Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Clybourne Park"

A hideous day - heavy wet snow turning instantly to slush, an entire day of snow and rain. Miserable. I'm amazed at how many people don't have boots, navigating their sneakers along sidewalks a foot deep in mushy liquid. This, I'm sorry to say, includes my son and his trendy black Converse high-tops. Trendy, black and, I'm pretty sure, wet, Converse high-tops.

Yesterday's adventure - I set off on my bicycle for U of T, but it was so windy and I started so late that I decided I wouldn't get there on time, so locked up my bike at the Sherbourne subway and got the TTC. After class, took the subway back and went to reclaim my bike. Surprise - the bike key had vanished. There I was on the sidewalk, groping in my pockets, scrabbling through my purse - nada. Did the key fling itself out, desperate for freedom? I had to abandon the bike and get a bus home, where I called Cycle Solutions, the Parliament Street bike store, to ask for advice. "Call a locksmith," he said, "or rent a drill." Oh God, I thought, with another class due at the house in less than two hours. And then he remembered a guy who cuts locks and got me his number.

40 minutes later, I was back at the bike meeting Andrew and his trusty buzz saw. Two minutes and a forest fire of sparks later, the lock was sawn in two and the bike was mine again. It's worth $40 just to watch skilful Andrew ply his trade. No, actually, it's not, considering that the lock itself cost $65. But if you have to free your bike, he's your man. I told him I'd put him in my blog and here he is: Andrew Wade, bike liberator, 416-318-8584. If you have a bicycle, keep this number handy, unless you're a hell of a lot more organized than yours truly.

Today's treat - "Clybourne Park" with Wayson, a superb, prize-winning American play in a superb Toronto production. It's about humanity's racial divide, shown in an American neighbourhood over a span of 50 years, from 1959 in the first act to 2009 in the second. What a change! And yet - not so much. Fascinating, funny, beautifully written and acted. We could tell how good it was because, among the large audience of black high-school kids, right in front of us was Mr. Cool with baggy jeans and baseball cap. During the first ten minutes, he kept adjusting the music on his brightly-lit iPhone. But then he was drawn into the play, and until the end, he didn't look at his devices again. Now, that's a hit. Highly recommended.

One moment from the weekend keeps playing in my head - my ex-husband dancing around the living room holding our grandson, both of them laughing. One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Makes me forget the desolate landscape outside. Anyway, patience. It's nearly March.

PS Listening to "Ideas" on CBC, on wisdom. Monty Hall, of American TV, just gave a great bon mot that his mother used to say to him. "There are two types of people in the world," she used to say, "givers and takers. The takers eat well. But the givers sleep well."

Love it.


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