Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Driving north with him, driving backwards, windows down, blue breeze blowing, pressing play on my favourite song at my favourite part of the drive (the moment we pull off the highway and I realize we are suddenly the only car following this curving road back to his once home), swallowed up in green, the familiar dotting of houses, the one with rotating stuffed animals outside, pulling into a driveway still marked by a basketball net, stepping out of the van into air that is always cleaner and cooler 1.5 hours outside of the city, stepping into the house he grew up in and into his mom’s open arms.

Almost two years since I last took this drive, I still find myself replaying it on days like today where everything feels on the brink of springsummer because this drive and that one tiny town he once called home and what it felt like to be twenty-two and in love are forever springsummer in my mind.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the past in present

The past is never the past because it's never gone. No. The past catches you off guard as you round the corner one day and bump into him and his new life hanging off his arm. And the past is there every morning and every afternoon as you ride past his house on the streetcar, sometimes daring to peer into a bedroom that still looks the way it did so long ago when you thought of it as your own, too.

But the past is more than just the physical recurrences of him stamped across this city. It's more than just the way your hands sweat at the mere sight of any and every lanky boy with brown hair dressed in a heather grey tee. It's not just because you still refuse, after all this time, to wait at the corner of College and Spadina in fear that you may round the corner and bump into him and his new life again. The past isn't even just tied to him. There are so many pasts of so many boys following you around that they all become one in the end.

And the past plagues and will never disappear because it can never actually go anywhere. At twenty-four, it's much too late. The past is the present and it becomes easiest to remember everything bad and forget all that was good. And because of those long talks that never fixed a thing and all that was wrong and whatever you felt too much or too little of, you promise yourself you'll never let the past become the future again. And all the while you're trying to figure out if this is possible or not, you sit with walls up and everything securely tucked away.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

old blue eyes

Some dates and some days are impossible to forget. Like last week when I woke up and looked at my calendar and then looked outside and thought to myself how I hoped you were having the best birthday because how could you not with the sun as high as it was? Twenty-six and a face I sometimes don't remember right anymore, I will always remember you eighteen and nineteen and twenty and twenty-one and twenty-two, and how I hugged you the tightest I could on every third of April for all those years. So happy birthday, old friend. Here's to you.


Today I pulled back the curtains in my room and opened the window to the sound of a passing bus. It's been months since I've heard that sound or felt that breeze or seen the way the sun looks shining through the white of my curtains, but it all felt so familiar that it felt like home.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

i'll believe in anything

This city is blooming and beautiful and mine again. All mine. Last night I saw the band that made up the soundtrack to the first Toronto there ever was. I listened to them on repeat that first summer I found myself alone finding myself, back when I didn't know anything west of Bathurst or the difference between College and Dundas. I remember sitting in the first boy's apartment that wasn't his and saying "put on this song. It's a really great song." And there I was, sitting beside a boy who barely mattered but what mattered was where I was and how I didn't exactly know where I was but how I suddenly felt like I could believe in anything. A year later the band still mattered but this time with a boy that mattered and this city now slowly becoming home. A year after that the boy was more of a question mark but we still listened to the band together over a sink full of dishes in a Toronto now familiar in a comfortable sort of way.

But last night they sang this song that once made me feel like anything and everything was possible in this great city of mine and for the first time in a long time I believed it.