Belonging

It is raining now in Toronto which, given the weather of late, is something I actually find somewhat comforting. I was walking back from a fairly fruitless expedition to Future Shop ( if their name is any indication forget Blade Runner, the future will be filled with disinterested store clerks and loud noise) when I got to musing about life in this part of the world. It used to be my life but now I can look at it from an outsider’s perspective. As I dodged ice patches on the sidewalk, and battled against a fierce cold wind in near darkness at 4:30pm I thought to myself the closest analogue to this is a freezer. The temperature is the same and it sees about as much light in a 24 hour period. I know I did it for a large part of my life but really i don;t see what sort of existence this is. The average person wakes up, turns up the thermostat, gets ready for work, warms the car up, gets in it and drives to work risking slipping and sliding to certain death on the 10 lane highways, works for a company that doesn;t give a hoot about them, heads to the mall to buy self-worth and then goes home to start the cycle again. As Bruce mentioned in his comment yesterday the human interaction and being regarded as a valuable person even by strangers is totally missing.

I am not quite sure why I am feeling this way this trip perhaps it is the Victor/Melanie fiasco, or maybe I am missing people I have become attached to or maybe it is just my mental state but the dreariness of it all is really getting to me. And it isn’t just winter as I can assure you if you dropped me in London or Paris right now i would be in a much cheerier state. I have trouble with a combination of awful weather and a society that runs almost entirely on materialism. I like to think there is a point to life…even if only to see what comes next…and here and now I am confronted with a society whose whole point seems to  be to amass things…great hordes of things. When I was at Future Shop to get my camera battery i went looking at the new iPods and the newest Macs and I thought ..how lovely…they are probably more feature rich than mine and certainly faster…but do I need to toss out the ones i have that are running fine…Nope! It is very easily to be caught up in the “latest and greatest” mindset here. When I get back home I know I will be working and using my remaining time to relax and spend time with the people I care about. Will a faster gadget enhance that experience in any way? The answer is clearly no.

I was also thinking of my patterns in Trinidad and imagining exactly what would be happening right now if I were back there and all the other players were in place. During the day I would have been at work screaming about the year in review and joking with Gis, Mel, Wong, Ria and Steve. I would undoubtedly talk to Peter Police three times on the phone, Omar at least twice, Alvie and Binky twice each, Robin once and Peter Sheppard once. I might even have thrown Astrid some shade on facebook. Then I would have gone home and started working  on cleaning up my Fodor’s chapters and, depending if Omar was popping in for a Wii match with or without Astrid in tow en route to a party, I might fix a small dinner. At which point I would make up Astrid’s room. At some point Peter Police would call to check in and then Binky would call from Sky Bar to find out how I was doing and I would fill him in on the latest developments. After that I might be convinced to go out with O & A or just stay home in my shorts on the chaise with the cascade night breeze keeping me cool. This is not earthshaking stuff I realize but it is very human stuff. I don’t just work I work at a company that i KNOW likes me and appreciates me, I don;t just make polite conversation with the crew we genuinely enjoy each other, when I talk to my friends these are not faux friends they are real friends and when I sign off with Binky I often say “Love ya Binks” and he always responds with “Love ya too Rocco” ( don’t ask..he invented it). We interact as people are supposed to. Oh sure, when I say “Love ya Alvie” or “Muz” depending on my mood there is a good chance he will respond with “Yeah, yeah…whatever” but that is part of the fun of knowing each other so well.

There is a truism in news that we usually call “First World always trumps Third World” meaning that given a choice of two headline stories one being 1,500 killed in Bangladesh floods or 4 killed in elevator accident in Manhattan…the elevator always wins.  I think it is true to say in my view right now…sometimes the Third World trumps the First World handily.

Think of it this way. If you are thrown outside wearing only your D&G underwear in Trinidad in January you might be a bit hot and possibly embarrassed ( depending on how you look in them) but if it were to happen to you here in Toronto..You Die!

Happy thoughts.

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