This week I went looking for parks in Toronto. I made it to one. I also got to a beach for the first time since moving here. The city is a busy place and escaping into a park is a nice way to drown it out for a bit.
This week I went to David Balfour Park and Cherry Beach. Both are worth checking out.
She bought a bag of grapes and a handful of bananas. Me, I was waiting behind her to pay for my three Jamaican meet patties, a bag of chips, and a jar of salsa.
After we had each paid, we met again outside the Hasty Market, where she was searching around for a lighter. I lit her cigarette and mine. She said thank you and then took off.
While walking back to my building, I caught up with her, keeping my distance from behind. Im a fairly quick walker. I turned the corner into an alleyway that leads to a side entrance to my building. She continued on.
When the elevator, I had called, arrived, a door opened behind me. She strolled in, and I let her through to the waiting elevator. She pressed 22. I pressed 14.
It wasn’t until I walked into my apartment that I could let off the fart that I’d been holding in.
While getting off a packed bus, I stepped over a stroller and as my right knee was coming over, it hit the baby sleeping inside on the left cheek. I blurted out, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” as I, without thinking, as if instinctually, reached down and gently stroked the child’s cheek. Maybe I was trying to wipe the pain away, or maybe it was my guilt. My right knee still feels strange, like it’s covered by an itch I can’t scratch. The baby didn’t even wake up.
Last night, I went out with some folks I don’t usually hang out with. We ended up singing karaoke. I know people were taking pictures.
It’s nice to go out with new people, from time to time. It’s interesting to watch yourself in new situations, trying to figure out what’s the same and what’s different. We’re different people in different situations, but some things stay the same.
It’s also the conversations that change. I don’t have much history with the people I went out with last night. We have a similar story, but it’s different enough to be interesting. The way I had to tell stories had to change. I had to predicate most things with a backstory.
I also noticed that we had to describe the people we were talking about. Folks would use adjectives to describe people as they were talking. For example, there was, “Arrogant Arnold,” “Sexy Steve,” or “Timid Tom.” It was an interesting way to get to know the people talking.
The words people use says a lot about them. How someone would describe someone else helped me to understand how they see their world when they’d describe someone I also know. The adjectives they used were being cross-referenced in real-time.
Adjusting my response was also an interesting exercise. I had to be conscious of my intentions and what the ramifications of what I said would be. It was a safe space that I had to navigate carefully.
Because they were all already friends, they might not have had the same contentions. Listening to them speak with one another also gave me some insight into who they are.
Last night, for the most part – the parts I remember – was an interesting learning experience. People vary widely. Me, I’m pretty consistent in the way I perceive myself. I’m inconsistent when others view me. I’ve a terrible singing voice.