Register Friday | December 6 | 2019

Gritty Milk

"I have a big decision to make, a Big Decision, a Life Decision."

This is one of those gritty, milky days that feel like a fundamental truth about Toronto, like this is what the city really is, an endless succession of green leaves and white, humid skies and grime. The pool was clotted with bugs again this morning, my head is buzzing faintly with an impending ache, and there's a long smudge of bicycle grease on my ankle that I'm defiantly refusing to scrub off because it goes with the decor. I have a big decision to make, a Big Decision, a Life Decision that's been looming for far too long. And I have a massive white pillar of deadlines towering up into the milky sky above me. And I'm standing between these two massive columns, decisions and deadlines, armed with something totally ineffectual - a spoon or something. A reusable toothpick. I keep thinking of Hamlet, which is I guess an obvious thought to have under the circumstances. Hamlet just moped around, too, until in the end there was a bloodbath and then Fortinbras came along to fix everything up. And I don't blame Hamlet at all. I don't know what I would have done in his shoes. Probably killed Polonius by accident and driven Ophelia crazy and then waited around for the bloodbath to happen. I kind of envy him his bloodbath, actually. And Fortinbras. They're at least a kind of resolution. Meanwhile, the pillar of deadlines is porous, and if I chip away at it patiently with my toothpick, eventually it will crumble down to a more manageable size; and, for as long as I'm chipping away, I can ignore the potentially apocalyptic consequences that stretch out on either side of the decision I have to make. But what I really want is to creep out onto my balcony, brush the twigs and dirt from the astroturf, lie on my back and stare up quietly at the uncluttered milky sky.