Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spontaneously, I chose to be impetuous.

Yesterday I had a job interview for a job I really want -- so I pulled on my "it's 27 degrees outside with 76 percent humidity" interview outfit (a hot pink cotton shirt with white cotton pants and grape-purple gladiator sandals bought specifically for Lynn's wedding last week but capable of doing double duty nicely). After the interview (that I think went well -- it was a first interview, used to narrow down the talent pool to decide who they want to ask back for the "actual" interview sometime in the coming weeks) I had intended to finally check out the much ballyhooed Kensington Market along with the Art Gallery of Ontario (they are in relatively the same area -- and the AGO is free on Wednesdays after 6 p.m.) ... but as attractive as grape-purple gladiator sandals are within the context of weddings and job interviews, they fall remarkably short in the context of walking about town in sticky hot weather. Still, the social event for an online writers group I was going to attend wasn't for a few hours, so time needed to be killed. What kills time better than Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore? (yes, that was rhetorical). And I can sit when pursuing that option.

After the movie and onto the bar where the meet is to take place, I discover that I am an hour early. Was I given the wrong time, or did I write down the wrong time? Turns out it mattered little to me since I wasn't married to the idea of meeting up with people who -- last time I met up with them -- were insufferable boors who would certainly find no amusement in my being witness to K. Galore's revenge. I intended that to be the end of my day, but after buying a token for the subway, I found myself physically incapable of bringing myself to drop it in the turnstile. I decided to wait out the boors just for something to do.

Across the street from the bar, though, I got distracted by this:

An inflatable movie screen! I had heard about these! An outdoor movie screening at random parks in the city. What movie? How should I know (- were you not following that I hadn't planned to see this?) But years ago, a friend and I used to revel in an evening of arriving at a repertory theatre on time to see a show without knowing anything about what was playing (okay, we knew the title. it was hard to not know the title, given it was on the marquee when we entered the theatre). It was fun to be surprised. So now, with the sun on its way off its perch, sitting outside in a park with a breeze watching a surprise movie seemed most pleasant indeed. Sadly, it wasn't to start for 90 minutes -- but aha! I had some of my writing with me from a failed attempt to go to the library and write in an air conditioned location earlier in the week. Out it came, and so ticked away the minutes.

A lady in a hot pink sweater and white pants ended up sitting next to me, saying she didn't want to sit in the grass with her friends at the other end of the park, then laughed that we would only look like bookends if she did anyway. I liked this lady. She told me that we were about to see Cairo Time, which I had heard very good things about and thought was a lovely choice for an summer eve screening in the park. Turned out, I was right. It was a beautifully understated movie, and Jane (or did she say her name was Jan?) was a delightful benchmate. We exchanged humourous comments sporadically throughout the movie, but mostly sat silently and enjoyed.

After the movie, I decided to pop into the bar to see if the writers were still lingering. They were. They also were neither welcoming nor inclusive so I stayed exactly 45 seconds before deciding that life is too short and I choose to take away from my night a random encounter with a stranger on a park bench watching a movie in the night air instead of a lingering taste of boor in my mouth. Schmoozing? Not tonight dear, I have an aversion to haught.

Still, I was in the mood for something ... else. I decided I'd go towards home and stop off at a 24 hour McDonalds by my place to continue some of the writing I had done earlier in the night. But on my way to the subway, I was once again distracted by fate's surprises:

It was eleven o'clock on a Wednesday night, for propriety's sake! People were just hanging out, watching a few random street dancers, reading, talking, relaxing and people-watching in Dundas Square. So I found a table in one corner of the square and hauled out my writing once more. I ended up between two groups of young men -- the left group was engaged in an African dialect of some fashion, while my right ear was treated to the insistent tones of excited Arabic chatter. Which was exactly what I wanted since I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. I am least creative in a quiet environment, and have always studied with my radio or the tv on, but the balance between what is background noise and what is distracting is a constant struggle. Energetic conversations in two foreign languages -- perfect!

At midnight, my increasingly constrictive grape-purple gladiator shoes decided that my day simply must come to an end NOW. That, and I just could no longer pretend that I was not aware of how sticky and salty I had become over the course of a humid August afternoon in downtown Toronto. When your inner elbows smack together and peel apart every time you move your arms, it is time to retreat to your own shower for a quick hose-down.

Midnight on a Wednesday. This is Dundas Square at midnight on a Wednesday:


On a closing note: If you could put your love for another human being in the form of a monetary sum, and that sum happened to add up to $4,000, I know what would make a certain birthday girl very happy next week:

(Course you'd have to buy her a new apartment, too. There's no way this painting can be displayed in anything less than a lakefront condo with floor to ceiling windows and an open concept design.)

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