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images (and links) from a day out:

  • the bus coming slowly up the street to save me from the humidity
  • (why did I wear black pants again?)
  • a boy hanging backward off monkey bars, his shirt nearly falling from his skinny shoulders to the ground
  • a woman who screamed uncontrollably on the bus, especially when it made the long hairpin turn around Queensway Station, but still managed to work a needlepoint—her voice sometimes guttural and doglike, and other times high-pitched and frantic, but either way her face gave nothing away
  • the teenage girls sitting across from the screaming woman, who kept their comments to themselves and managed not to stare too much
  • flipping madly through pages of Blackout by Connie Willis, everywhere I was sitting still
  • the old man at the bike shop where I picked up replacement tubes, who wanted no part of my paltry thirty-dollar business, who walked away from the cash register without even bothering to push my tubes to the other side of the counter
  • the younger guy who came back around, put the tubes in a bag, and apologized with his eyes
  • being on a busy street corner at lunchtime, the smells of food everywhere
  • poking my nose into two amazing new shops in the Market (thanking the sunnyshiny heavens for Modern Ottawa and Desire to Inspire for sending me there) and dreaming of putting real, honest-to-goodness furniture in our living room besides the bookshelves and the cat’s chair
  • strawberries against summer squash against Swiss chard against carrots against tomato upon tomato upon tomato
  • a teeny little girl who did “tumblesaults” in the middle of George Street
  • the three throaty, elderly-before-their-time Francophone women who plunked down outside the gelateria to smoke while they waited for their grandchildren
  • the shirtless guy carrying the bicycle who rode up the escalator with me through the Rideau Centre (“How are you enjoying the summer?” is not something I can answer without looking at your pierced nipples and tattooed shoulders, and I cannot look at them without losing my ability to speak, so please forgive me for being less than chatty and just nodding rapidly while you talked about getting out of the mall before security found you and threw you out for being—yes—shirtless)
  • the beautiful aisle of vinegars and oils at the Italian store, all that shiny smooth dark glass and those intricate labels
  • this book waiting for me at the library in the Holds shelf, and then picking up this and this on the way out
  • the arctic chill of the last bus of the day, bringing me home through the thunder and lightning while everyone around me read their books or nodded off—no involuntary shouting amid the serious commuting crowd, everyone just.going.home