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Weekend with Kelly

August 8, 2009

Last weekend was the best in a LONG time.

I took Friday off and drove up to Toronto to spend a couple nights with my sweetheart!!

Toronto isn’t my most favorite city, but I do enjoy it in short bursts. It’s just that it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m a country boy at heart I think. ALL those people doing ALL those things that ALL those people do ALL at the same time. It just gets to be too much and makes me want to go up to the hotel room and hide for a while. However, I do actually enjoy it for short periods. There is a certain energy about it, and it’s fun, it really is. It’s nice too that there is so much to discover. So much of everything everywhere. But yeah, again, overwhelming.

So I think what happens to people that live there is that they lose their minds. No really. I think all of that pressure and constant over stimulation of just so many people all around you all the time wanting you to get out of their way or hurry up or move or give me this or take that, it ends up changing you. For some, I think they become angry and distant. They want nothing to do with anyone. “I am in my shell, you can’t see me and I will not react to you.” They become even more alone in this sea of humanity.
But others, they go the other way. They seem to want to compensate for the coldness of this mass by reaching out and making connections with total strangers, any kind of connection at all. And these are the ones that have stuck with me.
For instance, while out for a stroll, a guy just says “hey man rock on!” or something similar, and high fives me for some reason. I must confess that I checked all my belongings like my blackberry and wallet to make sure that had not been a distraction tactic. Another guy stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me inquisitively. I had been waiting for Kelly, she was up a few steps at an Ice Cream shop buying us a treat. He cocked his head to one side and shook his finger at me as if to say….”there’s something about you…I think I know you.” but he never said a word. The whole thing seemed to go on forever, and I, growing somewhat uncomfortable, started to smile because I didn’t know what else to do. That’s when finally spoke. When I smiled. “THERE!! I GOT IT!!” he said” I KNEW you were having FUN” He said. “Have a great night buddy” and he patted me on the shoulder and walked away. I didn’t check my wallet or blackberry because I was sure he didn’t need either of those things on the mothership.
And lastly, as I was leaving I was in my van at a light waiting to make a left. I could feel someone staring at me from the van next to mine. Both of our windows were open and he was talking to his wife now. I looked over and he looked at me. He spoke to his wife again and then turned to me. When I looked at him the second time, he said, in a slight Australian accent “Good to see ya drivin mate! Keep at it!” “Yup, I will, as soon as the light turns green here” (ok, I didn’t really say that, I just nodded)
Now none of these encounters are particularly strange. Things like this happen everywhere. They just don’t happen as often to me when I am not in Toronto. But I’m grateful for these people, they help make Toronto interesting and warmer.

But I was there to be with Kelly, I had missed her so much I couldn’t wait to be with her.  We had not planned on doing anything special, just to be together, and that plan turned out to be perfect. We did stuff, little things, errands. We went for breakfast, and dinner. We picked up some supplies at Staples. We rode the subway. We read the paper in the park and fed pigeons and squirrels. It was fantastic! We didn’t have expectations   and we just let the hours choose what they wanted to be for us. It was absolutely wonderful.

I took a few pictures, not as many as I wish I had.

feeding1 We went to the park to read the paper and feed the animals. All I had was a small      tub of shelled peanuts. I didn’t know pigeons loved peanuts so much. Even the sparrows couldn’t get enough.

feeding2

Pretty soon they were up on the bench and eating out of Kelly’s hand.

feeding3

Next they started getting quite comfortable with us, and even a tad aggressive. This one had the nerve to jump up onto Kelly’s lap, right in front of me!!

MechtildeI also had the honour of meeting Mechtilde. Kelly’s squirrelly little friend. She was a lady and was never pushy. She quietly approached us each time and was rewarded with a treat which she seemed to enjoy very much. She was soon joined by three others, but they had come late to the party and we were almost out of peanuts.

And this last picture is just something that cracked me up. As I sat waiting while Kelly got us an ice cream treat, and while a strange man stared at me until I smiled, I sat across the street from this banner ad.  This is just a few blocks away for the very large University of Toronto campus. I would have loved to have sat in on the meeting where the agency pitched this idea to the client.

DSCF0505

The sad thing is, and I didn’t think about it until later, a man was shot and killed in the alley right behind this bar a week before I took this picture. The only reason I’m mentioning it here is because it’s all part of the odd reality that is Toronto. (or any large city I guess). Everything happens. Good, bad, happy, sad, it’s  all around you and in your face. You can’t get away from it.  Yet no matter what, life just goes on.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    August 8, 2009 10:35 pm

    Hey Sylvain! It’s great to see a new post from you – and on a cheerful topic too! Thanks for the laugh (that frosty Arts major).

  2. Carm permalink
    August 9, 2009 8:44 am

    “…I was sure he didn’t need either of those things on the mothership..” LOLOL! I love it! …. cracked me up…!! I, like you, can only take the big city in short bursts… and one of my favorite things to do is people watching…Everyone has a story……..and I always wonder how close their actual story would be to the one I have created for them in my head…
    Anyway…Loved your post Syl, and enjoyed the pics. Glad you had an awesome weekend!

  3. August 9, 2009 10:34 am

    Glad you got some good Kelly time in…
    Did you enjoy the hug I sent you with her?
    How sad the arts major has little hope!
    I’ve a cousin who teaches art to kids in public school with hers! So there!!!
    And I make art and sell it without a major in art…so double there!!!
    ;-P not to you but to the one who came up with that ad!

    More hugs…

  4. August 9, 2009 2:21 pm

    My BA has served me well over the years, thank you very much. And it’s about to serve me even better than ever before quite soon here. So triple there!

  5. August 9, 2009 7:59 pm

    This made me grin – big.

  6. August 10, 2009 7:34 am

    “the mothership” LMAO!!!

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