Monday March 16th, 2015

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with being: atop the tower.

Greetings from the 29th floor of the Century Plaza Hotel in Vancouver:

That's looking down from our room, taken on my camera. I've got shots of the view during the day on my phone but they haven't made the leap to the computer yet. And, yeah, it's not quite the very top of the building... but it's pretty bloody close.

Had a successful journey from the island to here. We stopped in Courtenay to pick up some lunch and snacks for Kat and Max, took the scenic route for most of the way to the ferry (had to cut in to the faster route to make sure we got there in time), had a smooth ride to the mainland, and then stopped for a walk in Stanley Park on the way to the hotel.

We went out for dinner before hustling to get Max back to our room before he fell asleep in his stroller. Now we're resting up for the last leg of this trip, which should hopefully see us back in Osoyoos by mid-afternoon tomorrow.

It'll be good to be home again.


"Your room is on the 29th floor."

I was not expecting that. The discount site I used to book the hotel said that our room type was located between the 6th and 25th floor. I had hoped for somewhere around the 20th, in order to get away from the sound of downtown traffic and for a nicer view.

The 29th floor though? I was thrilled. My first thought was along the lines of 'I can't wait to see the view!'

And it is spectacular. Absolutely. But, having never had a room this high up before, there was one thing I wasn't counting on.

Whatever the hell is going on with my balance.

I feel like I've been on a boat for the last three days and I'm trying to get my land legs back. I honestly don't know if it's entirely mental (I don't really care for heights all that much - I wouldn't call it a full on fear, but it's certainly not my favorite) or if it's something to do with being up this high. I'm guessing it's the former.

Anyway. The effect is starting to wear off, so maybe I'm getting used to it. And the view really is incredible.

I think I'll just try to stay focused on that.


Greg said...

The views are really quite something from that high! I don't think I've ever stayed that high in a hotel, the seventeenth floor is the highest I've been on I think (Montreal; overlooking the cathedral. It let me tell people I was looking down on God for a couple of days :)). The balance thing might not be _entirely_ mental; tall buildings do sway slightly, but I don't know how high up you have to be to notice it. My old HR manager said he'd worked high enough up that you could see the Fire-escape signs, hung by chains from the ceiling, swaying when the wind blew.

Atop the tower
Fifteen minutes ago the zombies had all been in the living room listening to Axl Rose singing about sweet November brains, and my sister-stepgrandmother (my sister had married my grandmother's second husband in a May-to-December romance) had been sat on the couch muttering coldly about late September grains. My brother-in-law (who had been my sister-in-law until about two years ago) had been in the kitchen complaining about people putting embers down the drains, and my son-stepfather (my son married my father's second wife after he divorced her on grounds that he thought she was a lesbian; family rumour has is that my sister was the other woman) had been trying to fix the television.
And the townfolks had turned up with pitchforks and burning torches complaining that we were somehow unnatural, and we'd fled to the tower. Here we were, stood on the roof in the steady drizzle, watching as the idiots tried to set fire to wet stone and burn us out. Definitely a day of cold December pains.

Nikhil Nair said...

Atop the tower:

She took a deep breath and looked onward to the horizon. Below her, millions of lights twinkled midnight Paris into being. The city looked wonderful from where she stood, right from the serene peace of the Seine to the regal splendour of the Arc de Triomphe. She felt utterly blissful. It had always been her dream to observe Paris in all its beauty, and now she was getting to do so from the very apex of that maiden of steel, the Eiffel Tower.
Suddenly, dizziness hit her hard. She grabbed the railing to keep herself steady, but her legs gave way beneath her. As nausea kicked in, she clamped her hand over her mouth. 'But how could this be?' she thought. 'My vertigo was cured two years ago....'

morganna said...

Staring down into traffic from the roof

Gathering courage
It's time to jump, to end it all

Clambering to the ledge
Grabbed from behind
"No, man! You have too much to live for!"

ivybennet said...

I stand by the window,
Gazing at all I could see
But never had hope of touching,
Waiting for my view to change.
The passing of seasons was naught
But expectation, as was the
Woodland creature grazing upon the land.
I wait each day, sitting
Upon the stony ledge,
Hoping to see your form approach
From the sunlight gilded wood
And into my happy meadow,
Your face becoming clearer
With each step you took towards me,
Bent on freeing me from my
Lofted place of seclusion.

Marc said...

Greg - fire escape signs swaying? Ugh. I would insist on a desk on a lower floor, thanks very much.

Hah. Some rather convoluted relationships going on in there. And yet they're still outsmarting the townsfolk...

Nikhil - some really serene details at the beginning, before the sudden twist toward something much less pleasant. Not a good place to have a relapse!

Morganna - that sounds like the start of a rather interesting conversation. One that I would be happy to hear more from :)

Ivybennet - that is seriously fantastic. Wonderful descriptions and word choices abound, and the emotion and story are so clearly and deftly conveyed. I think this is one of my favorites that you've shared with us here.