Enjoying my quarantine more than I have in years, what with the torrential rains and steaming greenery for a view. Swear I've seen a few of those escaped cockatiels described in reward posters. They seem pretty happy in the avocado tree growing out of the neighbour's compost. Spent an hour the other night with Les Paul, who was telling stories to Bob Sprott (740 AM). Like how he invented the electric guitar with a piece of railroad track, a wire and telephone receiver when he was 10, 78 years ago.
We've got this place all to ourselves since the mayor got his big wish about "putting Toronto on the map." He thought monster truck rallies would do it, but it's thanks to the W.H.O. "The Who? I thought the Stones were playing." And all those cancelled crappy imported acts.
More room for bands like the one I met in the parking lot of the 24-hour Dominion at 0400 hours. A fine bunch. They gave me a Danish donut. One of them bought me a cider to replace the one that spilled into my freshly copied autobiography when my bike fell down. While I dream of Toronto falling as easily as my cursed bike, my friend Hamilton-born South Korean scholar Mr. Min (as he calls himself) patiently explains to me that it is a foolish dream. The demand for a pied-à-terre piece of Toronto will only grow as the world water crisis increases and Harbourfront condos continue to blight the shore of the biggest fresh water supply on earth.
I hope all employed types who haven't lost their jobs to SARS are taking their 10 sick days. "I have a dry cough." Heck, I'm so accustomed to being cut off, it took me a month to figure out the ringer on my phone wasn't working. I just thought the people who usually call - survey takers and foreign-language wrong numbers - had lost interest in me.
Inspired by the cockatiels' example, I'm using my Toronto time to figure out ways to fly the coop. I am learning Esperanto, tailoring touring costumes and gluing my guitar back together. I dare any of my enemies (www. sheilaruinedmylife.org) to find another target even half as fabulous.
Before I go, I'm filling up on tap H20 while happy consumers undertake water privatization by draining aquifers into and out of plastic "throwaway" bottles. Public drinking fountains, the last bastion of civilization, remain suspiciously dry. I call to enquire at the megacity department in charge of drinking fountains - the department of economic development, culture and tourism, parks and recreation (no conflicting interests on that list?). They say maybe by the end of June I can sip from the cast iron horse-human trough by St. James Cathedral.
The man on the phone did utter a quick, unelaborated "That depends." Depends on what? Mosquitoes don't use drinking fountains. Unsightly homeless people deterring invisible tourists? Worldly Mr. Min says all the world is not like here. I'm betting even an insult someplace else sounds sweeter than a Toronto compliment. And if I lose I think I can handle it.