.”  “What’s their name?”  “Bruce Kerr.”  “Oh, I know him.  Here’s my MasterCard.”  Jaz opens a computer page and asks me my name.  “Bruce Kerr.”  (Stare, shock and slowly … a smile)  “So you just came to visit?”  “Yes.”  Such fun.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat, just to see her face.  I’m so looking forward to seeing humpback whales next June.

Had a marvelous ferry ride from the Victoria area back to Vancouver past some lovely islands.  For some of the trip I chatted with a local couple and their adult daughter.  They were downright silly people!  I don’t understand why some folks behave that way.  Oh well.  We had fun.  I had my bag of almond clusters in hand but the closest gull was probably 500 metres away.  Back in the 80’s when I pitched for the New York Yankees, I could have zipped one over to him, but my arm isn’t what it used to be.

Heading into the States to see the play Jake’s Women (which by coincidence I’ve auditioned for in St. Thomas, Ontario), I was detained at Customs for over an hour, which was fine.  It gave me a chance to meet more people.  (I’m not kidding.  I do see life this way.)  Trouble was, the first US agent was very disrespectful to me.  I eventually was first in line and I saw him put out a pylon as he motioned me to stop a few metres back.  I was dreaming of Jake and then saw him remove the pylon.  So I drove up to his window.  I didn’t notice that the red light was still on.

“Don’t people from Canada know what a red light means?”  It’s fair to say he bellowed.  “You shouldn’t be here.”  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t notice the light.”  My left elbow was resting on the window well.  “Put your arm in the car, away from my gun.”  Such anger.  I just stayed with him, letting him do what he needed to do.  I thought of karma and was sad for the gentleman.  I believe that I have very little antagonism left in me.  I’ve asked myself recently if I have any at all.  I sure can’t find any.  So that’s good.  I get to be a gift to those in emotional pain, even if they don’t realize it.

The border agent quizzed me on why I had all this luggage with me if I was just crossing the border to see a play.  I told him my story.  “Turn left and go into secondary inspection.”  Okay.  I enjoyed talking to two couples and a single guy while we waited in line.  We were all pretty light, even though we had places to go and people to meet.  Hey, nothing we could do about our situation, so lemonade time.

Another agent asked me multi-questions.  He certainly didn’t smile but at least he was civil.  After inspecting Scarlet, he came back, having found everything as I had described it.  Ten minutes later, I was driving towards a security booth for exit.  I stopped, turned off my engine, and said hello to the officer.  No response … just a hand out to take the form that allowed me to go.  (Sigh)  Earlier in the day, humanity’s best qualities were on display.  Last night, not so much.

A couple of hours before, I had been waiting in the line for Customs and spied a Chevron gas station just past the border.  Good, since my gauge said I only had 46 kilometres left in the tank.  After my adventure, I completely forgot about the station.  And there I was, heading down a freeway to my beloved Jake, and somehow the gauge now read “0”.  Next exit 12 miles.  Some more sighing.  Be nice to me, dear Scarlet, and all other benign entities in the universe.  And they were.  I limped into a Shell station.

Gosh … so much writing.  I’m going to leave my rendezvous with Jake till tomorrow morning.  Nice guy.

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