When I wear this hat, I think of Joy W. of the early 2000s in Fernwood. She gathered us writer types together in her attic apartment and flipped open to any page in Anaïs Nin, that was our prompt. She lives in Japan now and is so goddamned cool this hat is from Mexico but I know she’d dig it. She’d like that I’m wearing the hat on my back balcony thinking of Leonard Cohen in his early years. Remembered flashes of some documentary he may or may not have appeared in long ago. Montreal. The singer looking out over fire escapes, chatting with neighbors.

I perch dictator-like in a lounge chair knowing Joy W. and Leonard Cohen would like my cruddy East Van alley. The crazy mess of poles and wires and broken down fences rumbling traffic from the Kingsway cawing crows. The retired woman too old to know about vaping smoking a cigarette so last century. A plane overhead, there’s a family of gingers who moved in across the alley so there goes the neighborhood. The recycling boxes that weekly inspire my curses because the city doesn’t pick up foam and my housemates can’t sort cardboard from plastic.

Joy W. and I went skating and had a burrito together over two years ago but she never saw this place, I like to think of her in Tokyo with her curly hair. But she and Leonard Cohen hang with me now and maybe he’s softly humming his truck on gravel ballad and Joy W. laughs musically about some fun irony.

A few doors down a woman calls: “We’re HERE!” and excited voices respond.

Here we are.

GENEVIEVE MORCK works and plays in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her writing has appeared in Geist and Under the Gum Tree. Although she feels uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, she doesn’t mind mentioning three current hobbies: hiking, BBQ experiments, and calling bingo. She doesn’t have a twitter handle because she is entirely incapable of texting by thumb.