18 Nov Just when you think Monday sucks…
I never sleep Sunday night. You see on the Monday morning I commute to London to teach a class; it’s two hours away. I used to drive and now I take the train. But this morning, I took a bus. “It’s half the price and right now every dime I have is going to my Norway trip.” This is what I say in my head.
I wake quite groggy at 6:30, out the door by 7. I’m the only person on Queen Street and it’s still dark. Across from the Much Music studios, I smell bread–specifically, I smell freshly baked croissants. I walk by. Am I stupid? Obviously if I don’t turn around and get a croissant. It’s still warm as I put it in my purse. Arriving at the bus station, I decide to do some work. Laptop, cord…cord? I forgot to pack the cord to my computer. Settle down, Chambers. This just means you can’t reread your lecture notes. Fine. I’ll read a book. I will get a cord somehow in London. Relax, Chambers, worse has happened. Beside me a bearded man with a black turban shakes his coffee cup. “Want me to put that in the garbage for you?” I’m sitting near the window. “Thanks,” he says. “Sure.”
I decide to sleep and wake up with a headache. Outside, the blowing snow is getting worse. Glad I’m not driving. Then, the bus slows down. Then, the bus stops, completely. No signs outside. Where are we? Cambridge. It’s 10:30 and it’s another hour to London. The bus isn’t moving. My class starts at 11:30. S@!T S@!T
I’ll call the school to tell them I might be a little late and vow to never take the bus going to class ever again. Lesson learned. Then: looking at that sweet iPhone face, the phone that wakes me up every day, gives me sweet messages from my friends and reminds me of my next appointment is almost…dead? My virtual boyfriend has failed me. S@!T S@!T
I ask the young woman behind me, obviously a student, if she has a charger. Nope. “I forgot it.” She’s a dum dum like me. The guy next to me notices and asks if I’d like to charge it on his computer. “Really? Wow, thank you.” His name is Prap and he’s going back to Western, a former business grad, to interview students for summer internships where he works. “I’m taking a cab to the school–want to share?” Done, he says.
Through our talk, I discover he is a level five, maybe even six, foodie: “I try not to return to the same restaurant twice.” Ok, this guy has grown up and lived in Toronto most of his life. I pull out my notebook and make a list: Campagnolo is a great Italian spot; Bent is all about the fusion. The Foxly sounds like a bar, but it’s an Ossington favourite; Rasa and the Harbord Room…”And then there’s…” He keeps going. Byblos on Duncan, across the street from Pie. No no. “It’s spelled Pai…and you need reservations.”
The bus has been chugging along; an hour passes. We pull into London at 11:00. I might make it just yet. We grab a yellow cab and we’re off. I can’t look at my phone to check the time. Prap and I exchange contact info. The car pulls up to Alumni Hall: 11:25. “Oh, let me pay the tab, I’ll expense it.” What? We part, I turn and gum boot it, stopping to pee as I’ve been busting since Cambridge. No use getting there frazzled and doing the pee-dance in front of the class.
Class goes by. I was 10 minutes late. Sitting in my office, I’m reflecting on the morning. That’s right, I can’t let go and over analyze, so what? Shocked? Don’t be. Prap made my day. And not in the way you’re thinking. I mean, for an entire hour when we talked I forgot about school; I calmed down. I met someone new. It was like I was travelling on a trip. Today I shall remember Prap more than that whole computer cord nonsense.