Maybe it’s performance anxiety, but I haven’t been able to string together a coherent series of ideas for a blog post in about a week. Hence:

  • The first bite of the corn cake with mango salsa at Saving Grace, last Sunday. It was a piping hot, slightly greasy, lightly fried cornbread patty accompanied with a salsa that was sweet and spicy and very fresh. My entree was tasty too, but it was that first bite of the appetizer that let me know what I was in for.
  • The palette of the Leslie St. Spit. It feels like there are more neutral tones out there than there are colours in the rest of Toronto. The brown wet, glistening sand, bleached logs with a range that would put Weston’s peppers to shame, the coarse, palest cream of weathered concrete, and piles of rocks, tiles, rebar and bricks. The bricks! Left there for decades to be slowly worn down by the lake to look like porous red cheerios. That’s not even mentioning the dunes of dead leaves and the clumps of now-bare young trees, their bark varying from smooth, shining and russet to soft/scarred grey-green. Or that huddled group on the northern shore, about two-thirds of the way to the point, that were still dressed in brilliant yellow leaves that seemed to catch the sun no matter when it was. Or the impossibly spring-green grass, grown confusingly tall and soft where the rest of the ground plants were dark, gnarled things that were well aware of the oncoming winter. Or my traveling companion’s pearl earrings.
  • Walking along the arrow-straight gravel road (we’re still on the Leslie Spit, here) with the November sun hanging low in the sky, even at 3pm. It was holding court directly over the road and everyone seemed to be walking in the same direction, towards it. The glare was almost blinding and turned the other walkers and cyclists to silhouettes, vague memories of people trudging down the path to where we all go when our name is spoken for the last time.
  • The pencil-crayon orange red and deep forest green of a roasted squash, its rind glistening from its time in the oven.
  • The stench from the slaughterhouse at the foot of Tecumseth, forever wafting over to Front and Bathurst. There’s a slaughterhouse there, right?
  • Running along the lakeside Martin Goodman trail tonight around nine. The Canadian National Exhibition was all lit up for the Royal Winter Fair, aglow in sodium vapour orange with tungstens and flourescents picking out the highlights. The searchlights on the Direct Energy Centre groped blindly at the sky like the bio-luminescent tendrils of some horrible deep-sea creature. Most of these were obscured in an out-of-focus dazzle (thanks, myopia) which went well with the mounting running-induced delirium. I found the entire show to be a little off-putting, but bearable, until the trail converged with the edge of the lake. Lake Ontario was an abyss. The water was smooth and swallowed what little light there was. The stars were snuffed out by light pollution (and again, myopia) and I had no way to gauge scale or distance. There was no visible horizon line or… anything. Just 120 vertical degrees of pitch darkness dwarfing the railing at the water’s edge. This massive nothing was within arms reach on one side while the fairground loomed flickering on the other. I had a premonition of the trail slewing violently underneath me and everything tumbling into the cold mouth of the lake, but it passed almost as soon as my oxygen-deprived mind brought it up.