April 07, 2002 - 10:53 p.m.
i am sitting here with my hair piled up on top of my head as red hair dye drips down the sides of my face. i keep thinking it is one hour earlier than it really is. i forgot to set my clocks ahead this morning and only my trusty mac computer has reminded me that it really is almost midnight and not almost 11pm.
i woke up late and as it turns out (due to my forgetfulness of time) woke up even later. my head thankfully lifted off the pillow at 11am/12pm sharp. the sun was blinding and bright. i was happy to have had such an amazing sleep. i ate my porridge and drank my coffee. i was ready to get to school and complete a rough draft of my documentary. it was kinda exciting to feel that sort of energy. i popped 2 apples into my bag and headed off. and my school endeavors paid off. by 4/5pm i had my rough draft and was feeling more than fine. i headed out into the sun to take a bit of a break and buy a new hairdryer that had conked out on me earlier in the morning. on my way back from the drugstore, i saw a police car block traffic right outside the newmedia entrance of the film school. when i got closer, i saw items being flung out of the third story window of the low rent hotel that is situated next door to my school's entrance. i realized quickly that a woman was perched out on the ledge attempting to jump. the police -- there were only 2 of them -- were rather calmly shouting "get away from the window" and "stay back". my stomach was sick at the sight. i didn't want to stand and watch so i went immediately inside to the normalacy of my computer. as i sat with my headphones on trying to work on final cut pro, i couldn't get the image of the woman out of my head. vfs is located on the edge of the downtown eastside and things like that are surely commonplace. the police didn't seem terribly upset at the site of a woman (obviously from her physical appearance, a junkie) trying to jump from her hotel window. but it upset me. and the thing that upset me the most was that there was only 1 police car and 2 police men attempting to deal with this life and death situation. it certainly wasn't like in the movies. the fire department wasn't called in, there weren't any cops trying to talk her down...no one even attemped to get into her room to try to talk with her. in their eyes, she was just another junkie. and so this junkie lost her balance on the window sill and fell. not into a safety net. and not into the arms of the police who stood below. but fell onto the sidewalk and broke her back. i was told this by a classmate who had watched the entire thing. what a horrible tragedy. i'm sure if this had happened in kerrisdale or in west van, i am positive that more than one police car would have been called to the scene. something would have been handled differently in the rich, white suburbs of this city. i don't really know what to say. i pass through the downtown eastside every day. i live and work very near to it and i too also just pass it by. i avert my eyes to the groups of people smoking crack in the doorways or shooting up in the alleyways. i go back to reading my book when i see the prostitutes on the side streets and chained up storefronts. there is so much poverty and desparation all in one concentrated area. i am shocked at the wealth and beauty of this city and the policies that choose to ignore the problems. i don't know what i can do. it makes me sad. i feel helpless. and i know that tommorrow i will get on my bus and ride through the same streets and see the same things and just carry on as usual.