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Two Excellent Exchanges

September 24, 2009



S.: So, after Bathurst and Queen, where do I turn?

Me:  Go north on Bathurst, like, from where you are, that will probably be a righthand turn. Keep going north till you reach Bloor.

S.: And then?

Me: Take a left and keep going along Bloor till you get to my street. Then, you need to head south–that will be a left. There’s a church on the corner.

S.: And what number’s your house again? I always forget.

Me: 229.

S.: 229? Like, 227 only one house farther?

Me: Yes. That’s perfect. Remember my neighbour’s address and then remember I live next door, and you’ll never forget my address again!

(at which point I realise that this system really does make a curious sort of sense, like one of those mnemonic systems for remembering incredibly long lists of things or the periodic table)


Me: How are you this evening?

My neighbour who hardly speaks English: Good, good. And you?

Me: Good, thank you. It’s nice and warm tonight, don’t you think?

My Neighbour: Yes, yes. Also, some stars.

Me: And a crescent moon–over there, kind of behind the pine tree. Once you get to the sidewalk you’ll see it. It’s really pretty!

My Neighbour: Yes, yes. Also, some rings. Saturnmaybe.

Me: Rings? Well…yes…like if you look closely, there’s the crescent and then a sort of ring. Like a halo. I see what you mean.

My Neighbour: Yes? The moon? I know not about that. But Saturday, maybe rain.

(at which point I realise she is informing me that it might RAIN on SATURDAY, not that there are rings like Saturn maybe…tonight, it is clear…by the weekend, not so clear maybe…and I am the crazy-sounding one, for throwing planets into our conversation)

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