Tuesday, 29 September 2009

My mind is what I miss the most

I think it was spotting the Burger King on Clyde Avenue near Baseline Road. Although it really began with another one of those interminable dreams I get about needing to get somewhere and having something to finish first. Perhaps you get them too? The kind of dream from which you awake in a cold panic, realize that you don't have to do that or be there, only to realize there's someplace else you need to be, and that you do, in fact, have to get up.

This meant I was sitting on the #118 sometime after 8 am, en route to younger daughter's school, carefully counting off landmarks and fighting off the feeling of having been dragged through the broom ass-backwards. Clyde Avenue is my cue to count down bus stops, because we get off at the fourth one. That's when I spotted the Burger King, which started me on a free association of my year spent in Toronto, for some reason. (Probably because that was back in the days when I actually liked fast food and could eat it without gaining four pounds within twenty-four hours.) What with my sleep-deprived brain, the misted-out bus windows, and the dreary rain-washed wasteland of strip malls, I drifted off into a reverie, and suddenly came to, not knowing how much time had passed, and not recognising where we were.

Panicking, I rang the bell, and we clambered off, while I tried to get my bearings: Ferguson Street. Where the *#$%& is Ferguson Street? I glanced wildly around for land-marks, but recognized nothing, Baseline being as about as pretty a thorough-fare as its name suggests. All I could see were rows of unprepossessing houses, with endless traffic relentlessly buzzing along a road with infrequent traffic lights.

There was nothing for it but to head back the way we came, wondering how many bus stops I'd missed. After we'd been walking for about five minutes, I did finally recognise a landmark: the rather surly teen-aged girl at the next bus stop, whom we usually pass when we head up Erindale. Sure enough, the street beyond her was our turning, and I strode ahead of patient (probably oblivious) younger daughter, glancing at my watch and feeling for the first time how very long the trek up Erindale is. Fortunately, we weren't even late, and I managed to catch my bus back, but standing there in the rain, it occurred to me that I am going to make every mistake in the book while mastering this four-and-a-half-hour commute. Oh well. As long as I don't make each mistake twice, I should only have a transit crisis every week or so...
(The painting is "Bus Window" by folk-artist Cheri' Ben-Iesau.)

No comments: