Diary, Prince Edward Island

August Night, Charlottetown

I drop an overdue book in the slot and come out on Victoria Row. In front of Province House, the slide show is winding up with a showy vocal of Oh Canada. The crowd disperses murmuring and I follow a couple with a snuffling black dog down toward the Quay, where Quebecers just make it into Cows for late night ice cream. A shadowy figure smokes a cigarette with his bicycle in the dark near the back of the Delta. Two businessmen get into a yellow cab talking and it accelerates toward the airport. Applause from The Churchill Arms for the live act. Music piped out to the patio from the steakhouse. Back on Victoria Row, the jazz guitarist plays a quiet little riff as a drunk gent stumbles in front of the stage. Then they play Mack the Knife and a restaurant couple comes out on the street to dance. This makes me smile. I watch them for a bit. The crowds stream out of Confederation Centre, and there is a line-up at Cows on Grafton. A night watchman checks the locked doors of the mall as The Bookman smokes outside his shop across the street. In the doorway of the Comic Hunter, a man with a ginger-coloured ponytail is illuminated. On Fitzroy, a young man runs and his sneakers make a slapping sound. I assure a nervous cat that I mean her no harm. A white moth hovers by my backdoor light as I unlock my door.

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