Cranston woke into a bougainvillea-petalled morning, a rosy-fingered dawn of a morning. Soft, pinkish sunlight was streaming its way down from the bedroom skylight, his husband Sir Maracle was sprawled and snoring gently beside him, and Rose of Sharon was crouched on his chest, eyes closed in bliss, the low, vibrating hum of her purring making sleepy syncopation with Sir Maracle’s snores. Her bliss was doubtless because she’d found an especially helpful ray of sunshine that not only kissed her with its warmth but bathed her in glowing light, which displayed the highlights in her chestnut fur to a most flattering advantage.
Cranston stretched and sighed, which caused Rose of Sharon to open kiwi-green eyes at him and chirp a single questioning mewl. She wanted her kibble. She always wanted her kibble, and most mornings, either Cranston or Sir Maracle had to stop in the middle of their scurrying about dressing for their jay-o-bees to serve Rose of Sharon a big scoopful of kibble into one of her yellow-green bowls (the bowls matched her eyes) and to wash and fill the other with fresh water from the tap in the kitchen.
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 5. Purchase the book to read the full piece.
Toronto locations referenced in this piece
“With the intention of broadening young minds, York University required that arts and humanities students take one science course. I decided to face the inevitable and registered for Man and Nature . . . ” —York University
“When I went to Kensington Market, I would often try on an outfit—a tuxedo shirt, some smart jackets with tassels and epaulets (I had particularly fallen for a red marching band jacket, with gold trim), an interesting bowler hat or a fedora with a feather . . . ” —Kensington Ave.
“I had not been alone with my mother since that incident. The next afternoon, being Friday and our regular shopping time, we set out for Bridlewood Mall. As we walked along, I could feel the tension between us . . . ” —Bridlewood Mall
“What was commonly referred to by South Asians as Gerrard Street was actually a few blocks devoted to Indian stores. Since it was Saturday and the weather still warm, the pavement was crowded with families who had come to shop or have a meal . . . ” —Gerrard St.
“On Sunday evening, I got home from the Toronto Reference Library to find that James had called to say we were to meet the next afternoon for coffee at the Ainger. I should have been angry with him for this long silence but, instead, I felt only relief an . . . ” —Toronto Reference Library
“The wedding hall was a grey, squat, windowless building in Markham, the suburb north of where we lived. It was surrounded by a parking lot and, beyond that there was a wasteland covered in goldenrod and grass, which had taken on that scraggly, charred . . . ” —Markham
“‘Various ones on Isabella Street, perhaps? ’ She nodded and smiled at my shocked expression, as she blew out smoke. ‘My best friend in Guelph is gay. I can spot one. Besides, you’re too nice to be straight. And too good looking.’ . . . ” —Isabella St.