Friday, July 7, 2017

Free Samples of Toronto

I'm training myself to write again. It's a good creative outlet, a hobby I really enjoy, and I needed something to do every time my husband stops on our route to photograph the bike racks, fountains, and skyscraper windows. So I figured buying a striped spiral bound notebook that I can whip out of my purse to capture a written version of Toronto's imagery was a better option than counting the shoe-lace holes on my high-tops. 

I also thought Toronto would be a good opportunity for practice because it's something outside my routine. Here's where my English professor's scoffing voice echoes from my freshman year at SUU about how everyone in Utah thinks Utah isn't interesting, and assigns me to create the riveting story behind my microwave, but as my writer's wrist is a little out of shape, I'm starting here. 

So welcome to a little taste of our Toronto trip, as blended through my brain and stumbled out my pen. 


The first thing on our list of things to do today was a massage in Chinatown. I have migraines, in case you haven't heard my ravings, and a massage is a popular this-worked-for-my-mom's-second-cousin's-brother-in-law method that I've been getting recently. We couldn't find the recommended shop, and after walking past the 4 for $10 colored t-shirt rack for the third time, we finally decided on a foot massage therapy place. It looked promising because although it didn't mention back massages, there was a picture of a lady getting one on their sandwich street sign. 

The stairs were steep, but the little yellow footprint stickers on each stair at least brightened the stairwell. We walk in, and the small lady who attended us must have just come in from the back, because she still had her purse. 

"You want full body massage?" 

I explained that I had headaches and I wanted a back, shoulder, and neck massage, hoping it would help my case. She led me into the massage room, and laid some towels on the bed to begin. I assured her for the fifth time that I didn't want a male to do the massage please, and she must have had a whole break room full of guys back there waiting for clients because after a few minutes she comes back in herself to do the massage. 

I enjoyed the session, although she spent more time massaging my head than my back or shoulders, and it probably would have felt more comfortable if I had said no to the "are nails okay, or no nails" question, because she spent ten of my thirty minutes thoroughly combing through my hair with her manicure from last week. 

At least she calmed knot in my shoulder quite a bit. Although it still painfully pronounces its presence, I now know exactly where it's at so I can rub it into submission. 


The houses and apartments here are adorable. On one street we passed a row of apartments with little fenced, ground-level porches. Some things that caught my attention: 

A large "Master Chef" grill covered with a form-fitting tarp and three or four layers of dirt. The brand name showed through the dirt on the front, and the logo was a little chef with the iconic hat, a handlebar mustache, and a triangle for a goatee. 

Some of the apartments were rented out to small businesses, and they all had "by the Grange" in the title. The "Dental by the Grange" had a sign on the opposite side of the sidewalk with a large pair of faded red lips parting to show two strings of pearls acting as teeth. I got the joke, but the image was less than flattering. 

One house had your typical brown, course, grass-like doormat that read "Nice Underwear" written in black cursive and surrounded by a simple, square outline. 


Well folks, the mid afternoon nap is calling me with a force similar to gravity, and I'm not about to argue. While I'm here though, I thought I'd share something I learned from today's writing sessions. It's much easier to write and describe something when I'm sitting in front of it. It's also more entertaining. I didn't have a whole lot more than scattered one-liners in my notebook, and it's because I didn't spend as much time as I needed in one place, really taking in the barbecue, the pearly mouth, or the massage shop. Trying to pull descriptions from cloudy memories is a little frustrating, and it doesn't come out nearly as accurate as if I had taken the time to decide whether the text on the doormat was more Lucida Handwriting or Segoe Script. 

So I'll try taking more time to seep in all the details and let them get a little more crispy around the edges. Golden brown. Sizzling and Juicy. Hmm. Maybe I'm hungry instead? 

Nope, definitely tired. Good nap!