Jan 29, 2024

2 $3:30 cents

Riding public transit can be a trip in more ways than the obvious. On my first leg of my commute into the downtown core, came the first observation. Passengers filed in the bus their presto card at the ready to put in front the machine so it can deduct the fees. Students under 12 free, students 13 and up $2.75, adults $3.30. As a gentleman press his card, the machine made a wonky song, meaning no funds. You could see the shock registered on his face. He tried again with the same results. He pull out his phone to show his electronic receipt show proof that he loaded the card. His distress obvious. The driver was saying something to him and he kept showing her his confirmation receipt 🧾, proof of payment. She continued going. I was able to capture her, "doesn't matter how much you loaded, the machine says you have nothing. I couldn't take it, I opened my purse πŸ‘› and retrieved my change purse. I silently counted out $3.30¢, got up, tapped him on the shoulder and gave him the $3.30 to pay. Shamed faced he tried to show me his payment receipt. I said, don't worry about it, it happens. I've been there. He looked at me with such gratitude. As we reached to the subway. He waited for me as I stood in line to off load. He said, thank you so much." I said, "no problem, you have a blessed day," and exited.

I can't stand deliberate humiliation. My God it's only $3.30¢ and the man clearly had proof of payment. There was no need to humiliate and emasculate the man for $3.30, for Christ sake. 

I have experienced this "none sufficient funds" wonky sound at least thrice with the presto transit card system, sometimes there is a delay in the loading of funds to the card even while you have the confirmation receipt. The sad part of this scenario is, the system will automatically deduct the $3.30 once it loads and she knows that. So the reality is he would have paid two fairs, but I don't care, I couldn't vicariously participate in this man's humiliation for $3.30. Seriously, where is the compassion, it's not like he was looking for a free ride!!

Nov 3, 2023

8 8:15 am & 3 sheets to the wind

Dressed in a red sweat shirt, light blue jeans, black hat with a solid white line around the folded rim with a packed black knapsack thrown over his right shoulder, he groaned and staggered in the streetcar. His left hand holding the rail to secure his balance and an open can  of Twisted Tea (a malt beverage with real black tea and citrus flavors brewed like beer with 5% alcohol) clutched in his right hand. "Huh, huh, steady, steady," he whispers to himself. He could barely stand. He slightly stoops reconsiders, straightens up, slightly stoops again, straightens up and contemplated the floor as if considering to sit down. He bends unrest his Twisted tea on the floor of the streetcar, takes off his nap sack he rested on the floor and proceeded to have a conversation with himself. Face bloated and slightly pink he sways back and forth rumbling whispering to himself I'm open periodically like he wants to vomit 🀒. 

I watched him from left periphery, ready to jump in the case spews. I stood a bit anxiously as my stop was announced and bolted in gratitude relief as I exited. 

Three sheets to the wind (drunk) at 8:15 a.m. in the morning and unsteady on his feet.  I don't think he will make it to wherever he's going without throwing up. I am just glad I will not be there to experience any of it. Yuck.

Aug 27, 2023

0 YOU GIMME $2.00

I sat waiting for my sister and my mom after having my screen protector replaced on my cellphone πŸ“±at the Oriental Centre Shopping mall in Scarborough Ontario.
. My lower back and right side was  killing me and after standing for almost an hour while my sis have her data transferred I needed to take a load off. Exiting the store I found a seating area next to the HSBC bank and deposited myself there. I quickly sent a text notifying my sis and mom where I was.  I randomly people watched as I inconspicuously did hip rotations to ease the ache. As I leaned forward to stretch out my back I noticed on my periphery a family coming towards me.  Thinking nothing of it I continued to stretch. I heard...

"My sister, excuse me, my sister." I paused and looked up, the family of 5 I'd observed earlier all stood in front of me.  

"Hi", I said.
"You give me $2 please." She asks. I looked at her and each child, a young teenager, a boy about 8-9 and a 4 years old all looking to me expectantly for $2. 

"Pardon?" I said. 
"You give me $2.00 for her," she points to the 4yr old. I looked at the mother and said 
"Give me a moment I will look, I am not sure I have."
"Thank you," she says and they all waited. A quick search yielded exactly $2. I gave it to her. 
"Thank you," she said and gave the little girl the $2 only to have the boy snatch it from her. She squealed in protest. The mother said something in Arabic and the boy quick surrenders the tuney then they all left. 

I could have said a lot. In fact, truth be told, I did, just not verbally. I looked at the mother slowly, then each child and back to the mother again holding her gaze. Life being what it is, I just left it at that.

Aug 25, 2023


Second to last stop on my morning commute. I exited the train and took the escalator to the second floor. The bakery delights perfumed the air as people passed each other, some going in the subway, some going out, some to the bakery for their morning java fix, scones, Jamaican patties - chicken/vegetables/beef, muffins - corn, blue berry, banana, cranberry, chocolate chip and other succulent deliciousness. Sitting cross legged, on a two seater, on the northeast corner of the platform, was a middle aged, six foot two inch tall caucasian male clacking away on his laptop. Eyes focused on the screen he clacked away intensely oblivious to the foot traffic around him. To his immediate right at his elbow sat a shopping cart πŸ›’ filled to capacity that told it's own story. 

The cart was compartmentalized and piled high with clothes, bags, cans, shoes πŸ‘Ÿ and boxes. Wooden slats extended from in the cart up past it's edge and was canopied making the cart appear bigger.

Seemingly unconcerned he made use of the subway's free wifi.  Smart move really. He sat in quiet dignity as he worked.

Jul 5, 2023

1 Gratitude in Unwellness

Even in Unwellness you can exercise gratitude.

 July 1st, 2023 did not begin on a high note for me. But! It began and I was here to see it, even it was butt down in my own waste. To be fair the illness was ushered in by June 30th. Nevertheless, I was able to see July 1st come and I was able to see it go. It was a rough weekend. I suffered a sinus infection, a throat infection and a serious bout of incontinent. Incontinent, that very well could be a result of the stomach flu? whew!! Quite a humbling experience. While shitting myself, my bed was not a thrill, I was grateful. Grateful you ask, yeah because I could clean up after myself. Sure it was one of the grimacing act from beginning to end but I didn't allow the experience to deteriorate my personality. And! I still found moments of laughter, even at my own expense. I was eternally grateful. 

My eldest daughter came the night before (Friday night - Oh what a night) and put me to bed and my sister came the next day and did my πŸ’©πŸ’© laundry plus. I did not feel totally out of it but I did have a few cataclysmic and dizzying moments, enough to designate myself to one area of my home - the bedroom near the washroom. Through the "shit storm", literally. I was lucid and determined to see the UP side to the experience.  What you may ask? I could wash myself. I had access to food and drink though I couldn't fully partake, I had no major physically or mentally debilitating pain. Through it all I could think and communicate coherently, that is something to be thankful for in my estimation.

On the road to recovery.
Am I 100% no, absolutely not but I am getting there. I have gloriously regained control of my Sphincters. Never will I ever take for granted the ability to hold ones shit! Quite frankly it's a beautiful thing. 

Absolutely, glory be for the little things...
- My daughter grabbing the bowl fast enough Soni could safely empty my stomach.
- My daughter helping me to bed
- My sister coming and doing all my πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’© laundry.
- Me regaining control of my Sphincters muscles, Hallelujah!!
- Me being able to eat again albeit slowly
- Me having more good moments than not so great ones.
*πŸ˜”, Life is good, though at time challenging.
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