First of all, a warning of sorts: as I start this I have no ending in mind so it may well be rather… lamer than usual. I don’t go out of my way to be lame, I just am.
Secondly, for reasons that I don’t understand, I feel an urge to tell you (I don’t know why — it’s not even remotely relevant) that this is being written while listening to this.
With all of that out of the way, last week Ms. Rose and I visited Toronto, the Big City down the road where one can find the usual big city things — tall buildings, scary traffic, and expensive off-road vehicles at the opera house. I don’t claim to understand that last one at all.
It was work for her — training that I confess I don’t completely understand. For me? Not so much. (And where did that expression come from, anyway? And what would we do without it?) She headed down (up?) on Monday evening; I waited a couple of days so that I could play my Tuesday evening curling game and wouldn’t have to find a spare. (We grappled heroically against a team that usually beats us and won. Thanks for asking.) Unfortunately, while the Monday night train was on-time-ish, the same can’t be said for Wednesday — it spent time sitting motionless in a field.
Some years ago VIA rail introduced a series of trains (which have now mostly been removed from service) called LRC, which they claimed stood for Light, Rapid, Comfortable. Most people that I know claimed it stood for Late, Rude and Cold. Especially when it sat in fields for extended periods of time in winter. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t winter last week.
When I was sitting in the second (or was it third?) field I exchanged text messages with Ms. Rose and a Toronto-dwelling friend (let’s call him EP) in an attempt to negotiate dinner plans.
Over the last few days I’ve thought about my history with Mr. EP and how it parallels the themes of this blog to an uncanny extent.
Well, maybe not ‘uncanny.’
For example, so far I’ve used five ‘tags’ in the blog — age, curling, rpgs, road trip and hockey. Mr. EP is a gamer — we started playing rpgs together in around 1978. In recent years we haven’t done much together (well, he does live a three hour drive away) but he’s been a guest star in our group once or twice. And, given the year that happened, we’re both struggling with aging. He curled for many years (we’ve never played together…. yet?). We’ve spent vacation time together more than once over the years. Hockey? Got me there.
But there’s more.
Many years ago, I was driving to a wedding in the Kitchener-Waterloo area where I was to be best man (‘best’ — laugh laugh, joke joke) while dressed as a coachman and almost punching the photographer. (Er, that last part wasn’t an official role — he just annoyed me and invaded my personal space once too often.)
This (the trip, not the wedding) was in the car described in ‘Driving‘. Mr EP needed a ride to the Hamilton area so he risked life, limb and sanity and came along. I mentioned in the other posting that the radiator (well, and several other things) of that car was a little sketchy. Well, this happened some time after the events of that story so things were, if anything, a little worse and, things being what they were (the car was old, the day warm, etc), the car overheated while we were driving down the 401.
Not to worry — I carried a gallon or two of water in the back seat for just such situations so all we had to do was wait. It being a warm day and having probably consumed a moderate amount of a cool beverage, it’s no surprise that before the car cooled off that I needed to… make room. I walked a short distance away and Assumed The Position.
In ‘Peeing‘ I said, in part
It’s sort of a joke that one of the minor advantages of being male is that the Great Outdoors presents few obstacles when one needs to micturate. To urinate. To pee. Whatever. It’s also an old joke that, whenever one Assumes The Position, one can count on someone coming along and seeing you, thereby causing some amount of embarrassment.
In this particular circumstance it’s no surprise that there was an audience — after all, we were stopped beside one of the most heavily travelled roads in this part of the country. Fortunately, though, they were all travelling at speeds in excess of 100 kph, which meant that a lot of people probably said to themselves “I know what he’s doing” but none of them would have gotten a good look. What I had forgotten, however, is that Mr. EP habitually carries a camera with him.
And that’s one more reason why my memories of Mr. EP parallel the ‘themes’ of this blog. Sort of. Clearly I need a new theme.
Eventually my train arrived in Toronto and me, Ms. Rose, Mr. EP and his red-headed spousal unit Ms. EP (with whom I sometimes drink tequila) went to dinner. The following day Ms Rose was in her course, Mr. EP was in his cube, but Ms. EP was free so I dragged her around downtown Toronto (with emphasis on the word ‘drag’). First there was the Stegosaurus sandwich (that was actually her idea; knowing me I turned it into a, let us say, ‘tiff’) an encounter with a bookseller where I embarrassed myself by knowing who Michael de Larrabeiti was, a store absolutely crammed with breakables, the best damn comic store in the country, Bloor St and an eventual return to the hotel where there were screaming girls. (On TV.)
Then came dinner. A flurry of text messages and we decided to try a place near Mr. EP’s workplace. It was a moderate walk away so off we went — me, Ms. Rose and Ms. EP. In the dark. In downtown Toronto. Which, like all big cities, doesn’t have uniformly wonderful sidewalks and roads. And I had spent the day walking Ms. EP to exhaustion.
To make a long story short, she fell and broke a bone in her foot. In the short term, this meant a dinner change from Thai to Mexican. In the medium term, this meant time in the ER. And in the longer term, this probably means that I need a new tag for this parade of drivel. Something more concise than “I walked someone to exhaustion then broke them and disrupted their life for weeks.”
If you have any ideas, you should let me know.