I live in the wrong place. Or maybe I live in the right place but in the wrong time. Wrong time not because I am plagued by nostalgia for a different era like Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight in Paris. Although, the 50s – am-I-right? But wrong time because the weather is going fuckin’ loco. I love Toronto. It is a city that literally never sleeps. And as someone who comes from a government town or as I’ve heard it called “the city that fun forgot” the liveliness of Toronto is exactly what I need. The weather though? Enough.
I remember driving from Ottawa to Toronto as a kid in the winter months and marveling at the fact that the closer and closer we got to the city, the less and less snow we saw. It wasn’t the snow-covered roads, five-foot high snow banks, and seven layer outfits, that I was used to. It was just enough snow around Christmas that Toronto could maintain Canadian status (because what isn’t more Canadian than the idea that we live in a snowstorm?) and once the Christmas trees hit the curb, the snow left the ground. It was, in a word: perfect. I needed to move here.
So I did. But after seven years of living in Toronto, I am broken-hearted. It is not the idea of perfection I once thought it to be. It’s turned into seven months of winter, plus one month of rain-shit-storms before and after winter. Really we have three months of sunshine, if we’re lucky. The reasons for this are clear. But this isn’t a post on global warming. It’s a post on change. Toronto has changed. And maybe it’s time I did too. The sunshine is calling me. And I’ve hit ignore on that call for way too long.
I roll over in the middle of the night awoken by a buzz from my phone. The notification shows his name with the words I miss you. I flip my phone over and go back to sleep. In the morning I wake to find the message was not a dream. I did in fact receive those three words in a message at 4:24am from an ex boyfriend. Ugh.
I roll over in the middle of the night and grab my phone because I can’t sleep. I read back through my message history with him and wonder where it all went wrong? I miss him. Does he know? Maybe he misses me too? We were never technically together but those three dates we had were enough to hook me. Looking out the window, I see the falling snow, icy to the touch, which warms my broken heart. Perhaps it has the same effect on him. I text him, I miss you. Finally I fall asleep. In the morning I wake to find no response. And nothing the next day. Or the day after that. The snow is gone and I envy it for being able to disappear so easily. Ugh.
I roll over in the middle of the night and creep her Instagram page. Stuck in a purgatory between fighting and/or too busy, it’s been a few months since we last spoke and I wonder how she is doing. The only deduction I can draw from her page is that she attends parties for a living and a photographer follows her around everywhere, even to the Laundromat. I comment on one of her photos hoping that such a public display won’t be rejected. “Cool pic! I miss you!” In the morning I wake to find she has liked my comment but said nothing back. Progress? Ugh.
I roll over and stare at her now frail body. I think about how when I was younger, she always seemed so strong. I rack my brain trying to remember the last time she said I miss you and decide it must have been in my early twenties. I look around the room and take in the heaps of things she has collected over the years. I cringe at thought that when she dies, I’m going to be the one who has to sort through this mess. Oh, how I’ll miss you.