Sep 2018 15

“This woman made a play for me in the elevator the other day.”

My father, Albert, is 89 years old. He lives in a Senior’s Residence. And in his 2 ½ years of living there, I have often wondered if he was getting any action.

There are stories that venereal diseases run rampant in senior’s homes these days because of two things – the, ahem, rise of Viagara, and also why not? I mean, it must get boring in there and it’s not like you have to worry about pregnancy or being unfaithful. They are all single, either by choice or by death. I’m surprised they’re all not scratching their flaming itchy genitals under the tables at group mealtimes in the main dining room.

In the eight years since my mother passed away, I think my father has grown lonely. So we’re all kind of hoping he might meet someone. Helping my father’s chances are a few factors. First, the women outnumber the men by a large margin (a lot of men die young – the future really is female when you get older). Second, my father looks like he’s in his 70s still, has full mobility (“You still drive, Bert? Wow.”), and he can easily hold his own in a conversation with 20-somethings with his sharp wit and progressive thinking. Third, he’s still a snappy dresser in that he attires himself decently to come down for meals in the dining room, as opposed to the sea of track pants and slippers I see when I visit him.

Anyhow, back to his story about what happened in the elevator.

He and I spent today, Saturday afternoon, together in his favourite mall, which he doesn’t get to very much anymore – Sherway Gardens, not on the subway line. He wanted some pants, towels, and maybe some new pillow cases. These are all signs to me, that he was open-minded about possibly hosting an overnight guest. So off to the mall we went.

Recently he had told me that there was a new woman in the building and he thought she was very interesting looking (“well dressed and very talkative to everyone at mealtime, she likes to laugh”) and he was hoping to strike up a conversation with her.

“Made a play for you? What? What happened?”

“Well, she turned to me in the elevator after dinner, it was just the two of us, and said I was still a very handsome man and asked if I would like to have some company in my apartment.”

“What??? Who?”

I was driving while he’s telling me this story, and it was hard to concentrate on navigating as my father told me how he was propositioned in the lift. We had just purchased all the items on his list and were on our way back to his residence. I can’t believe he waited to tell me all this. I had sprung $25 on mall food court lunch and I was owed this, dammit.

“Oh, this very tall Dutch lady who’s been living there awhile.”

“Wow.”

“Yah, really tall. I mean, talk about a handful.”

“And so, what’d you do?”

I know, I know. For the three people reading this, you’re probably not eager to hear a story about octogenarians having sex. Someone could break a hip. And do you leave your dentures in? That’s a lot of loose skin on loose skin. Anyhow, you’re in luck…

“Nothing. I think she’s not all there. She’s always mumbling to herself and forgetting what floor her apartment is on. I think she’s losing it a bit. I told her no thank you and goodnight and that she should go back to her room.”

“Is this the woman you thought was interesting looking?”

“No.”

Crap.

“Well, the guys at the dinner table yesterday told me that she’d been moved to the second floor.”

READER NOTE: The second floor is where people who need mental or medical evaluation go to live…

“No. What happened?”

“They said she was found all confused wandering the building the other day and she’s going senile.”

“Wow. That’s sad, dad.”

“It happens a lot. I don’t want to end up like that. Don’t let that happen to me.”

“What you want me to smother you with a pillow or something?”

“Sure. Please. Anyhow, I didn’t tell the guys at the table that she made a pass at me. But… that certainly explains what happened in the elevator.”

My heart hurt.

We drove along for a bit in silence as I navigated the city streets on a Saturday afternoon. Bikes, buses, aggressive drivers. My dad surveyed Toronto from the passenger seat as I drove. Our afternoon had been filled with other conversations about how much the city, and the mall we were at, has changed. We talked loosely about his upcoming 90th birthday and whether he’d like a party (“Meh, it’s up to you. I don’t want to make a big deal of it.”).

“You know Andrew, there sure are a lot of good-looking young black women in this city. I wish I was a young man again.”

He got new pants. Pillow cases. Towels.

 

 

 

Sep 2018 10

More of this…

 

And less of the below, please. Even if the final statement is a worthy cause.

You don’t have to be the best in the world to be your own best.

You don’t have to be famous to have self respect.

You don’t have to wear a certain brand to show you stand for or against something in this world.

Shoes. They’re not a political statement. They’re for sports.

 

 

Sep 2018 07

Trying out this new ‘Gallery’ app with some photos I took under the Dufferin Bridge. Bare with me – I’m in beta mode with this app.

Under the Duff

 

 

Sep 2018 06

It’s been a few years since I used my DSLR. But yesterday, I dusted it off and took myself, bike, and camera out to the Island to try some shots. The rust is definitely showing.

Maybe shooting a bit too tight sometimes, and although it was a glorious and sunny day, the colours are possibly a bit too vibrant as well. But I’m learning. There weren’t many people out there since school is back in, and perhaps that’s why the shots have a real lonely feeling to them which I actually don’t mind.

Shooting with a real camera is very freeing. It seems more socially acceptable to walk anywhere and shoot when you’re carrying gear. Rather than ‘pervert on a beach’, it says ‘photographer on a beach’.

Here’s a few that didn’t suck too badly. Everything, like life, is a work in progress.

(Reaching Out)

 

(Unpatroled)

 

(Hi-Spy Viewing Machine)

 

(Sand, Bird, Sky)

 

(Up)

 

Just luck (thanks, ‘burst’ mode)

 

(Doug, Later at The Pilot and Wondering Why I Have a Camera Out) – new 50mm 1.4 lens is impressive for portraits in low light

Aug 2018 31

My niece visited last week. And after enduring the third replay of her music choice, ‘The Hamster Dance’, I decided to throw her a curveball.

Like any good uncle, I felt like it was my duty to introduce her to some real music. Like Iggy Pop and The Stooges.

She’s 11 now. I feel that’s a good age to develop some taste. I put on ‘Down on the Street’ from their 1970 ‘Fun House’ album, slung on my bass guitar and loudly riffed along, doing my best to channel my inner-wannabe punk rock bassist. Lots of head thrashing as I imagined I still had a full mane up there to wave around for full ‘LIVE at CBGBs & strung out on heroin’ effect. I’m barely two years into my fledgling bass hobby and frankly, I’m not that good yet, but ‘Down on the Street’ has a pretty simple bass line and you can really play it loud for full crazy uncle effect.

Surprisingly, my niece seemed to really get into it as she even put down the iPad and listened. So I pressed my luck with an intro into Iggy Pop’s more commercially-friendly solo stuff like ‘Lust for Life’ (of course, I’ve had it in the ear before – best lyric, ever) and ‘Real Wild Child’.

Afterwards, I showed her some photos of Iggy Pop from back in the day, and what he’s like now – cause he’s still way cool, even at 71 years old.

One of the photos I showed her was of the above… Iggy Pop wearing a dress. And this got tremendous giggles from her. Which I kind of expected to be honest. My niece has a very open mind about many things but I’m not sure privileged 11 year olds who live in the High Park area are really thinking about gender identification since they’re too busy playing ‘Fortnite’ apparently. WTF.

But then I read her his quote… ‘I’m not ashamed to dress like a woman because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.’

The giggling stopped. And I could see the wheels in her mind turning.

And she looked up at me and said, simply, ‘Cool’.

Uncle Goal, Accomplished.

In your face, ‘Hamster Dance’.