I got an email from my sister in Kelowna this morning, saying that one of her old school pals from our home town had died. “Another one of the old gang gone,” she wrote. The funeral will take place in B.C., but there’s to be a memorial at his farm somewhere near Regina. Although I didn’t know the guy—he was 12 years older—I told my sister I’d attend the memorial on her behalf if she wanted. She’ll let me know.
The workers get up to the 12th floor in an elevator that crawls up a shaft fixed to the southeast corner of the new residence tower. I can see their yellow safety vests through the grille of the elevator car. I’m curious now about how that elevator works. I can’t see any cables but I hear the motor.
This Jake, my sister’s friend who died, played on a ball team for which I was the batboy, years ago. They were men; I was a boy. As I saw it, they inhabited a world I wasn’t yet qualified for. They smoked cigarettes and drank beer and knew how to talk about girls. Jake, a tall powerful first basemen, was one of their leaders. I think he became a high school principal.
The elevator holds at least 8 of the PCL workers, I see. The 8th guy hangs back long enough to finish his cigarette, which he flicks over the railing at the entrance to the elevator. Three more guys file in, and the car ascends. I see now part of the pulley system that runs it.
And we all carry on into the afternoon.