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Edmonton House


When she returns from the bathroom, she’s removed her lipstick. She says it’s because it gets everywhere when she eats. Much later, she admits that she should’ve left it on, because she was too nervous to eat anyway.

To get to this moment, you need to start over.

The building says Edmonton House in letters that glow. At night, it’s lit up with various colors, sometimes to celebrate a sports team, sometimes to recognize a tragedy. You park next to it every day without noticing it, in the lot across the street. The commute from your small town is long, but the walk down the street, to the sharp peaked Enbridge tower, is quick. She’ll call it Evil Tower, and not without a certain fondness. She can see it from her desk, but doesn’t know to look yet.

To get to that moment, you need to make a change.

When you’re very young, you tell your mom that you want to be a Business Man when you grow up. She asks you to be more specific, but you can’t; it’s a feeling, rather than a thought. Forests and fields bore you, but the city has that ethereal promise of belonging. When you leave their acreage for the first time and move your dresser and clothes to the small town, it doesn’t quite click. It’s a start, but it’s off. It’s always just slightly off.

To change that feeling, you need to make a choice.

During your first presentation at your new job, you give the evacuation instructions: down the stairs, out the door, down the street, across the road, stop in front of the Coast Hotel. Only it’s not the Coast Hotel anymore, and a coworker mutters it loud enough for you to hear. Edmonton House: not a hotel anymore. You didn’t even think to check, even though you park across the street from it every day. It’s a part of the Edmonton skyline; your mom can see it on the evening news every night. It’s where her son plays Business Man.

To get the part, you need to learn the lines.

When the choice has been made, you need a location to start over. Most of the spots are just slightly off. Over the phone, the realtor suggests another building to you; you need to look up the address and that’s when you discover it’s the tall, round building just down the street from the Evil Tower. A very quick commute. It’s across the river from her apartment. It says “Edmonton House” in glowing letters, but it will become Downtown House, to compliment her Whyte Ave House. It will be filled with your dresser and clothes and several pieces of black IKEA furniture which she will help you pick out. She’s alarmed at how quickly you select the couch; it took her months to pick hers.

You’ll use hers in Shared Downtown House. It’s a much nicer piece of furniture.

When you get to that moment, you’ll know you made the right decision.

Contributor: Jeffrey Gordon
Twitter: @Angelus_55

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