Walking home down Yonge Street late one night, I saw a street huckster plying her trade on a fellow across the street at Gloucester. Feeling secure in her position, I continued on my way never giving her situation a second thought in relation to me. No such luck as I misread her capacity. I approached Carlton, and while waiting for the the light-to-change, she was upon me. Before she spoke, I declined her interrupting her pitch-sentence which began, “May I ask you…?” Cleverly, she switched tactic saying, can ask you to buy me a coffee and a muffin? Feeling outmanoeuvred I consented, and we went into a corner store where I informed the clerk of her intent which took considerably more time than I had cared to spend.


Her choice was a very large coffee, with more sugar than I cared to consider, and she carefully selected her muffin. Upon paying, she slid in a request for an Aero chocolate bar to which I consented. I paid and went on my way, stopping in at Amato for a slice to consume while I continued my walk home down Yonge St. Along the way I passed many sleeping and hunkered down street people. Passing by them took a certain amount of emotional strain, but routine was not one of them.


Before reaching Shuter, with The Eaton Centre to my right, two young fellows came my way assessing me as they closed in on my munching movements. They thought better of making direct communication save visual acknowledgment which contained a regard noting my possible opposition to any advances they may make.


Passing Shuter and coming upon Queen, there were other minor assertions, as were at Dundas. Then, to my surprise, my coffee-and-muffin assailant rounded the corner as I approached Richmond/Yonge. ‘What the…! From where did she come, and how did she happen to get there before me without breaking a sweat? She greeted me calmly and, without skipping a beat, asked ‘if I wanted a date?’


I was now familiar with this question, in this setting, although I was not some twenty-five years earlier. I declined, saying ‘No thank, I’m okay’, signalling I was not in the market for such her offer. I crossed the street, continued heading south approaching a tall, shadowy figure who withdrew with a few shuffles, on hearing a sound unintelligible to me as I passed him ‘bye’.


I continued on, passing other street-people, one over the grate in front of the GoodLife Fitness, another lying in front of McDonald’s on my way to Adelaide. It was at Adelaide where I encountered another straining plea buffeted by a fellow admonishing this talented beggar to get off the street for his own safety.
I left the scenario and went on my way, turning left along King Street eastward then southward onto Church. I crossed diagonally into Metro for some Goat’s Milk, preferring late-night shopping for its quiet and lack of line-ups.


I departed Metro avoiding any kind of contact or conversation, save pleasant exchanges with the employees there, crisscrossing through the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood making my way home.


Reflecting on my path from Bloor/Yonge intersection, southward along Yonge to King, eastward into The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood, I was privy to numerous paired/single, sleeping/waking panhandlers. It was quite the journey, with more familiarities than preferred; but, that’s the nightlife in any big city today, even our Toronto. The not-advertised, readily available Toronto After-Dark, for those inclined: ‘indulge at your own risk!’



52a. In the Way

In my basement apartment, sometime between 21 – 23yrs of age, contemplations merged into meditation and what some say is astral projection as I was able to see and feel myself not myself and looking back on myself. On one occasion I became aware of the ceiling returning my breath on my face and, when it became apparent I was flushed against the ceiling, terror struct and I felt my body slam onto the bed at an unexpected height accelerating my breathing almost to hyperventilating!


I calmed myself, giving it second thoughts, but only wondering at its import. I had no one to discuss this with, for the time being.


Within that timeframe, another out-of-body experience. This time further afield. I experienced a weightlessness that defied description and visual construct when it occurred. What I did recall was another terror state bordering on panic, so much so I travelled a great distance in a flash slamming into my bed once again. But, this time with a difference.


I was disoriented and out of sorts. I processed my place in the space/time continuum with a series of geographic place acceptance, which went like this: I was on Earth; then, I was in North American; then, Canada followed by being in Toronto. Then, seeing that I was on my bed on my designated street, in my basement apartment. Only then, did I breathe a sigh of relief as to my whereabouts after feeling not myself for a brief space of time resulting from emersion in deep meditation/contemplation.


This might be something to explore further; but, everything in its own time and frame of reference. I was gifted with ‘a thing’ without a guide for furtherance, so I’ll let things be until such time deemed appropriate. When the student is ready for the teacher that is ready.


3e. Impending Doom



Human  Expressions  Reviewed


While people-watching, without the ‘stalking’ nomenclature, I saw a lovely young lady walking in the mall a week ago, and what came to mind was how she appears to be one of the many who wish not to be here.


I don’t know if you know those vague expressions, with micro indications, that we all project onto unsuspecting others and receiving appropriate responses upon exchanges without being the wiser? We communicate through these unknowns, most often with difficulties and with some luck survive due to traditional context generationally accepted and understood. I trust I haven’t confused you!??


We’ve survived this long as a specie and may not bring about our own extinction, so long as we awaken to these unknowns over time as we evolve in full status as Human Beings. Given current status, goings on, our survival appears touch ’n go in spite of historical data theorized.


Back to my observing, ‘people-watching’. In addition to the hurry, scurrying that escalates as Time goes bye, it behoves me not to comprehend varying projections not intended for my consumption. I see the joys as well as the sadness that many carry about within themselves. I often stay away from possible encounters that may take a turn for the worse as a default of engagement and exchange. But, this time I was caught off-guard when I saw such a lovely young miss walking with such a countenance.


I contemplated the possibility that I was observing my own projections onto each person according to their demeanour; but, I’m not that adept, much less inclined to working that hard simply looking at passers-bye. So, I recapitulate and wonder at what may have contributed, is contributing, to her expression that others in her vicinity are most likely unaware. I wonder if she has a confidant so as not to be overtaken, overwhelmed to become victimized by what I was seeing.


She was long gone from my purview, as I finished my meal. I continued observing others going bye with varying expressions for me to catch-and-release. Hers, as stated, stayed with me having ambushed my sensibilities as she might have been had she known. I trust she is doing well, in a fairer state of mind as her body politic appears gifted by Nature, according to my appreciation of her appearance.


Life goes on, nonetheless.






Depending on your age and cultural bias, I presume you’ve heard the phrase, or something akin to it, “Never judge a book by its cover”? If you haven’t here’s where you enter my discourse, and I trust you’ll enjoy the ride.

Each time you look upon faces, are you able to determine the content beneath the facade, without prior information required if you’re not to engage in supposition? Unfortunately, supposition is the norm with a myriad of falsehoods attached! I consider this the result of the intrinsic human fight or flight survival mechanism, whereby we proceed in our so-called civilized society without always drawing weapons before engaging one another in violence. This in mind, it may be safe to say that those who engage in the aforementioned supposition have yet to evolve above the level of narcissistic suppositions biased in fear.

Now, thinking beyond mere survival is a major position in life played out in day-to-day behaviour, evidenced further if children/off-springs are involved. It is presumed by this time, those involved in having family spectrum, areas of having this family is sourced and vetted to be safe, be it urban or rural. It is safe to say, what I am proposing will automatically be imprinted unto the offspring(s) upon his/her/their emergence into this realm of existence as ‘how to proceed’ policy, until such time as maturity and independent thought emerges and takes hold.

Moving on, how do you perceive the body in front of you with all her/his finery? To what degree are you influenced by the superficialities? Are you aware to what degree you are influenced, and are you aware of what additional ingredients you bring to the encounter? Or, are you like me wholly unconscious and meet the other awaiting for their fluid input to create a working image in concert with what is brought?

A lot to consider, I know, if you comprehend my implications which is to tease your mind into a continual state of flux where conscious awareness of reflexive bias, prejudice/discrimination, is our way of living. The challenge our humanity faces is peaceful coexistence and will continue to be for as long as we fail/refuse to acknowledge what the majority of us do to sabotage the peaceful coexistence that is achievable.

We can live in peace, but the needs of the few fearfully affecting the needs of the many keeps this coexistence at bay. All you need do is give yourself the time to look around and deconstruct, analyze, goings on near and afar to comprehend how we allow our peaceful coexistence to be compromised with our permission by omission; and, worst of all, accepting less than what is beneficial to our well being.

Many seldom, ‘Do unto others as we would have done unto us’ as the biblical saying advises, simply paying lip-service and rationalizing our day-to-day processes with, “That’s just way things are, always had been, etc.”

What do you say? Are you counted in the ‘many’ referred to above? I await your performance answer, Paradoxical Mindfulness.


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