The Building Blocks

I followed her off the train and out of the station to Eglinton West Avenue—“Little Caribbean” to those of us who knew it well. I loved everything about that neighbourhood, from the haphazard assortment of clothing shops to the soca or reggae that played in every other restaurant. Even the way people gathered on the sidewalks excited me, the way men and women would lean against brick walls and laugh and yell and tell stories with their hands. It was the only thing I liked about going over to Nana’s; her house was on a residential street just off the avenue and the trip there made everything a little bit worthwhile.

When we finally made it to her bungalow, it was around twelve thirty. She opened the door and I lingered in the entryway, dreading the moment I had to actually go inside. I was planning to stand in that entryway forever, or at least for as long as it took for my mother to come and rescue me. But when I made no sign of moving, she shoved me inside.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 7. Purchase the book to read the full piece.