June 8, 2014

I would like to press pause.



Oh, what I stroll, stride and roll past. Oh Toronto, you give me so much. You give me summer Fridays. A random burrito meet-up in Kensington. A lack of places to park my bike. But I’m creative and I find ways. Small strips of pavement to wheel myself down. Coffee shops, clothing shops and whatever-else shops to kill time in while my wheels are repaired. This is the sort of idleness I love. Time to read, catch up with exhaustion. The exhaustion is a mystery or a product of hard running excursions. Groceries create dinner. Dinner creates goodness. My herbs garden is making itself into something I’m quite proud of, minus the basil that is disappointing. And the night turns into quiet conversation, which is nice. Sleep is welcome.

My feet take me through Portuguese neighborhoods, including my own. I run down a closed street that isn’t actually closed but rather a street festival. The street is called Dundas. I pretend that it’s a race for one and flash by the vendors. They don’t seem to notice. Breakfast includes blueberry pancakes and some sit-ups. Coffee is a necessity on the worst and best mornings. Not sure when that habit started but it’s here to stay. I enjoy it. We board our seats and glide across the gridlock, through the downtown core, across bridges, through intersections and across the east and west divide. Distance doesn’t matter on a bicycle. On foot, this would have been a long journey. Riverside is full of artists’ tents. Some are worth entering, some aren’t. It’s up to the buyer. It’s quite fickle really. Time is spent walking around in a giant circle. Pausing for some jazz. Looking at old furniture we don’t need. Lunch features fine Parisian sandwiches by an open window. We hop back on and head through the construction that crowds our city and ride towards the water. We pretend the construction isn’t there but it slows us down and we have to look at it. Yuck. Construction is so ugly. Ugly is ugly. Finally we arrive on a path made for two wheels and we breeze smoothly along again. Cherry beach is shaping up for the summer, oh Toronto, thank you for Cherry beach. Time carries us on and west the road takes us. Through a maze of cars, buildings and people trying to get to where they need to go. Dinner is simple and we savor it. The hockey game goes on and on but in the end the good guys win. It could go on forever as long as they do. Sleep is restless and deep at the same time.

Morning brings racing legs, coffee errands, jogging to get to where I need to be. I register and warm-up with purpose to run fast through the city for 5000m. We recover quickly, smile for the awards and get our feet ready for the run home. Time is spent on the joints and muscles afterwards, those are important pieces. Back on the bike, I head out to meet a new friend. We discuss the odd point in life we find ourselves at and agree that it’s good. There is meaning in it all. I cruise up to a special little coffee shop to hunker down where no one knows me. I think. An old friend pays me a visit, I feel appreciation for her. Oh Toronto, you give me so much. The last few hours are spent over food with friends who have big and awesome goals. I would like to press pause. The road home is a beautiful one, full of tree-lined streets and an ice cream cone.

Three days. Oh Toronto, you give me so much.