Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Death by Scenester

Hit the ground running. It's a favourite j-school phrase. As in, hit the ground, lithe like a cat, ready for action. But if you're like me, you're more likely to hit the ground face first, with road rash on your knees and gravel pitted into your cheeks. You'll be bloody and raw.

I hit the sidewalks walking full speed today, every siren making my head whip around, the mounted police making me cower a little and every scenester making me feel like a slob.

Heard at the corner of Queen and Bathurst, slumped on the sidewalk, cigarette being passed over torn jeans to waiting hands: "Fuck, you won't even sell your soul to me? What kind of a day is this?"

It's culture shock at its finest. Maybe Queen Street West wasn't the place to land. I'm aching for the quiet and slow convenience of Cabbagetown.

I'm aching for rooftop beers and my lofted ceiling and my Brie in the next room.

But this isn't just temporary. This is my new neighbourhood. Queen Street West. The shock will fade.

The heels of my feet are sore from hitting the ground. In small-town Alberta, we drive 3 blocks because we can.

In downtown Toronto, we walk for an hour without batting an eye, and call it a short distance.

Finding food took me well over an hour. What time do things close in Toronto? How do you find a hardware store? How do you react when men on the sidewalk patios invite you to join them for a beer?

I'm anonymous, but no longer invisible here.

I think I'm going to hide inside until the world outside slows down. Or at least until I've perfected my form-perfect rotation in the air, slow-motion like a sixth-grade science video, feet and legs poised and ready.


  1. Anonymous8:05 AM

    Welcome back!

  2. From one relocated backwoods denizen to another, let me be the first to say -- Dust off those Albertan cobwebs and pick up the pace. They'll eat you alive if you don't! Command the respect you deserve!

    One of my favorite "FU-IMA-NEWYORKER" techniques is as follows. When some huckster tries to stop me on the street, I blow right by them and make them walk with ME.

    "Excuse me sir, but..."

    "Sorry, pal, I'm in a hurry. You wanna fuggin' tawk to me, you better start walkin' 'cause I ain't stoppin'!"

    That immediately puts them on the defensive and throws them off their game.

    And always remember that "city folk" don't know their ass from their elbow (har har har)!