Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11

I've walked past this alley twice a week for twelve weeks now; not sure why I felt the urge to stop and take a photo today. I stood there in the driving rain, balancing the umbrella in the crook of my neck and getting wet anyway, poking away at the screen of my phone, keenly aware of how much I was discomfiting the group of teenagers who'd loped around the corner behind me to light up contraband cigarettes. Looking at the photo now, I can almost catch a whiff of cigarette smoke.

Getting to know this part of the city has been an unexpected bonus of my teaching gig – I haven't spent much time in the east end before now, but these days I take the long way home from campus, exploring the residential streets and enjoying the echoes of all the places where I've lived before. I've met the friendly local Doberman, discovered my favourite front gardens and waded through the after-school rush of kids clutching art projects and soccer balls. One of the houses boasts a collection of topiaries; the one closest to the sidewalk seems to be a curious amalgam of Coyote and a jackalope.

This part of town has a nice "main street" shopping area, including a disproportionate number of bridal shops and a really good health food store, so big and bright and clean that it puts the one in my neighbourhood to shame. Once I'd finished taking pictures in the rain, I pushed thoughts of take-out pizza into the furthest corner of my mind and went to stock up on grains and greens instead. Brown rice and bok choy and tofu; the perfect foils for magic sauce.

Finally, I headed home through the lengthening shadows. I don't love the rain, but I do love the way the wet streets reflect the streetlights. Who can argue with puddles full of rubies and emeralds?

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