May 10, 2011

Favorite Things

I used to commute out to Etobicoke on the GoTrain everyday.
I had a love/hate relationship with the GoTrain.
I loved how fast it was.

I hated that it made me feel like an active participant in the rat race.

You could look at people and see the years of commuting.
That they bought a house in the suburbs for the affordability 
and perhaps the misconception that it was a safer, better place to raise a family.
People were so fixed in their routine - they sat in the same place, every day.
Laid claim to a seat that they had no real ownership over
and resented anyone who dared step outside their set of rules
even though there was no way possible that they could ever know what those rules were.
I hated that I could see myself doing this commute 
committing myself to a lifetime of following train schedules.
This is why I could never live in the suburbs.
I spent too much time on buses when I was growing up.
That's time I'll never get back.
Scarred for life, I am.

But I digress.

Riding the GoTrain did give me one good thing.

One of my favorite things
was the Dairy Queen in Union Station.
I love Dairy Queen
and ice cream in general
but I rarely bought a sweet treat for myself.

What I loved was watching
serious, be-suited grown men
eat ice cream cones
while they waited for their trains.

They were childlike, vulnerable and manly 
all at the same time.

In general, I don't like to watch people eat
but ice cream is a different story.

Ice cream is pure pleasure.
It's cold
and sweet
and refreshing on a hot day.
And it can, in an instant, make you feel like a kid again.

I loved watching these men spoil their dinner
and it still makes me smile to see it.

I don't know if it makes it worth riding the GoTrain for  three years
but it comes pretty close.

photo: Life Magazine

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