On a Night Like This

November rain, the beginning of winter and the last leaves trampled into a dense, wet mat of browns. The sky had been a thick sheet of grey for three days so rain was almost a relief, although it now felt as though it would last for weeks. It was Cyril’s night off. He felt tight as a drum. Uncontainable. He needed to run, or to walk for miles, but the rain didn’t stop. Cyril was painfully homesick and missed his mother with a longing that made him hollow. She was un-reclaimable, passed on forever, and Cyril had never been able to satisfy himself as to the where. But if he could be home right now, in the Jamaican sunshine on his way to Brown’s Town walking by fields of yam and cabbage, or under a moon with the tree frogs singing, then heaven might seem a possibility.

So along with his sunken spirit came anger. Because Cyril was pissed at everything that had got him to this cold wet town where he knew barely anyone even though he worked at two jobs and still got his assignments in on time.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 6. Purchase the book to read the full piece.

Toronto locations referenced in this piece

Bella turned left through the rain-blur of green traffic light onto Dundas. I wonder where she’s got the cookies stowed, thought Bella. —Dundas

“Where are you from? ” asked the first cop. “Near Bathurst and Queen.” “I mean your accent, buddy. Where do you come from? ” —Bathurst and Queen