The Sign Says

20130531-163158.jpgFirst day back at work today after a couple of months off and meandering.

Leaving the garden behind this morning, my feet muddy from the wet soil, heading out along College on the streetcar for the first time in weeks, after a few blocks the driver leaned deep into his horn and the brakes but too late, too fast, nothing could stop him and he rear-ended a taxi, totally crumpling the back half of the car.

All of us passengers fled the scene, the streetcar driver slumped depressed over his steering wheel, the taxi driver strangely indifferent.

Ahhh, the city…
20130531-163704.jpgNow walking to work, I run into an old friend, a friend I haven’t seen for maybe 5 years and we kiss each other and hug again and again – it has been so long, too long… I am suddenly grateful for the streetcar driver’s misfortune.

Now rushing to work, the day is beautiful and the city vibrant, so wonderful to be in it, feeling the heart of it, not thinking about the absurd, if entertaining dramatic spectacle that has gripped city governance for the past weeks.

Opportunities for photos abound, and indeed there are signs everywhere, too many signs, the city is rife with signs.

Some are intriguing, cryptic in a playful way –
20130531-163243.jpgOthers are strange in that futuristic sci-fi dystopia movie kind of way…
20130531-163318.jpg…especially as there is NO blue door in sight.

Others are attractively bilingually cryptic in a way that is repeated again and again in different languages all over the city –

mother of god

And others just seem to have been very badly located –

delicious food

But now very very late for work on my first day back, I run up the stairs and face the door with the sign leading to the floor that will be my daytime abode for the next couple of months…
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20130412-125935.jpgHe passed away two weeks ago.
Toni. Father to an 11-year-old girl who adored him, life partner to one of my oldest pals.
Serious change.
Talking to my friend on the phone, she sounded confused, told me not to bother coming into town.
I waited. Called her a week later. She told me they’d “be fine”. “Do what you wanna do”, she said.
I waited some more. Gave it one more week and called again. “The weekends are tough”, she allowed, “and I need a babysitter for a couple of days”.
So I came.

His coat still hangs in the front hallway.
His things are everywhere around the house, as if he’s due back tonight.
I am sleeping in the front room where he kept his bird collection – they are still all here, and the lamp on a timer goes off at 5:36 every morning, prompting all the birds to begin singing at once a foot away from my ear.
His daughter wants to keep all the birds, of course, but mom is not so sure how to take care of all of them. Which ones get which food, how much water.
Especially as now the orange one has had a baby, and sits warming the baby all day long.
Underneath is a tiny little pulsating body, just beginning to sprout wings.
Change persists.