The Casino Royale
This weekend we sat down in our living room—we set that up first—to watch Casino Royale. We nestled into our new chocolate suede couches we had set aside under plastic wrapping for the move. It was like Christmas waiting to use them; we had this whole new living room set we couldn’t play with until we moved. The new setup is cozy and organic-y and definitely reflective of us. Especially the curtain panels, of which I mistakenly bought two similar but different colours and a pole that is not long enough and thus caves in at the middle. Oops! I’ll pick up the right ones on my next trip into “the big city” next month.
We pressed play and the opening sequence of psychedelic James Bonds and playing cards plays out to Chris Cornell’s voice. Man those James Bond film opening scenes are cool. It hit me then what a polar oppositie experience we were having since the first time we watched the movie.
It was Christmastime 2007 and we were shopping in a 4-day trip to New York City. After a long day carrying overstuffed bags and being herded through crowds thick as an Irish pub on St Paddy’s Day, we were ready to sit down. It seemed a bit weird to go on vacation and see a movie, but that’s exactly what we felt like doing. We went to a mega-plex cinema in Times Square, were escalated about ten stories to purchase our tickets and snacks, before escalating another few levels to the theatre. We sat in over-sized (American-sized?) leather reclining seats marveled like fish out of water at the extravagance of it all and watched Casino Royale.
This time, we were in our small, three-bedroom government-issued house in Ross River, a town of 400 people in the far north of Canada. In what most people would call the middle of nowhere. The closest movie theatre of the multi-plex variety is probably in Vancouver, which is now a 36-hour drive from here, nonstop. Instead of walking out to busy, neon streets of the Big Apple, we walk out to gravel streets run by stray dogs and littered with empty Wiser’s rye bottles. It’s certainly a marked difference.
The people we’ve met so far seem pretty nice and welcoming, although there are certainly a few sideways glances and retreats when they find out I’m “the new cop’s wife.” More than a few kids at the school marvel at my gold-coloured hair and fight to sit beside me at circle time. I can tell it’s going to change me, living here. It’s a tough life, nothing comes easy, nor is it supposed to, I guess. And after being immersed in a small town with a big drinking problem for only a few days, my priorities have begun shifting and suddenly the problems I knew back home seem so far away and insignificant, by comparison.