May, in Review

Friday, May 7

11:45 am: At passport office counter for new application. Passport of five years clipped, stamped, and rendered obsolete in a matter of seconds. End of an era. Start of a new (48-page) chapter. Nostalgic, yet anxious and optimistic.

1:00pm: Tea shops are like my candy stores. I want to smell and taste everything. Flashbacks to tea-tasting in China, and Darjeeling.

1:40pm: Pho and phone call with my dad. Why is the fresh coconut frozen? Eavesdropping on conversation amongst visitors from MIT. Foreign accents.

Saturday, May 8

8:00pm: Feeling warm at a friend’s housewarming.

9:50pm: It’s snowing. Why?

Tuesday, May 11

12:30pm: Wondered if I have cavities after not visiting the dentist for over 3 years. Delighted to find out I don’t, but troubled to hear that I grind my teeth (at night).

2:15pm: Why does it always seem like the world is going to end at the supermarket? Unimpresssed by Toronto, or humanity.

Wednesday, May 12

6:00am: Had a dream that my mother almost killed my brother and me by driving wrecklessly.

Thursday, May 13

1:00pm: Arrive at Aveda student hair salon at the advice of a friend.

4:00pm: Still in chair. Eye stabbed with comb. Hairstylist cut finger. Starting to think that a ruptured bladder from sitting nervously under the scissors for over 3 hours is the least of my concerns.

5:00pm: Leave, feeling abused and emaciated.

Friday, May 14

10:40pm: Overheard on my walk home, in a conversation between two men in tweed jackets: “We’re so much more interesting than the fictions we create.”

Saturday, May 15

5:52am: I feel anxious. My pillows seem hostile.

9:30am: This is not the right train. I contemplate not caring.

9:46am: I imagine the Korean girl across from me is going to piano lessons, but on further thought, I don’t think so. Not knowing is as frustrating as not remembering the name of the song stuck in your head.

3:01pm: At the jimjilbang, and 105*C never felt so good.

6:31pm: Triangularly sandwiched between a woman and her self-consciously sunburned man whose self-assurance she attempts to assuage by subtle acts of P.D.A – a smile here, a stroke there. I just don’t want them to crush my macarons.

Sunday, May 16

9:13pm: A sparkling chandelier in a stale apartment lobby brings me a sadness like trying to replace something that just won’t do.

Day unknown

11:33pm: I think I am losing it, but I don’t know if I ever had it. I don’t feel anything slipping away, but I feel an absence.

Tuesday, May 18

11:00pm: I feel comfortable.

1:45am: Man smashing beer bottle in the train. Skater punk in front of me, transvestite to my left. The train moves slowly.

Wednesday, May 19

10:00am: On the phone with the visa helpline; not so helpful. Not at all.

8:00pm: Hands smell like curry again.

Thursday, May 20

4:00pm: A stager has painted my Tuscan green walls a neutral bland off-white and transformed my apartment into a generic yet presentable space. Cue A House is not a Home.

Friday, May 21

6:00pm: C and I have coffee and tea on a patio in Kensington. A busker sings and plays poorly on her guitar, interspersed with sporadic propositions of marriage. The first man then takes her guitar and proceeds to show her up as he jams on jazz chords. She uses his five dollars to buy “buy a beer”. Another man complements said first man on his mad(d) skills. They talk about bands. This all seems empty to me, and my tea could be more flavourful.

8:00pm: Chicken hearts.

Monday, May 24

4:45pm: La Bambouche is out of salted caramel macarons again, but a green tea opera cake and a piece of D’s yuzu macaron with a cup of cappuccino satisfies my sweet cravings. N has a muay thai match next month, and I wonder if I could watch my cousin (potentially) getting beat up/beating someone else up.

Wednesday, May 26

Morning: At the Indian Consulate, the South African security guard strikes up a casual conversation with an Indian man. “How about the weather, brother? Isn’t it hot?” he asks. “30s is okay,” the Indian man replies. “In India it can be 40-45 degrees. For months.”

7:30pm: N and I are contemplating life over pajeon. A Nigerian man complains that there is no seafood in his seafood dish; the Korean waiter gives him a new bowl, this time presumably with seafood.

Friday, May 28

1:30am: Receive box of shocoramochi maccha in the mail. I suddenly find myself smiling.

Before midnight: I’m out of 30 Rock episodes to watch. Uh oh.

Saturday, May 29

11:30am: On my way to school, I see a wedding, high school tours of campus, two camels and a lemur in the park, a jazz band, tents and handicraft tables, two sets of four port-a-potties, a fleet of cyclists taking over the street, an alumni spring reunion luncheon and celebration, two young’ens talking about New York in a sushi shop, an elderly lady complaining about the heat, and the sun. Then I go into my office, turn off the lights, and eat in the dark.

7:03pm: The flies are spawning, quickly, in the office bathroom.

Monday, May 31

7:24pm: The most valuable aspect of coming to the office is the company of classmates. This is in line with Mijuskovic’s thesis of man as intrinsically alone and irredeemably lost, as continually struggling to escape the solipsistic prison of his frightening solitude – and that his entire existence is consumed by the struggle to escape his fate. Cue Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

11:01pm: Submerged in a bath. My head underwater, while the water drains. It sounds like the ocean.

Music: paul simon – everything put together falls apart | nitin sawhney – river pulse (rain mix)

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3 comments

  1. LOL! you were working to protect your macaroons!!! oh glen, i can see it now, you shooting the couple withering looks while trying to shroud your macaroons under your jacket!!!!!

    by the way, i went to the patisserie you suggested to try whilst in japan… it was sooooo good. also, i ended up buying the cream cheese cake there after you let me try some in korea. and oohhhh i’ve gained so much weight now. eat cheesecake for me when you’re back in japan ok????

    love you!!!!

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