toronto’s an unhealthy city. every time i leave it, i remember this, and it amazes me how easy it is to get caught up in all of it. i’m learning how to be healthy and safe within it, and part of that is knowing the city on my own terms, like i did once, seven years ago. so i’m renegotiating my relationship with toronto and refusing to let it get me down.

last night, i walked down train tracks, looked at graffiti, watched a woman on a motorised wheelchair sing edith piaf songs up and down a street, and hung out on a porch bathed in orange street light. sitting with a friend, we talked for a couple of hours about the danger of constructed fantasies, the relationship between the artist and audience, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

i’m re-accessing a lost part of myself, one that had been swallowed up in pricey brunches, pretentious conversations about designer commodities, and a rat race kind of city life. i need to un-apologetically reclaim this re-found part of me and i need to stop feeling judged because i’m not conforming. i won’t internalise the ridicule and criticism. i’m not down with that any more, and while i’m now on a new journey, the path is so familiar to me i feel like i’m on my way home. i feel safe again, in part due to the protection offered by a strange and new mythical companionship.

there are a few things i haven’t done in a while: watch the moon rise over the lake; walk and listen in strange neighbourhoods; swing my feet over rooftops and watch the city like a gargoyle; ride streetcars for fun; read in alleyways. i haven’t let my pants get smudged, torn or dirty in a long time.

i’m way happier when i get to look like a raggamuffin.

addendum: reading this over, i feel like i somewhat misrepresented myself. sometimes, i fully enjoy my engagement in overpriced food and bougie material culture. i do love, to a certain extent, highbrow city life. but in lesser than or equal amounts to pedestrian offroading and concrete hangouts.

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