Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Haikus of Homelessness: Ottawa

Four Haikus for Ottawa

Chloe’s huge pupil
A source of too much laughter
I am a bad friend.

Stomp walking is fun
My new friends seem to like it
They could be lying.

Cassis, champagne, gin
They’re all in my stomach now
But I’m in my head.

We sit in the park
Sunning ourselves in the shame
I am a buffoon.

Also, no haiku necessary: I met a guy named Thundercloud. (Blurry pre-shame photo proof above.) True story.

In conclusion, any restaurant that punctuates their menu in this manner fully deserves to have a 21-year-old anarchist think that he can get away with eating an entire meal with a cigarette tucked behind one ear.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Haikus of Homelessness: Kensington

I just wrapped up a stay at my fourth home for the month. I still can't decide if loneliness is an adequate trade-off for the benefit of not having cats vomit in my luggage. It's a tough call.

In conclusion, here are three haikus for Kensington and some similarly unrelated pictures:

Sweating for three days
I suddenly discover

I have cycled here
200 kilometers
Bike grease on my legs.

Drinking Sonic’s brew
I’m driven to distraction
By tattooed white boys.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Haikus of Homelessness: Yonge & Eglinton

Two Haikus for Yonge & Eglinton

Yonge & Eglinton
I know it’s somehow safer
I feel afraid.

Shiny new condo
The concierge is greasy
I want to go home.

For more terrible poems and completely unrelated photos see "Haikus for the Annex" and "Haikus for Leslieville." Still to come: Haikus for Kensington and Haikus for Yonge & Bloor. (Does that neighbourhood have a name?)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Eleanor Rigby

I left the house to get some greek yogurt and fruit for tomorrow morning's breakfast and I came back with this instead:

In my own defence, it was raining outside and I didn't have an umbrella, so walking beyond the 7-11 wasn't in my best interests. And ice cream is at least in the same food group, right? (As for the Nylon, I've read every issue of GQ in the house that I'm staying at. Might as well follow that up with some truly intellectual pursuits like reading about the "summer's coolest beachwear.") I did, however, resist purchasing a scratch ticket--mainly because I live in fear of 7-11 employees judging me.

Next thing you know, I'm going to leave the house for a business meeting and come back having adopted a cat with bladder problems.

Okay, enough griping. Time to truly live up to the stereotype by watching last night's episode of Girls while consuming above ice cream.

Friday, June 08, 2012

She wore a polka-dot bikini

I got paid to wear this to work today:

Work also involved driving around in a convertible. Legit.

Yesterday, I interviewed a palaeontologist (!) and got to see dinosaur skeletons being assembled. Later in the night, I was paid to bask in the pre-storm sunshine at a Liberty Village street party. This morning I woke up 5:30 am to write about dinosaurs and I finished the day 12 hours later, which is when I modelled in this outfit for a beach-side photo shoot.

I'm exhausted, over-committing myself, dangerously close to burning out and still very much homeless, but my life is so weird that I keep having to remind myself of how lucky I am.

This is what I always wanted.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Haikus of Homelessness: The Annex

Three Haikus for the Annex

Cuddling with Courtney
There’s cat hair everywhere
I am allergic.

“I like cats,” I said.
But I didn’t expect this
Cat puke on my purse.

All that I can see
Drinking beer at the Central
Boys, boys, boys, boys, boys.

See also: Haikus of Homelessness: Leslieville

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Haikus of Homelessness: Leslieville

As many of you know by now, I'm spending the month of June as a drifter; couch-surfing until I move into my new apartment on July 1.

As someone who craves stability and routine, it's unnerving to move my office and my life on a regular basis. But it does have one benefit: in less than three weeks, I've managed to explore neighbourhoods of Toronto that I've barely considered before.

First, I stayed with Sarah in Leslieville. Afterwards, I spent a couple of days sleeping at Brie's place at Yonge & Eglinton. Currently, I'm staying with Court in the Annex and on Friday I'll move to Kensington. (Only 26 days remain until I can return to my beloved West Queen West.)

I've been trying to figure out a way to succinctly articulate this experience. Although my go-to has always been rhyming couplets, I've since determined that there's no better way to write about Toronto's neighbourhoods than through haikus. Here's the first in the series:

Three Haikus for Leslieville

Tree-lined streets are nice
I could learn to love it here
If I was 40.

Dads pushing strollers
Abundant monogamy
I cannot live here.

So many cute dogs
Parkdale bias is too strong
Where are the homeless?

Monday, June 04, 2012

My trusty companion.

Since essentially rendering myself homeless, I've biked 119.72 kilometres.

I sincerely thought it would be more.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

Three years, nine months, two weeks later.

So, I’m single again.

It seems strange to type those words—not because they’re not true, and not because I find them unsettling—but rather because I’ve never thought of myself as anything other than a singular person. 

I've never been defined by my relationships. ("You're maybe the most fiercely independent person I know," Alex Dodd once told me. Jay said the same, but was a little less kind in his phrasing. "You're a flight risk," he would often say, only half joking.)

Maybe my first problem—or my only problem—is that I’ve never been the type to fade into a relationship until I become a contented version of someone else. (Although part of me desperately wishes that I could become that I was that type. Is that even a type? I don't know.)

Even now, looking back on the last six years of my life, I'm completely baffled as to how, or why, I've been as lucky and fortunate in love as I have been. (I am, quite honestly, undeserving.) I've had amazing boyfriends and partners who have understood and appreciated precisely just that about me—I am my own.

But somewhere along the way, I've lost part of myself. So I'm working on a plan to get back on track.

1. I’m going to find romance in my life again.
My greatest failing as a girlfriend, a partner and a human being in general, is that I’ve grown to be a bit too pragmatic. I'm too realistic, too hardened, too set in my routines.

I've forgotten how much I like the sounds of particular words on my tongue, how a single moment can last a lifetime, and how strangely comforting insomnia can be. I've forgotten how to find magic in the every day moments in my life.

I want that back.

I want back the romance that I've never found in other people. I want to remember how to love recklessly.

2. I’m going to learn to love music again.
I’m going to start going out to shows again. I may even learn to play the banjo, which is something I’ve wanted to do for the past five years.

3. I’m going to travel again. 
Not that I ever stopped travelling. But the last time I took a lengthy trip overseas was in 2006 (!!!). I only have two more years to visit seven more countries. (First up? Southeast Asia, because I might as well finish knocking off the clich├ęd tourist destinations before I finally make it to Kiribati.)

4. I’m going to finish writing my book. 
I'm writing a book with my friend Carla. It's fiction. I haven't written fiction in over 10 years.

It is hands-down the best thing that I've done for myself in a long time.

5. I'm going to live a TV-less life again.
I nearly wrote "I'm going to move my life offline," until I realized how utterly preposterous that idea is. (I have been blogging for almost 15 years now. I doubt I'm going to stop anytime soon.) But TV? TV I can live without. I'm sick of staring at screens.

6. I'm going to bake bread more often.
I love baking, but I don't know the last time I kneaded bread. Six months ago, maybe? My two new male roommates will undoubtably reap the benefits. But first, I have to live through one more month of homelessness (I move in July 1) and learn to use a gas stove.

I can do this.