Of Masks and Men


I am not going to lie to you. I thought Monday was pretty cold.  I was mostly unconcerned while indoors.  I certainly didn’t want to rile up the students any more than they were.  I am sure all of them were wondering why in the world they came to Canada to study English in the winter.  The ones who came from below the equator must have been wondering this even more so.

As for me, the cold did inspire Monday’s Perfect Moment, though at the time I just thought it was a random encounter with a very random result.

I was talking to a friend on the bus, when I noticed that a passenger had on some special winter clothes. Having read this blog for a while, you know that I have seen people wearing hockey gloves, ballet slippersballet slippers, carrying cakes and balloons, as well as being sensibly and less that sensibly dressed.  I’ve seen a vast array of coloursvast array of colours.  This one just seemed different.

I looked over and the man was trying on a full face mask. It wasn’t like the balaclava I had as a child–which thanks to my precious imagination as a child was also my cowboy costume.  It was something that was flat and tied around the head.  It covered the entire face and not just the lower half like the one I have for skiing does.  It isn’t the mask itself that qualifies it for Perfect Moment honours.  It wasn’t even really out of place.  The temperature was quite low and with the wind-chill felt well into the negative 20’s.

It was two things. The first was that, I spoke out loud to my friend that maybe it was something that I could use–and the person with the mask and I started up a conversation.  While most of the people on my bus are friendly, usually at night, most people are too weary for a conversation of any depth or length.  Nods and eye rolls seem to be enough.  The second is that the colour of this face mask was bright orange.  Imagine the brightest orange you can.  Now double it.  That is how orange it was.  He explained that he got the thing at the dollar store “just in case:”  Well, he certainly had good foresight.  The other thing he explained was that he had had a choice between orange and black.  Obviously he chose orange.

At least he will be visible from a distance.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bus, conversation, dollar store, dollar tree, dollarama, public transportation, Toronto, Viva, weather, winter, York Region, YRT and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Of Masks and Men

  1. Heide says:

    I love the stories from your bus rides, Anthony — but this one about tops them all. 🙂

  2. Mr. Patel says:

    Mr. Patel thinks that this balaclava was “blaze orange” and designed for hunting.

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