sketchbook: two days in December 2011

TUE 6 DEC 2011 3:15 pm HATZ SALON

A grotto of warm light looking out on the cool gray light outside. Chestnut-colored wood of this high little table: it supports a potted poinsettia and a fluffy Father Christmas figurine. Plangent bass of the music on the sound system: quavering vibraphone: busy high-hat.

Three different conversations: couple of male voices, the rest female. Triple electronic beep when the glass door opens. A young guy saunters in, skinny with a gray tuque pulled tight over his head.

“I was wondering if any walk-ins were available.”

Jill, the receptionist, takes him away.

Islands of clutter on an expanse of tawny tile, all mottled and smoked. Little reception table is on casters; reception chair on casters; full coatrack on casters.

SAT 10 DEC 2011 ca. 3:00 pm LONSDALE UNITED CHURCH BLOOD CLINIC

At the refreshment table in the church basement: a big room with collapsible tables and chairs set out on the old linoleum tiles, laid in squares of 9 to checkerboard the floor with brick-red and burgundy. The tables are draped with red plastic cloths (blood-colored?). One wall, the west, is faced with windows, mostly hidden behind fabric partitions that have been numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4. Outside: cedar-trees on this cold drizzly day.

In 1964–5 I attended a kindergarten down here.

A murmur of gentle voices, almost all female. Blood donors and blood-donation volunteers are nice people. A squad of three teenage Asian girls solicitously attends to the refreshment needs of the donors—and the donors politely nibble little individual packs of cookies and little juice-boxes.

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