When leaving the subway station, I turn left and head to work. Like in all things, linear or not, there are options. My option my not be another route, but I do get to choose the side of the street I walk on. It might only be the north or south side, but it can make all the difference.
The south side begins with the remains of the bus platform which was “temporarily” relocated under some other buildings ten years ago. Now it is a rundown piece of expensive undeveloped property. If you have been following Toronto real estate prices, you can imagine how expensive this is. It does give way to some rather nice old apartment buildings whose rents are probably sky high. It has a great view of the north side’s more impressive view.
The north begins with a brand new Sephora cosmetics store which hides a high end European coffee shop, which gives way to a bank which then gives way to other less spectacular, though useful, enterprises. It usually has more people and I have often dubbed it the crowded side of the street. There is no view really and you have to pass a whole lot of smokers sitting on architectural features of the new Sephora cosmetics store. I wonder if they anticipated that when they designed the building. They aren’t benches, but the serve a purpose like one.
I wonder when they will enforce that no smoking next to building rule.
Today, owing to the light being green, and perhaps desiring to see the crowds up close, I ventured down the crowded side of the road. It wasn’t faster but it did provide me with a moment that I had to share.
I passed two women saying goodbye to each other as they exited the shopping mall between the bank and the cosmetic store. They were young, urban and attractive. I glanced at them and kept moving towards my destination when I heard this snippet of their conversation.
“Come with me.”
“I can’t. I am really busy now. I have to make a salad.”
I repeat their conversation here, not to belittle them or mock them, but rather to wonder about context. Things heard out of context can certainly be confusing. I always tell my students that context is important, but if I am stumped, how could they possibly handle it.
As I walked to work, I thought about the exchange. I asked myself many questions hoping to decipher the riddle. How big a salad was it? How complicated was it? She just came out of a supermarket that sells pre-made salads. If it is making you busy, you could just buy one already made, couldn’t you? Had I missed the intonation clues that would have indicated that salad making was only one of many tasks?
While I was pondering this, I noticed that the two of them were both behind me a block after they had parted. I was tempted to ask them, but as I turned, I realized that one of them was even more attractive than I thought when I passed them. In the time I took to process that, the two were hugging and saying goodbye again. I didn’t want to interfere in their moment, so I kept walking.
Rather than write this, I should be sleeping…but I have too many unanswered questions.