Tales In The City

Part 1 – “You’re not from around these parts, are you.”

So I’m gliding home after a nice cozy meal with some good company and a little vino. Yes, I am literally gliding. On the bike (helmet affixed to the head, lights flashing), it’s all downhill from Bloor Street to my place. It is a startlingly warm spring night on this late, late winter’s eve. Zooming around the city doesn’t get much better than this.

I hang a right into an alleyway for half a block and then a left onto another alley for the home stretch to the back of the house. Suddenly, boom. I’m on the brakes, skidding to a stop on loose stones, broken glass and used condoms in order to avoid colliding with two young bucks who are milling about in the semi-darkness. A waft of the Mary Jane, I think the kids are calling it these days, hangs in the air around us.

“Are you a cop?” one of the kids in baggy pants and an ill (and I mean that in its original sense)-fitting baseball cap asks. It is a question that startles me even more than I already am due to its complete and utter lack of artifice. I am, momentarily and unusually, at a loss for words.

“If I were, son,” I respond, re-gathering my wits about me, “you’d either already be face down on the ground, my knee digging into your back, in the process of being detained for possessing an illegal substance or… or…”, and I’m just getting going now, “I’d tell you no, I’m not a cop, in order to buy me some time to figure out if you’re up to something else back here other than smoking a doob. Either way, that was an unnecessary question you just asked.”

Needless to say, the kids are now stymied, not in the least bit sure how to proceed. I figure it’s as good a time as any to take my leave of the situation in case either catches on that they’re having the piss taken out of them and feels the need to lash out. Although it has been my experience that those on the pot don’t tend to lash out for any reason whatsoever. At least not very effectively.

“Have a good night boys,” I bid them as I start to peddle my bicycle once more down the alley toward home. Not a peep comes from them and as I pull up outside the garage, waiting for the door to open, I look back in their direction. They haven’t moved an inch, looking very much like statues in the shadows, still trying to process our exchange, I imagine. I wheel my bike into the garage and close the door behind me.

God, I love living in this city.

reverily submitted by Urban Sophisticat