Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
"I'm so bored," she said, her shoes clicking hard on the pavement, heading eastbound in what should have been more of a hurry.
"Bored right this second, or bored with everything?" I asked, partly out of curiosity, and partly because it seemed like the right thing to ask.
"I don't know. Maybe once it gets warmer…" she answered, partly because she meant it, and partly because it seemed like the right thing to answer.
These are the days of our younger lives. Enjoy them while you can, I always tell myself. And while worthy opportunities arise, and the jackets and socks come off to stay off, there is still a sense of static that I cannot seem to shake.
Then, we're sitting in makeup chairs: ultra white lids and red lips to match. The overall ambience is Redbull, and there are clipboards and there is shouting, and there is nothing "good" to read. And I think to myself how lucky I should feel, and should have always felt, to try new things, walk in different shoes, meet new faces and choose whose I'll remember and whose I'll eventually forget.
And I sneeze as I go, and I wonder if people will choose to remember that, too.
What feels like seconds later, the congested setting becomes a darker, comparably empty bar. Sitting together in (what I would define as) a spontaneous gathering of friends, we discus communism, and Kool Moe Dee, and decide which of us looks most Jewish, ex-evangelical company included. I win, but it's a close tie.
"See, this is nice," she turns to me and smiles. "Isn't this fun? Just going out, without a plan, meeting people for a drink on a Tuesday?"
She says without a plan like one might speak to a wayward kid caught elbow-deep in the cookie jar. It's something I vowed to work on. Spontaneity (not eating fewer cookies). She was just reminding me, I guess.
"I'm really glad we got to hang out," the other said, peering through signature specs and sweeping hair. And although I'm not sure I said it back, I felt the same, most genuinely. Chivalrous men are rarely available (to me; or most women), but I'll still take it where I can get it. He closed the cab door behind me, and instructed the driver, through the open windows, to get me home in one piece. I watched his curls get smaller and smaller as we drove, and I couldn't believe how quickly the night passed, or how good it felt to take off my shoes.
Today it's (only) 13 and sunny. I don't have all that much to do, next to study, but somehow I don't feel bored. Not even at all.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Easter. A time for giving, and caring, and chocolate.
I don’t celebrate Easter. We've been absolved, but it's still not my party.
I've been toting a sizable box of styrofoam flat bread around in my bag for days. I also carry a plastic knife and a jar of peanut butter. Me, my mobile pantry and my hollow stomach are celebrating Passover while everyone else takes the weekend off to hunt for foil covered eggs.
Last night though, in the spirit of giving, and caring, and chocolate, I was invited to an Easter feast. And feast we did. Vegan soup that wets the ap and 'huggs' the soul, a bird, some starches, and a banana cream pie.
I've never understood the relationship between clucking bunnies and resurrections, and I've never appreciated the weekend wine store lockdown, or the redundancy of Easter Sunday re-runs, but I did have a fantastic time with everyone around the table.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
"So, how do you all know each other?"
An odd question. Do we really look that 'chalk and cheese'? Or better yet, is it any of your business?
"We go to school together," I say, taking the debit receipt from her fingers. Approved.
"Oh, really?! Where!?"
We've all paid. The conversation should be spent by now, too.
"Ryerson," Katy says.
"Oh, really, so cool, for what program?"
"Journalism," Katy says. The hostess sings a chorus of admiration. We're momentarily made proud, feeling self-satisfied and important. But then we remember what it's really like. We deflate as we walk home, but agree unanimously to go on promoting what is hardly more than a reputation and a heap of student debt. The truth might sting, but it certainly won't hurt us in the long run.
Keeping busy has been the name of the game. And busy I've been (almost) keeping. Lately, the standard forces of 'busy' have abandoned me as the school year comes to a close, and packing to move is no longer on my list of things to do. My days have been a little bit freer, and just when I need distractions the most. Because of this, I've needed to realign my schedule, pull out all of the coloured pens and scribble colourful plans into all of the empty grey spaces that once were reserved for critical papers and phone calls.
Everyone always talks about girls needing 'me' time. But if you've ever met a 20-something with a vagina and 647 area code, you quickly come to learn that 'me' time is a redundancy. Nevertheless, these past few weeks have been about me, and me alone, and me – alone. By choice or not, I've had to start consciously putting myself first, taking time out, making myself happy, blah blah blah Oprah Winfrey. I got a pedicure. I bought new jeans. I've been to McDonald's (more times than I'll ever admit). I've been doing things because I want to, and not because I have to – but I'm quickly learning that 'me' time comes at a price.
Lunch for two: $20.00
Cab to Doctor: $8.45 + tip (It was pouring and my umbrella wont open, ok?)
Red Wine: $12.95
"You know, Sparkling White Wine": $8.50 (Nothing but the best for my woman.)
Studded leggings: $45.00
Subway: $2.75, or $3 if you don't want to wait for change, and I don't.
Drinks and Motown: $45.00
Cab West: $4.00
Cab East: $10.00
Petit Dejeuner: $15.00
Making some 'Me' Time: I'd say priceless, but that would be both lame, and untrue.
Actually, the truth is that 24 hours later, 'me' is banking a pretty serious fucking tab. I don't know how much longer I can afford to keep the meter running for 'me'. And sure, there are simpler pleasures without pricetags. Say, I could go for a walk with my iPod. But then I would probably need a coffee ($2.00), and when I sit and have my coffee, I'll probably need a magazine ($9.00), and if I'm going to read my magazine, I'm probably going to need a snack, and before you know it, I'm back at McDonalds, counting my change and eating my feelings.
But if the cost of keeping 'me' happy, by keeping 'myself' busy, means 'I' will have to work a few more shifts this week – c'est la vie. Because from now on, it's just you and me, 'me', so we're going to have to learn to get along.