City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts
I came to the city
Seeking
Vibrance
Colour
Culture
Excitement

But I found instead
A monochromatic panoply
Of materialistic
Greed
Selfishness
Dishonour

I’d imagined the skyline
A silhouette of light in the night sky
But found a city of ghosts
Lost souls walking somnambulantly
Through a grey misery
Punctuated
By blank pages
Of nothingness

Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada

Taken on location for The Magicians, today, 2015

OK. OK. Not at all like me. But let me explain this little dystopia.

Several hours before taking this shot I was talking with a friend and colleague on set while filming The Magicians. I think of this friend as a “young curmudgeon”, as he’s a couple or three years younger than I, and neither of us have earned the privilege of calling ourselves “old,” just yet. Nonetheless, a curmudgeon he proudly is.

We were sitting on apple boxes, with a view of the mid-day city skyline, and I remarked how beautiful this city is, and how much I love it. Well, he launched into a diatribe about the shallowness and greed of the people who inhabit Vancouver, the disdain they have for the arts, for literature, for history… for anything short of an overpriced apartment with a spectacular view and two parking spaces for their Beemer and Landrover.

It was the most erudite and damning trashing of a city I’ve ever heard. Brilliant, really.

Later that day, I took this photograph of Vancouver’s sunset skyline over the waters of Coal Harbour. The ghostly image is a happy accident of the panorama function on my phone’s native camera app. I knew immediately I wanted to blog it.

On the drive home, a phrase came into my head while thinking on the photo: “City of Ghosts.” Upon arrival I sat down to Photoshop the image, and reflected on it with the phrase in mind.

When it came time to write… well, that curmudgeonly rant must have left an impact, because these words just leapt to the page and clung to it with all their sad, sad life.

So… here it is. A proud — and rare — submission to dark | side | thursday

Perhaps, some day — hopefully in the not-too-distant future — I’ll write an antidote of sorts, because, really, this lovely image deserves better. 😉