Empty car-park

Empty car-park on a Saturday, North Vancouver © Tanya Clarke 2019

Empty car-park on a Saturday, North Vancouver © Tanya Clarke 2019


Larry sat, no, Larry pulled his woollen hat down further over his ears.

His hands were cracked and sore from working in the wind and rain. He clasped them together and blew gently over his fingers. Too hard and his breath was cold. Gently. Then the warmth from within his body covered over his hands for just a moment.

Can’t put the heater on. Not enough petrol to run the engine. Saving. Saving. All the time.

He reaches into the back of the car to find his bag of tools. Nobody knows that he had to leave. No-one knows that he lives the way he does. In his car moving about the big car-parks. He knows the ones that are patrolled at night. They’ll kick everyone out. Some have dogs. Trained to be aggressive. Larry used to have a dog until they killed it.

There’s one place on the outskirts of town where the guard knows him and let’s him sleep there. But only two nights a week. He’ll bring him hot soup and coffee. They have a chat. But Larry knows he could lose his job so he’s careful. Better to be careful.

Other nights he parks up in lay-bys. Keeps his lights low. He can tuck his car away from the patrolling vehicles but he gets little sleep there. The worry keeps him awake every hour through the night.

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