During one Vancouver trip years ago I decided to walk along East Hastings and check out the shop. I can’t recall any of the sops I saw from the outside but I remember the general feel. In the course of what was likely just five minutes or so I passed a number of people who were probably on hard drugs because they had a bit of a dead look to them. The one that spooked me the most was this one woman: she was dressed in a skimpy (blue?) outfit including mini-skirt and appeared to be 80 years old. But, and this is what I remember the most about her: she had this completely lifeless, hollow look in her eyes, as if she had somehow lost her soul. On rare occasions an effective horror movie might instil a real sense of horror, as opposed to shocks or gross-out. Rarer still are times when I’ve felt horror over something I’ve encountered in real life. The look on people’s faces, hers in particular, definitely instil that feeling of horror, like I had passed someone who was breathing and probably ate and slept but who was somehow no longer truly alive. Since then it’s possible I’ve cut across East Hastings on my way to or from Gastown, but I’ve never since walked even a single block along East Hastings.