The restaurant gleamed in chrome and crystal. Laughter and chatter droned noisely above the dozen white, round top tables where expensive taste could be seen from across the room. We were dressed casually, too casually. The server was decidedly put off by us; you could tell, even against the downturn of severe features that appeared to be cleaved from a long history of distaste. But his lack of positive attitude was redeemed in the sartorial confidence of a three-piece suit, shiny brown brogues, and slicked back hair that complimented an angular, clean-shaven face. Only in the city do servers look like movie stars. The tropical fish bobbed in the tank beside us, little mouths kissing out at us from behind the glass. We were out of place, but Joseph was pure cocky confidence, which to me appeared as a kind of transparent bravado – like someone waving his hands in the air at a bear in an attempt to scare it off.
I started dating Joseph while I was unemployed and living at home with my parents in my mid-30s. I did not anticipate falling for someone in that stinky old mill-town while I was bumming around applying for jobs all over the province. It sounds terribly cliché; back at home on the couch in a sort of early mid-life crisis.
Denise Corcoran is a North Vancouver based author, crafter, upcycler and workshop facilitator, whose passion is to turn ‘junk’ into new and funky pieces. From refinishing furniture found at the dump to repurposing discarded items like wine corks into jewelry, there is no limit to what her time and know-how can create. Read her adventures at Thrifty By Design, and check out her crafty book: “Raw Crafts: 40 Projects from Hemp, Jute, Burlap and Cork” to find fun DIYs.
I met Randon when I was an executive assistant for an infamously crooked businessman known to have ties with a certain thuggish biker gang. My boss owned youth hostels and bars in the city, and my relationship with him was always tenuous and nerve-wracking. He’d often demand I perform some kind of shady administrative task; always willing to bend the rules for the sake of his wallet.
Careening as I was between the worlds of punk and rock groupie, it was a natural consequence that I became a punk rock groupie. At the time, the place to be for the punk and metal scene was the Astoria. A haggard and thread-bare prostitute hotel with adjoining pub, located amidst the city’s crusty East Side underbelly. The music scene inside was run by the intrepid Wendy 13, a 50-something woman with wrinkled tattoos and signature blonde, skyscraper Mohawk.