Future Bakery now has wifi and wall plugs for charging laptops. This is good, because our B&B has no power at the moment, and there is course work to be done, due at 11pm.
The B&B power is out because the hydro lines were clipped by the arm of a crane as it lifted drywall up into a house a few doors down. Nobody notices anything odd until the lines all down the street start to smoke. “I’ve never seen anything like it”, says the fireman from the other side of the do-not-cross tape. “Smoke was just pouring out of the lines, all along here. We’re waiting for Hydro to come now, but until they do we’re keeping people off the street…”
We are fireman-escorted to our car then drive down the road to Future bakery which has both power and coffee, also where a big reno was finished just last month. I’m sitting where the cheesecake used to be, beside a wall plug that wasn’t here six weeks ago.
We people watch while the laptops charge, while the Hydro guys figure out what’s wrong.
While the conversations, the meetings, the dates, the thin, the abrasive and the low soft voices, the laughter and the listening-faces. While the staff continue to sort out where everything goes. While the cars park and shine, the blinking phones, the open doors because it’s spring, the arm tattoos, the scrape of metal chairs on tile floor. While the resplendent boston ivy soaks it all in, as we do.
This after the night in Ottawa Jail Hostel, managing sleep between two distinct snoring styles and one creaky bunk. The 5am alarm for lovely Slovenia lady so she can catch her Kingston Train, and the barrel of male francophone teenagers pranking each other in the hallway shower. The rock paper scissors cappuccino made for me at the campus cafe after hugs all round on behalf of everyone’s mom.
The apartment couch before the drive, then the drive through the 401 rain that clears over the Don Valley, then the arrive and park, the pub (playoff game) and mashed avocado on toast. Out of the pub onto the smoking, taped up street….
Now here, watching. Now, charged up. We will go home through the lights and the loud, to the dark.