Sorry. I previously mentioned this. This is just an update on the Zombie apocalypse which started last year, really.
Sal and I went driving by the unit block Hastings street in Vancouver late one dark and stormy night – near midnight – last year. We were on our way home from somewhere and driving downtown was the straightest way home. What I saw that night shocked me. I witnessed what seemed like the initial ensemble of the Zombie invasionary strike force gathering in the shadows of the old, decrepit and vandalized three-story ex-BC Collateral pawn shop. It was a horror show.
In the dark, in the rain, about 100 or so street people looking stricken and diseased, stumbled to and fro going nowhere in particular on that special block of inner-city Hell. Most seemed to be wearing dark, wet hoodies. Or black plastic garbage bags. Some were lying in heaps on the ground. Others stared vacantly at the traffic going by. I have been to a lot of bad places on this planet and I have never seen anything that black, that bleak or that depressing. Not the bad section of San Salvadore, not the back-street ghettos of Hong Kong, not in the jungles of Belize or Thailand. Not even the Port Authority bus station in New York City. It was so bad, it was as if some kind of an alien malignancy had literately manifested in human form right before my eyes.
As reported last year, I simply put my foot down a little further on the accelerator and wondered what the hell the world was coming to as we sped from the scene of the slime.
Last night we went again for dinner near there. Favourite restaurant of a friend of mine. On the way in, we passed that same block. There was more light. It was not raining. It was not as late. But this time there were at least 200 people dressed in black and looking like the army of the dead. And again, I was shocked.
We went for dinner and, while there, I decided I would slowly drive past the block and video it – which we did. But WordPress won’t take such a big file so I will try to get it some other way (a link or something). This requires ‘next generation’ assistance.
To be fair, half the tragically damned had already vacated the shadows by then and so the street was not quite as dreadful as I expected this time around. In addition, there was a bit more street light and, upon closer examination, I saw some zombie-likes wearing some colour other than black. It was almost festive compared to my previous memory.
But the real surprise was in what they were really doing there. It was a flea market of sorts – emphasis on fleas and viruses and other vile contagions. These unfortunate but still extremely repulsive people were peddling their wares. Doing transactions. Making exchanges. Free enterprise was at work.
Admittedly, the value of the goods on display was several standards below what any normal person classifies as garbage if not medical waste or toxic and hazardous materials all amidst the ubiquitous used syringes and drugs and revolting human detritus of that kind of lifestyle. Bloomingdales, it was not! But it was clearly life-style shopping.
It was death-style shopping, actually.
It was still a massive horror show but it was last night revealed as a capitalist horror show of the lowest rung in society. I guess our government would see that in a positive light. The trickle-down effect at work even in the gutters and shadows of midnight in the ghetto. The myth of equal opportunity being maintained.
‘Midnight!’? Don’t kid yourself. Not this time. The pics were taken at 8:00 pm. By midnight, it gets really scary.