Balloons

May 8, 2011

rainy morning breakfast at Emelle's

Monday was balloons day. I found work for a day, I need to work. I am here floating in the wind with not much more than a few things, the bike and the guitar. A friend of mind had offered the job, I didn’t really know what it was all about, only that there was going to be balloons involved.

I got up early Monday morning, went to vote as it was the Canadian federal elections that day, the 4th in 7 years.

It was pounding, pouring rain. I rode from Steveston to Vancouver wearing all the rain gear I owned. The destination was “Inflated Ideas” a small shop on 6th Avenue. We loaded a cargo van with plastic bins and gigantic helium tanks and were heading to the PNE. We were to fill over 2000 balloons and make them into towers and bouquets for a large corporate event.

They had asked me to follow the van on the bike as there were not enough seats in there for the four of us. So I followed in the rain.

early in the day

I learned a few things about balloons, about High Float goop, about mixing air and helium balloons, how to tie them. Balloons have this erratic tendency to blow up unexpectedly and with the High Float in them they have the capacity to cover us with slime.

the towers of balloons we were making

more and more towers

All around us were workers building this huge event from the ground up. Sound, lights, restaurants, stage, booths, pinball machines and all sorts of stuff to entertain. Cables were laid down for the whole length and width of the venue. All of us working there to set up a party we were not going to take part in.

games

cars

giant TV

But the joy was in working with Joey, Xandra and Leigh. The hours went by fast and the day was over. We had achieved our goal having built up 30 giant bouquets and 30 some towers of red and white balloons.

Joey

the tools of balloon making

My feet ached as my boots are not made for standing up all day. I put all the rain gear back on and headed back to the office where we unloaded the van and I was let go.

It’s an interesting thing to go and work this way, a bit of mercenary, doing what was required. Teaming up with whomever is there and getting things done.

I wasn’t sure where I was going to sleep that night. I had yet to call a friend to see if I could stay there. I went to Starbucks to write and make calls, my mobile office… I finally got an answer, I had a place to sleep for the night. the cafe was closing early. We all picked up our things and laptops and exited. The day was ending. Vancouver was basking in some stray rays of the setting sun. Everything is wet, washed and getting cold.

Vancouver evening

I took some photos and got back on the bike heading for the West End.

One day to the next. Hoping for sun, for smiles and for the answers to appear.

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