On Wednesday, the student I tutor and I went to the AGO. It’s free to go on Wednesday evenings between 6 and 9 pm. I wanted to try something different with him because he really doesn’t like doing his school work. I’m glad we went because he was excited by the spiralling staircase, that we had to climb to the top of, and by the model ships, which I’ve never taken much interest in. The art on the walls didn’t really speak to him, but he took an interest in the sculptures.
We took the subway to get there and back. A subway is always an interesting place. I’d never been on the subway with a child before. He asked to play with the fidget spinner I recently purchased, which I gladly handed over to him. He was apologetic when he bumped into people, which I’d never seen on the subway before. He kept asking which stop we were going to and how many more stops until we got there, which I also do but never aloud. He got upset when a woman who had been sitting for her entire journey muttered that we shouldn’t have been standing next to the door as we tried to get out her way as she exited the car, as did I.
On our way back, we sat one seat apart on a bench made for three. A young woman sat down between us, breaking up our conversation. This gave me a chance to look around the car at the other passengers. When I looked up, I saw a woman tucked into a corner seat pull out a copy of The Alchemist.
She flipped through some pages, presumably trying to find where she left off. Once she was reading, there was a slight smile on her lips, and she’d stop often to pensively look up from her book. She seemed to be enjoying the book, which looked new.
Several months ago, I met a woman whose favourite book is The Alchemist. Despite it having been an all too brief dalliance, I grew to like her quite a lot. I’d not met a woman in far too many years who captured my thoughts and emotions like she did.
As I watched the woman on the train read, I pictured the woman I fell for. I started recalling sections of the book that I enjoyed reading and wondered what she might be smiling at.
On Thursday, the woman of my fondness posted a picture on Instagram for the first time since I’d known her. She looked stunning and my imagination was captured once again. I was on a subway car watching her read, my heart slowly melting until I reached my stop. I’m glad my stop came before hers. *insert sex joke here*
For the last few days, I’ve been enjoying the experience of the recollection of seeing her again from afar.
It’s all coincidence. Any sort of connection between any of the events leading up to me tapping my memory for the benefit of my imagination is an act of the imagination itself. There’s nothing to be found in any of this except for the fact that I’ve been thinking about a woman I once knew and I want an excuse to explain why.
In this, I’m the boy who wants to climb to the top of a spiralling staircase, all the while complaining about the number of stairs through heavy breaths. I’m the boy who’s become fascinated by the ship that is indistinguishable from the others to some, if not many, people. I’m the boy who doesn’t much care for what else is around but for the pieces of art that somehow speak to me. I’m also the boy who won’t let me forget that he wants the ice cream on the way home that I’ve been promised.