guildwood park and spicy jerk with the right beer

The giving the constricting the empowering urban grid we walk on, taking your cut at the door, five buck a piece for entry into the bar. Federal detention cells fester with soulless criminals and the nearest unlocked door to hell, the late-night lampshade hooligans, the dampened enthusiasms of ornery minorities; how triste and bellicose you sound this morning my love, my grand weird stick-in-the-mud brother-in-law! The things you do for family, the things you do every dawn in the bathroom, the teeth you brush with assiduous circular flicks of workaday wrists, the eternal nonagenarian who bakes a rhubarb pie, who asks you where you’re going, but—thank heaven—she doesn’t ask you why; today is the testing day, today is the only day, today is every day. Have you seen the lights in Paris? Have those brigand raccoons caved in at your door, apologizing profusely, adding to the folklore? Evermore, how many hours--three or four? Spare an afternoon, then ope the door, let’s explore, a Sunday drive, let’s go for it, into the city we’ve never seen before.

Amid forbidding masses of fractured Greco-Romans, the laughably discordant statues in the Guildwood lakefront groves, the 100-foot cascade to the dimpled water down below, April shrieks sizzlingly, a demonic blast from February, with a rusty chain fence separating us from the abandoned roadside inn. They are shut up til spring, those wooden huts where sculptors hide and scratch graffiti on Canadian granite, the heavily subsidized decay of the space they spend their days; oh delay delay delay—can there be another way? We’ve seen it now, we’ve seen enough, so let’s be on our way.

Kingston Road, a widening sprawl, the turnip farmers turned bingo-parlourers, the halting speech, wasted wisdom and the watered French onion melody and daffodil blooms, the wicked denial of the inquiry scapegoat, the ancient gingko tree, the meandering repeatedly duplicated sidewalk jostling, and the squawk-box Fokker pilots shooting Messerschmitts; the weather-vane robber barons and the Scarborough Pantera freaks, MotorHead rascals smashing beer bottles on sacred cemetery gravestones amid sultry Passover bitterness. (The roadway may be linear, orderly, but she blinds her driver in savage chaos.)

Surprisingly strong, the ginger beer, the nip it gives, and I, the wimp, I fear. Can a red and yellow Caribbean restaurant make you homesick? In the case of my friend, yes; it’s plantins not plantains she tells me, but is ecstatic all the same. Jamaica, mon, IRIE, it’s that starchy sleepy afternoon roti, although the waitress was from Trini. But me? Me, I was contemplating the strip club over kitty corner, my salivating glands, wander in to Jilly’s, check out our fillies, hobnob with 905 hillbillies and crackhead hellcats in the Queen-Broadview village. Oh how very very silly I am; now hose me off and take me home, to Avenue Road--I got a load still in the dryer, and Monday morning will be chilly.

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