Stitches, Meetings and Silver Keys in Downtown Toronto

Well, I have been fighting off a cold for some time now and it seems as though in these days two days I’ve finally lost that battle and I’m now in the process of surviving. Sometimes I wish I was like one of Vampire Maman Juliette’s vampires to that regard who, from my understanding, are immune to such annoying things as sickness. But, sadly, there is already one vampire in her world named Matthew and having two would just be redundant.

No, I’m still mortal–for better or worse–and annoyed at my body right now because I have so much to do and not an infinite amount of time to do it.

So, how about some good news? The third and final part of my article The Stitching Together of a Mythos: Kris Straub’s Broodhollow came out a few days ago. It really made things come full circle: especially since it talks a bit about Kris Straub’s story “Candle Cove”: which is what got me interested in his work to begin with. We’ve been talking a bit on Twitter as well: which is really awesome. And in addition to getting a few more Twitter Followers–which is always excellent–I may have opened some … new avenues up for future exploration. I need to just develop this possibility further and I’m not sure how well I will do with portraying current events–even of a Geek kind–but let’s just go at it one thing at a time.

This passing week has been a challenge for me on some many different levels, but I did go to an interesting meeting before an evening Torontaru at the Get Well Bar: which I went to for the very first time. Unfortunately, already having gotten lost (because neither of the places I went to were right along the way–between Ossington and Dundas Street West–and where there is Toronto, there is always construction and the TTC to contend with) I didn’t think to actually use some networking time to–you know–network (aka talk to people) and it only occurred to me after I was heading home. But I did more or less what I had to and, besides, the Get Well Bar was over capacity and I was already feeling tired and a bit ill and there were few people I even knew there. The Bar’s game cabinets were amusing though the first little while I was there before I left and couldn’t get back in. I still never figured out how to get the Barbarian to fight in Gauntlet and I died in Frogger: a lot.

So I have been mysterious about two things so far. Upon risk of making this the most boring Mythic Bios post ever, I will leave it at that until I get more information. Instead, I guess I’m going to lean on my fall-back and become retrospective.

I’ve been to Ossington and Dundas Street West before. It’s less that I have a specific memory and more that I have found myself in the general atmosphere before. The buildings are old and run down, but there is new life and–life–in all of them. Many of them are stores or bars and you can make out some apartments above them.

At one point, after I was at the Get Well Bar–which is an ironic name given that I’m sick though it has nothing to do with anything really–I was sitting at Subway near the window. Here I was, finding myself sitting downtown watching people walk and interact beyond the glass. I saw a few couples holding hands and a few pairs of friends talking. One man was carrying his meal in layers of containers wrapped in a white plastic bag. And there was an old man I saw pass by twice and an older woman walking by.

And it made me wonder as night time already took over the faded gold and pink sky I’d been walking through earlier in my quest to find that meeting place: was this part of the city like this–like all of this–thirty or forty years ago when those older people I saw were my age or younger? Was it always like this? And would those couples still be together and those friends still meet up? Would they be as old as the people I saw that night: remembering all those times they passed through this area of the city talking and laughing and thinking it would all be the same the next day when–one day–it is going to inevitably change somehow? Would Toronto’s proclivity towards construction eliminate so many familiar landmarks that no one would even recognize this place with most of their mind or would the gritty aura of it transcend the loss of a mere few buildings that were hosts to so many other things in the past?

And it occurred to me that people lived here–actually lived here–and it was like seeing some of the Scott Pilgrim video game in real life. Is the Scott Pilgrim game really Ossington and Dundas as well as the Chinatowns? I tried to live in Toronto but, more than that, I tried to understand it: to find its spirit and companionship. I tried to find its life as it could relate to me and embrace it and–to this day–I’m not sure if I ever succeeded. A lot of the time I just found “being lost” and “afraid of the dark” as my common feelings towards being downtown: with some “dazed and confused” and the occasional and inexplicable … magic, I guess.

I think everyone of us gets nostalgic and sometimes yearns for and broods about the past.  Sometimes it’s almost like there is a choice between having some awesome moments and watching them disappear into memory forever … or never having a life of any pain or joy and watching other people’s and feeling nothing but envy, when you really get right down to it, a sense of hollowness: of having wasted your life. The first is magic, as far as I understand it and the world feels a little greyer when it finally fades. And no matter how much you want it back, you either can’t or it will never be the same: and that’s not always a bad thing.

It does make for good writing, though, such as my short story Stop 17.

I’ve been angry at Toronto and in love with it and disappointed in what I thought I found occasionally. But as I was sitting in that Subway shop, that night it just seemed like another … place to me: just a place I visit from time to time.

I’d like to leave you all with one more thing. Leeman Kessler has succeeded in resurrecting a homunculus of H.P. Lovecraft to answer all of your questions. As such, Mr. Lovecraft was good enough to answer a question that has been close to my heart for a very long time. Have a good night everyone.

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About matthewkirshenblatt

I am a writer and blogger living in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario in Canada. When I'm not writing for the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and GeekPr0n, I tend to write science-fiction, epic fantasy, horror, literary and mythological revisionisms, and generally weird fiction stories though I have been known to make poetry, television and comic book scripts. Also, when left to my own devices I tend to write weird and strange hybrid creative opinion piece articles like those you will find on this Blog. I am also very interested in comics, video games, Star Wars, table-top role-playing games, Neil Gaiman's works, H.P. Lovecraft, vampires, zombies, and budgies.
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2 Responses to Stitches, Meetings and Silver Keys in Downtown Toronto

  1. Juliette says:

    You would never be redundant in my world.

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