There is a hum. Surrounding me Toronto respires. It gapes. Gap toothed to the world. I imagine a yawning crater sucking anything that isn’t nailed down into itself. Feeding. Feeding off the teaming life scurrying at its feet. Feeding off me. All around skyscrapers stand their ground. Like giant teeth. Proud. Immovable. Unchanging. Blank faced. I am being eaten alive by this city, sucked dry, desiccated in the dead heat, desiccated in the aircon. Moving around like a cell in an artery. It diminishes me and I give it life.
I stand at the window and look east. My first morning back in Toronto, I was here at six. Wide awake from jetlag, I watched the sunrise. First the neon orange glow, then the pink, seeping gloriously into the light blue predawn sky. The colour of his eyes. Blue and white and green and yellow, watercolour strength. The ambient glow stole westward, touched and lightly caressed the sleeping city, nudging warmly at the corners of buildings, like a lover coming to bed long after you’ve been asleep.
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 4. Purchase the book to read the full piece.
Toronto locations referenced in this piece
“I watch him go. Almost excited because I know I move him still but then, there is an empty space where he has been. A grey street. A fluorescent light. Church and Gerrard . . . ” —Church & Gerrard