Lunch: Liquid and Smoke

27 Oct

In Toronto, in Dundas Square, I decided to take a metal chair at a metal table and settle for some overpriced, toxic street meat in a bun, while the giant screens in the plaza force fed me: Sony ads, make-up ads, lingerie ads, other ads, and a prodigious, Big-Brother like version of Salma Hayek’s face pushing something. A new movie? I had thirteen dollars allocated for a cup of coffee and a small something for the stomach…and five hours to kill. I got the java from a nearby news stand. I had run out of cigarettes, so I tacked on a pack of fake Marlboro Reds. The entire endeavour cost almost twelve bucks, so lunch was going to be caffeine and nicotine. The city eats up every resource like that. All right then. A group of Romanian shopkeepers was gesticulating wildly, insulting one another–sometimes in gypsy dialect, other times in Turkish. I thought about joining in, but I was on vacation from all the wars and battles. I had eleven more days away from the machines and blades and rotors waiting to eviscerate the flesh. A homeless Pakistani walked with much conviction in between the tables, reciting from a small, green notebook. To me he looked like a man who knew his way through the maze; who knew the answers to the Minotaur’s riddles and was disseminating them in a combined fit of altruistic rage and kindness to people who did not choose to listen. Tourists were visibly tense at the man’s intentions. Nothing materialized, and he eventually disappeared down Victoria Street, his nose buried in his handwritten notes. I smoked eight cigarettes straight in order to kill my appetite. Hunger is good discipline. And then I got up and walked north on Yonge, swung a right on Gerrard, by the Delta Chelsea, and hit the LCBO on Parliament for a 3-liter jug of red table wine. It was Friday afternoon. I had eleven days left to cram in a life long deserved before I was going to wash down a family size bottle of Advil PM with two liters of Wild Turkey.

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4 Responses to “Lunch: Liquid and Smoke”

  1. throwingroses 28/10/2007 at 2:36 PM #

    Seriously this is great, and wild turkey. Can’t go wrong.

  2. Les Becker 29/10/2007 at 1:45 AM #

    Geez, I hope that’s more “fiction” than “sometimes”…! I don’t even know you, and now you’ve got me worried!

    Fiction? Then hats off to you – you are an incredible writer!

  3. momentofchoice 30/10/2007 at 12:49 AM #

    and then what happened?

  4. (S)wine, Inc. 30/10/2007 at 11:00 AM #

    more complicated issues…

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