Sunday, September 28, 2008

And This Day


Up, packed, and away to Toronto by 9:30am. Not only have they changed the Greyhound ticket procedure -- requiring you to go outside and buy them from a surly woman wearing wrap-around shades -- but the bus also stops at a giant inflatable bus station near Sportsworld Drive. It's a "Commuter Connection," but it looks like a bouncy castle. Only bus-shaped.

I got the type of seatmate that I usually end up with: the guy who doesn't brush his teeth.

Arrived at Jason & Craig's to gain access to their apartment. The two of them are in the middle of an intensive campaign, and they also have new kittens. Somehow they manage to maintain their composure. I am thrilled that one of the kittens is named "Barrowman," and I bet he's a better actor than his namesake.

In order to let J&C prepare for their first show (of three that day) without the distraction of a visitor, I went for a short downtown Toronto wander. I thrilled myself, walking diagonally across the Yonge/Dundas intersection with the rest of the liberated pedestrians. I bought another book about Objective-C.

Leisurely preparations to attend the last half of the show at Gladaman's; small crowd but fun, and great to see Lady Butterfly with her big pregnant belly. Then a walk back to Zelda's, whose stage and dining room invite a wonderful cabaret atmosphere that I wish I could enjoy more often. In the change room -- which was also the women's bathroom -- a constant stream of mothers came in to change their baby's diapers. "I apologize for what I'm about to unleash," said one as I was touching up my makeup. This was a first.

My numbers went over well, and the crowd was totally into the diversity of the performers. Annie Drogyny showed up, the first time I've seen her in months, and fortunately I was wearing the outfit she made for me. A professional puppeteer gave me tips on how to better handle Schnaaps the Seal: in short, treat him like he's an actual animal, not like he's a mitten on the end of my arm. I thought the mitten-thing was funny, but apparently the animal-thing is even funnier.

A mad-dash rush with Craig back to J&C's house for de-dragging, then a rush to catch the 9:30 bus back home...and the line up was HUGE. Even with a second "backup" bus called to transport the overflow, I still was one of the last ten inside.

But before that, while waiting to get on the bus inside the terminal, an extremely disturbed man put something in his mouth and tried to wash it down with Mountain Dew. After choking it back up again and examining his teeth in the reflective glass, he wandered slowly down the line, bobbing and weaving, and when he passed me I was amazed to see huge gashes on both of his cheeks from his mouth to his, gashes so wide you could see partway into them. He was removed by security guards shortly afterward.

When I got onto the bus, the guy I sat beside was the guy before whom the disturbed man had staged his performance. This guy in the seat was enormous and daunting, talking on the phone with his girlfriend, saying that the disturbed man had "razors" in his mouth, which he was apparently trying to swallow. We talked a bit and he said that he was absolutely terrified...that after the recent stabbings in Greyhound buses he figured that he'd be the first person to stop the attacks...but when this disturbed man came up to him he just froze.

He wanted to know what was going on in the world. This obviously upset him, and I agree, it was absolutely surreal. I put off giving myself an insulin injection until he'd calmed down a bit. I was afraid he'd take it as an incipient attack and break my neck.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU so much for coming down. I know the commute portion is often harrowing for you, but I'm glad you had fun. You really went over well at Zelda's!

You seem to have much more interesting experiences on the Greyhound than I do...

Next time we'll have a proper visit!

Adam Thornton said...

Those kinds of Greyhound experiences I can do without! :)

Oh yes, a proper visit. I need to also play with your children...err, kittens.

Eli McIlveen said...

So sorry to have missed this! I have to keep up on things more.

(Damn, it's been a terrible year for Greyhound. Ick!)

Adam Thornton said...

I'll let you know directly if something like it is happening in the future. I would LOVE to perform at Zelda's again!