Today I had the rather interesting experience of looking for something interesting and/or cultural to do in an age where the place where I live isn’t really open yet; not all the way.
Here is what I learned:
There are an abundance of interesting places to go and do a little online class or something. Take local bakery Le Dolci, for instance; their catalogue of classes makes me crave cake, but there are also courses focusing on goodies such as homemade bagels or scones and lemon curd (yes please.)
There are also some nifty cultural offerings, like this socially-distanced outdoor presentation, or the upcoming Toronto Fringe’s digital offerings (…again, yes please; I miss theatre so much) or perhaps for those who are so minded the free nightly stream hosted by The Metropolitan Opera.
I also learned that I am absolutely starving for things to do. For intellectual or aesthetic stimulation of any kind, I suppose. How much of the apathy I have been feeling about…life, generally, really…is due to a lack of this? It has been so long since I have seen or done anything that felt truly novel.
I’ve had so many daydreams of Things to Do.
It is early autumn, and I tuck my scarf into my coat as I explore a series of little vintage shops and bookstores and perhaps even wander about aimlessly in that archetypal music shop where I am not really cool enough to browse, where the obligatory hipster behind the counter gives me the side eye – but it doesn’t matter, because in a little while I will meet a friend for a coffee and a slice of apple pie, and already I can feel my fork crunching through the top layer of crisp-golden pastry.
It is high summer, and I prepare a tray of Red and Blacks to take to the little group in my back garden to ward off that last little bit of the heat as the hours melt and pool into a long drawn-out evening of conversation, the kind that could as easily turn into breakfast, if we let it.
It is pelting rain outside, but that doesn’t matter; we can all dine inside at last, and so I have assembled the biggest group I could muster to come with me for dim sum. If the table does not groan under the weight of feeding our pent-up appetites, it is only from its own long service; dumplings of every description are piled everywhere, and we fall upon them like an army of oddly dainty orcs, our chopsticks battling it out for juicy morsels. It is so loud that we cannot hear ourselves think, but who cares; we are loud in response.
I have found that rarest of beasts, a legitimately quiet bar, and work my way through a cocktail a little too delicious to be entirely safe, savoring it in anticipation: later I will go to a show. A real one. I will sit in my very favorite kind of darkness, that lovely moment of anticipation between the house lights going down and the stage lights coming up, and the play, or the dance, or the opera, or whatever it is, will begin, and I will devour it, taking in every word and flicker and fold.
I visit a museum, at one of the slowest times, wandering quietly amongst the little bits of art and history, unhurried and savoring. It is cool and dark and even in sneakers one’s footsteps seem to echo a little in such big, glossy rooms.
Perhaps I just go to a library and find a stack of books and a comfortable chair and read for hours, somewhere that isn’t my living room.
I suppose all of that will have to stay as daydreams for a little longer, at least.