The first sight I see is the CN tower standing 550 meters higher than the ramp I am walking down at the waterfront. I can’t smell anything just yet, but I can feel the urban heat warming up my step and I slightly skip a beat as my feet carry me down the ramp, over the platform and into the ferry, which in just over a minute, carries me from Toronto Island to those waiting city streets.
It’s been eight months, more or less, that I’ve walked the beat between my house and Queen Street. I’ve patrolled the same old strip from Findlay to Ontario, down over Forest, along the tracks, crossed over the parking lot by the Anglican Church and jay walked over Wellington. The brisk jaunt down East finishes my lap.
Within a few short minutes the chaos of city and the land of plenty rush into me and I think over the possibilities of calling urbanity life. I am home. I am breathing, I am feeling all those feelings and I know that when I walk through those doors from the plane terminal, step onto the ferry and walk into the open air of the city’s insufferable heat, never an illusion of freedom, I instinctively feel at home.
We are distant. Each woman on her own is connected in the purpose to move on to let the heat behind us push us forward to stop at the red light to pulse when it’s go to weave in and out between the buggy and the bike.
I find a cool spot. There is a breeze. There is a fountain and I pull out my sandwich. I only eat half. I am conscious of the world around me of the suddenness of the human flight. There is a calmness in the urban settlement and I sit to watch, I live to observe.