Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'd gotten home last evening and in the daze that follows from two hours on Toronto's public transit system, walked through the front door and onto my sofa, putting my feet up.

I think it was James Joyce that wrote about this family man, who worked long hours at an oppresive factory to feed his family. He'd squeeze his large feet into shoes that were two sizes too small. It increased the agony immeasurably in the heat of the factory. But when he got home at a late hour (when the night had grown thin), sheer relief would course through him as he took off the shoes. It seemed to set the world back into its orbit.

I felt much the same.

This morning though, just as I was about to step out to work, I realised I was missing the keys to my apartment. I'd let myself in with these keys a few short hours ago, so I knew they had to be in the apartment somewhere. I searched all the usual spots but didn't find anything. The short of it is that I spent a good quarter-hour turning everything upside down, but the key was nowhere to be found.

It was really early, around sunrise actually, that I was scrambling for these keys. The keys to the apartment were lost in the apartment itself. And while I wasn't on anything, the situation seemed to be crying out for a metaphor.

Matryoshka doll? no, perhaps more like a white dwarf collapsing on itself...almost, but not really.

And I milked the extrapolations for all they were worth. The situation grew maniacally dire when I tried to see it as a bystander from the outside would. Here, the very means to enter (the key to the apartment) was swallowed by the thing needing to be entered. There was a blackness to it all. And tiny beads of sweat formed on my forehead.

The starkness threatened to envelop my work day before it had even begun, when I suddenly decided to pick up an obtuse third cushion from the sofa. And there it was. Shiny, gleaming, just a little shy, but overall beautiful in that early morning haze that wafted into the living room.

The story closed on itself. I had the cool key in my palm, and dawn's mist flowed in through the windows to chill the back of my neck.

No comments: