screaming on the street

Toronto, 2013.06.26

I had an unexpected experience today that saw me screaming at strangers on the street.

It was in the Beaches, where the great weather has brought out the crowds from across the city. As I was waiting at Woodbine and Queen, an ambulance came blaring west-bound in the east-bound lane. It had its turn signal on, and slowed to make a turn onto Lakeshore.

Where two dough-heads where insisting on stopping, shaking hands, and greeting each other as the ambulance approached. After about ten seconds, at which point the ambulance was stopped with horn and sirens wailing, I screamed at them to move.

They did. But one of the guys told me, "I wanted to greet my friend!"

A third fellow told me, "Put your .. helmet on." As I looked at him incredulously, he added, "Grow up!"

"It's a fucking ambulance!" I bellowed, and moved ahead as the light turned green watching them shrink back from the curb.

I was reminded of something I was told fifteen years ago by a friend who lived in the Beaches (when I lived down town). Apparently the vendors used to have shirts that read, "Welcome to the Beaches. Now get the hell out."

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rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.

-John Gardner