Dear Toronto,

Friday, January 08, 2016

I have a few things to say to the people I met in a city I wasn't sure I would like.

Toronto at night

You, the pakistani man who makes butter chicken roti at your strangely NYC themed restaurant, who passably decorated it by throwing up old LIFE magazine covers on the walls, who has family trouble in California and a cousin doing a stint in our penal system.

You, the pupusa lady that gave me an extra tamale on the house after I had such a hard time deciding which pupusas and tamale flavors I wanted to try, who then laughed when I immediately came back to order the fried plantains, which I saw while waiting for my order (they weren't on the menu I agonized over).

You, the guy bumping to Hotline Bling outside your car that I grooved with, but politely had to decline your offer of a cigarette, because I had gone through D.A.R.E. three times as a kid.

You, the roommate who was once a kingpin of street fighter arcade sticks as well as an elite Canadian memory champion, who is unfazed by face transplant images that made me jump out of my chair, who upon learning I was leaving Toronto without seeing Niagara Falls rented a car and drove us out there at midnight.

You, the roommate who is a sound mixing engineer that did a tour of duty in Nashville but somehow managed to work on rock instead of country, who showed me the process for modern sound mixing using Britney Spears’ I'm a Slave For You (dozens of vocal tracks!), who stood in the hallway with me until 3am because we had delved too deep into our opinions about movies & games for sleep to matter anymore.

You, the roommate who is polyglot that’s lived in many different countries, who works harder to balancing work and school than most anyone I've met, who still had the energy to unabashedly start dancing the one time I casually panned you into my snapchat video.

You, the girl with an excitement that is palpable, contagious, and hard to forget, who unquestioningly shared your hopes and dreams to a complete stranger who slid into your DMs, who despite living there your whole life, seemed somehow less familiar with directions in Toronto than me.

You, the guy who has not ventured out of Montreal for over 35 years, but gave me change for the bus and humored me while I chatted you up about how your city's bagels had ruined me for life.

You all made me feel odd, like I was leaving a place that had become a home.


Confused in California.


[travel] [toronto]