family trouble (still)-edited by joy castro

“He possessed us with his unfulfilled dreams.” (138, A Spell Against Sorrow, Judith Ortiz Cofer)

this book has obviously resonated with me, as i am s l o w l y writing an autobiographical performance piece, one that i’m not exactly sure what to do about since a large part of the family element revolves around a person with whom i am cultivating a relationship with for the first time.

life is full and we are blessed. i have learned a lot the last two nights that i’ve gone out back to back-at night, after full days of work. i’ve learned a lot about how people are in the streets and on public transit.

two nights ago, i had dinner at doomie‘s with some co-workers, and didn’t realize how close to my house this was. i’ve only actually seen the obnoxious neon sign that reads “what vegans eat” when i pass by, but hadn’t registered that this was the new hipster hotspot.

i haven’t had an actual big mac in forever and eight years, but i have to say that their vegan one tastes pretty identical. the portions are large, the atmosphere is fried, and the propaganda is thick for the proselytizing. a sign at the bar reads, “mix drinks, not morals”. i mean, there’s gotta be something about a super judge-y movement that promotes vegetable fibres when nary a fresh vegetable graces the plates-i’m just saying-at least give me the option of a salad if you’re going to force your agenda down my throat. but i know, it’s a vegan junk food place. but it just reminds me of my college roommate who was all rah-rah vegetarianism but subsisted on a diet of coke, ramen noodles and oreos and drove around town in a vw bus, burning fossil fuels like a mug.

that location is interesting, as i have seen it be (and die) many restaurants, including a vegan sushi takeout place, complete with fake schrimps and fish, but i don’t recall it ever having a liquor license, so maybe that’s the difference. there’s a “new” guu across the street too, but looking at the menu, it feels like an imposter. things don’t usually trickle down from the west coast, but i think in this case…they did.

i also learned a thing or two about the 47 bus, as i walked my coworker to the queen and landsdowne stop that was on neither queen nor landsdowne. shoutout to the woman who helped us out, though i need to extend that to all the public transit angels that i’ve encountered lately-from the lady cyclist who told us as she passed that the king car was stopped on saturday morning and prompted a ragtag cab with my downstairs neighbor to meth boo last night, but more about her later.

one of the things my dad always said was that he would “enjoy his life later”, as he was nothing but miserable, resent-full and tired of his job while he was working. it inspired me not to defer happiness and pursuing/supporting dreams, and also wish that he would get there, because there are no guarantees. i’m happy to report that he seems to be enjoying life after retirement.

on a related note, i started my jfl 42 with maria bamford last night. the evening started strong with a bonus jackie kashian, and lots of fascinating topics were discussed, but my favourite quotes of the set were:

“are people still doing that? THE WAR IS OVER! there’s plenty of pantyhose for everyone!”

“she’s like an old baby”

i was feeling tired around 1pm, but inspired by a coworker’s desk construction in the hallway and my friend brian‘s house of dead animals to stroke (latre) so i motored on to orisha lemanja‘s equinox art exhibit.

i got a bit lost on the way, as i discovered the difference between weston road and old weston road-shit! i knew i should’ve listened more closely to the drake song!

anyways, after some walking and wandering, i was saved by a woman with four teeth and braces.

visualize that for a second-four teeth, and braces. (yup, i’ll wait). she was so sweet and pulled out her phone to help me solve the mystery, and it’s a good thing that i still have my text messages from two christmases ago, because that’s when i figured it out, and she re-routed me and i gave up to go home, so boarded the 168 going to dundas west station with her.

but as i started to recognize my surroundings, and heard more of meth boo’s story, i realized that i had come too far to quit, so i walked across st.clair to keele and boarded the 89.

i heard a lot of interesting conversations on the assorted buses and streetcars i was riding including:

“he texted me that when i came home next i should give him head”

“ally-i thought you broke that off?”

“well, i was planning on ghosting him, but now he’s texting me this and i don’t know how to respond”

“i don’t think there is a response”

“well, i didn’t, then he texted me jk and monkey face and….”

huh. so that’s the proper usage of the monkey face emoji?! who knew.

on the pitch black and humid first day of fall, i left the bus victorious as church ladies were singing the high praises and mans was boarding with an arm-full of pomeranians. it was worth the trek to see the artist, her stunner of a mother, her gorgeous son, and her pieces lining the deck and yard. i picked out the one i wanted, not knowing that it wasn’t a piece that was available, so cast my net in for prints of that one, and bought an available piece instead.

i got a smile from baby boy, which was priceless.

my ride home was smooth sailing (since i knew where i was going), i just wasn’t expecting so many folks to be tore up on a thursday night on the bus. but hey-it’s a rollicking place, this town.

there’s a new popeye‘s at st.clair and dufferin, which means the library is flanked by popeye’s and church’s, which is a metaphor for my life on the east/west coast if i ever saw one.

my bed is going to feel so good after a long day of being someone who says what she does and does what she says, and dammit, am i ever great-full. for all of it.


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