Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sightings and impressions

The BMV store at Yonge and Eglinton has maintained the geek chic of its 2nd floor for the last 15 years or so and they still can't manage to get a copy of Philip K. Dick's Lies Inc. or The Unteleported Man onto their shelves so that I can read it for the first time since I was 12. I walk out with Dick's In Milton Lumky Territory, a collection of so-called Astonishing Stories edited by Michael Chabon and the William S. Burroughs reader.

I walk across the street to Chapters. Entire season runs of TV shows are on sale for $14.99 if your father is craving Three's Company or The Vicar of Dibly. And a cursory glance at the comedy section indicates that any book that has 'A PARODY' in uppercase printed on the cover is unlikely to be genuinely funny.

There's a homeless guy beside the RBC instant tellers on Yonge St. either blowing up a small rubber ducky or huffing some manner of solvent from within it while convinced he's disguised his habit brilliantly.

The trying-to-look-upscale Mexican restaurant still lines its basket of tortilla chips with industrial-grade paper towel and wraps its tacos in the half foil, half paper wrappers familiar to anyone who's bought a fast-food burger in the last 20 years. But the chips are fresh and not out of a bag and the tacos are on soft corn tortillas and taste of pork and lime and avocado rather than Old El Paso seasoning so good for them.

The Northern District Library is more or less untouched from what I remember at the age of seven when I took art classes there or when I was 14 and spent Saturday afternoons studying or when I was 22 and knew a girl near by and would camp out to read paperbacks until she made it back to her apartment and we could be alone. The structure, colour, rugs, lights, shelves, all the same. The microfiche viewers have been replaced by computers which are yours for a few seconds worth of time to type in your card number. And we're done.


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