My time in Ontario is coming to an end. I fly to Calgary tomorrow afternoon, and then catch a bus to Banff the following morning. The fact that I’m going to be spending the next two years in this country is finally sinking in. It’s a good feeling.There’s certain things about Canada that I can’t get my head around. The fact that the hot and cold taps are the wrong way round, that Tim Hortons is so bloody popular, how unexpectedly and ridiculously good looking Canadian women are, the token system on the Toronto subway, that when you buy paint you get a standard base paint and they colour it in the store, that everything is in French and English yet I’ve not met anyone that speaks French, the way phone plans work, tipping, the populations lack of fashion sense, to name just a few.
There’s certain things I’ve fallen in love with as well. Poutine (chips, gravy and cheese curd, I honestly don’t know how no one in the uk has thought to do that), Tim Hortons (it’s addictive as fuck), the warm and welcoming attitude of (most) Canadians, A&W burgers, to name just a few. On the whole, I think I’m going to enjoy living here.
I spent the weekend in Toronto. I didn’t expect much from it, I figured it would just be another generic big city, but I was wrong. In terms of sightseeing I didn’t do much, but I don’t think there is really much to do. In terms of drinking I did a lot.
I was staying in a hotel, so I didn’t have benefit of being surrounded by other solo travellers in a hostel.
I sat in Taco Bell, I have no idea why as its shit, and ate a burrito, before walking to a bar I’d heard of, “The Poetry Jazz Café”. I didn’t stay long, it was pretentious as fuck. There was some big shot art house film director in there, surrounded by his film crew, being pandered to by the staff. I can’t stand bars like that. Give me the shitty, dirty dive bar over a stuck up cocktail bar any day of the week.
I walked around for about twenty minutes, I couldn’t find anywhere that resembled a bar. It’s weird how the nightlife works here. You don’t really get proper pubs or bars, they’re all restaurants.
I ended up finding somewhere on Queens Street where I sat down at the bar and ordered a rum and coke. Walking into that bar and sitting and ordering my drink was one of those defining moments in my brief and fleeting portion of reality that makes me doubt my own insignificant place within the universe.
There was a woman working behind the bar, whom I won’t mention by name, though I wish I could as her name alone was a thing of incomprehensible beauty which foreshadowed her as a being.
I honestly fall in love with every woman I meet, though it’s always (bar once) a temporary thing. Love is the religion I choose to follow, and women are the idols I choose to worship. Every single member of that remarkable gender has something, whether it be one characteristic, one passion, one smile, one look, sooner or later something about them grabs me by the heart and drags me into a fit of uncontrollable desire. The majority of time it only lasts a second. Occasionally however, I’ll encounter someone the defies my perception of reality, and all that which I hold to be true about myself. Someone who brings the faithful to their knees, unmasks false prophets, and inspires poets to change the world.
Someone who’s beauty transcends those temporary moments and lingers forever in the minds of those blessed to witness it first hand. It is a beauty that originates in the depths of the soul, and leaves it’s mark upon the souls of others. Someone who’s existence expands the universe itself.
I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter these rare embodiments of pure blissful beauty on a few occasions. There was a time when I’d chase them as potential sexual or romantic partners, but I came to learn recently that it is best to leave them as unknown, unobtainable, unrequited dreams. Love always withers and dies, so to pursue those souls that take such a hold so quickly is blasphemy, it is to taint the greatest thing in the universe, it is to dispute the gospel, it is to make the all mighty immortality of love a thing of mortal impermanence, it is to humanise God. Better to leave it forever as a mystery which will never be discovered. Better to leave it as a thing of faith.
I’m grateful for my time in Toronto, I’m grateful for everyone I met, but most of all I’m grateful for that one person, as when I do occasionally meet these souls they leave me inspired.
Tomorrow I head to Alberta. I’ll hopefully be back in Ontario in the future, but for now my attention is drawn solely to the next adventure that lays before me. Banff.