The moon has a halo tonight;
it's fuzzy behind the clouds.

I'm looking at it through november bare branches
that are moving in the breeze.

I'm wearing my winter coat
and two pairs of leggings;
standing on a carpet of leaves
that didn't fall until after the first snow.



I'm going for a long walk. I'm dressing warm and bringing a camera.



So my friend breezed through Toronto this weekend and stayed with me. It was so fun. We just giggled, and it was like that; it was breezy. All we did was hang out at my house, chatting, eating, smoking, sipping ginger tea or cafe lattes. She was on her way through to her folks place up north for the Thanksgiving weekend. I made us leek and cheddar pizzas, a super-delicious dinner we'd discovered when she'd let me stay with her for almost a week. I was happy to show off my house, 'cause I love it so much, and hoped she'd get it why I wanted to move back so so quickly. And maybe she'd bring up in future conversations with my mcgill/montreal friends, "yeah, I've seen her place in Toronto. It's pretty cool. I can see why she wanted to move back," or something like that. After pizzas she brought out the big brownies her friend had baked without gluten and we were supposed to let him know if I liked them. They were DELICIOUS. Then some sweet pot in glass pipes and so more giggles, about exes and dates and friendships in flux, about shortcomings and long shots. Wouldn't it be nice to create something and get that delicious satisfaction when you bring it to completion. Something cool, and real, and hey maybe even marketable. Damn, I hadn't thought of that. So satisfying. A sense of completion neither of us may really get with the kind of work we do. Work that's meant to be worked over anyway, even if it turns out totally cool.

Ginger tea. Tidy round. Show off recent purchases, model them or just hold them up. Check out the quality. Nice.

Morning meant lattes on the back porch swatting at a wasp and giggling about pets and house demolitions and the heart-shaped "Mimi" tattoo on the house-painter's arm. Noon departure to carry on homeward, it's hugs and more chat at the car. Nice freakin rental and the glovebox can even keep drinks cold. I wave my friend 'round the corner and run into the house, dodging the first raindrops of the day.



I think it's kind of wrong that I can sit out late at night, comfortable in barefeet and t-shirt, and hear crickets and it's warm and rainy.


Night sounds

Pony and I sat on the verandah last night and listed all the sounds we could hear: ciccadas; crickets; the voices of greek grannies; wind; the dull clank of southsea shells hanging from creepy voodoo windchimes; the soft sustained gonging of metal pipe windchimes; broad wet catalpah leaves rustling; distant traffic; less distant traffic; visiting children playing nextdoor; footsteps; a car horn; my cellphone beeping with a waiting text message; a dog barking.


Stink of the Danforth*

The annual Taste of the Danforth weekend, a tribute to Hellenic culture, where one can enjoy samplings of Greek cuisine and music, sport and performance, surrounded by a street festival atmosphere in the largest Hellenic business community in North America.

Except every year it runs during August when it's a gazillion degrees and the Air Quality reading is off the scale anyway and half the city makes their way to Greektown, packs themselves into a sweaty mass of sunburnt manfat and bad boobjobs and waddles the Danforth Strip from Broadview to Jones** stuffing their gobs with barbequed meat on a stick.

The locals flee, those who can. And local vegetarians? Even the most polite of them who normally wouldn't get in people's faces about their dietary choices have a really fucking hard time. It's an out of control meat-fest shrouding the neighbourhood in clouds of smoking animal fat, clogging the subway stations with slowmoving over-stuffed carnivores (and their kids), and making a general stinking mess of the otherwise pretty streets.

Ever seen Souvlaki on the sidewalk the next day once all that grease coagulates?

And who hired that crackerjack creative team this year for the posters and banners? A vaguely mediterranean-looking woman in a white sheet gazes vacantly at a sword skewered with little pictorial icons of Hellenic culture, such as a lyre, an urn, a soccer ball, and pint of beer (well, don't look at me), something red, and a chunk of burnt lamb.

The only good thing*** about the Taste of the Danforth weekend is the early mornings before the fat-splattered barbeques have been fired up and no one's around, but the street is closed and so you can walk down the middle of the road and only see like a bicycle or something. That and the cute rookie cops they always haul out for special occasions. Ooh Mary.

* This is Tonia's name for it. I was just calling it Taste of the bloody Danforth. Lame. I know.

** Jones now is it? Fuck.

*** Okay okay they've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Toronto East General Hospital.


Perfect long weekend: Monday

The day starts slowly; I think I'm the first in the whole city to wake. The backdoor is propped open letting in the early morning sun. My neighbour waters his newly landscaped backyard, gardenhose in one hand, lit cigarette in the other. His mug of coffee steams on a new glass table. I've proofread a chapter from a colleague's dissertation and earned 50 bucks before my lover's even stirred. I picture her now in her bedroom, rolling over into her sinful dark curls and petting her kitties who have likely been poking at her for a while.

The long walk I will take will start at the re-vamped Tod Morden Mills and meander beside the river all the way down the Lower Don Trail. I'll want to follow it to Cherry Beach then through the cruisin' badlands of the Eastern Port to Ashbridges Bay and then the Beaches boardwalk. But it'll be blocked for construction before Lakeshore and so I'll have to climb the Queen Street Stairs past the snotty girlfirends who are making their sweaty boyfirends carry their bikes all the way up from the valley to street level. I love walking. And today, because of my quick pace but frequent stops for photographs I'll end up doing a strange long-distance leapfrog with a chinese guy until he exits the path at Gerrard Street.

The power will be off when I arrive home though there's been no heavy winds or other signs of a summer storm. I'll be reminded of the Blackout of '03 and become nervous about widespread societal breakdown. I'll curse all AC-hogs. The power will come back on within an hour but I'll pretend it doesn't and get high and think about how brittle my body feels. I'll reflect on the bitchin fitness routine that has my body showing me where it's weak and misaligned and I'll truly realize what a tailspin I'm coming out of: two years of high-level academic performance while coping with displacements, loneliness, steep weightlosses, a lover's bipolar diagnosis, and daily prayers that my tenants will please please check the lint trap and not burn my house down in my absence. But the spin's almost spun and I can feel myself slide into my situation, relaxing into my funky place, cruising into my work. Getting ready 'cause these are going to be some hot years.

I'll have a shower then make a savoury tofu scramble that I'll eat from a bowl with red chopsticks and gaze out at my crazy front garden while the sun sets.