If Grumpy Bear wrote a book, I bet you it’d never end.
He would probably write a couple chapters on why he’s so grumpy, but the rest would mainly be about what pisses him off, with a few pages reserved for vengeance writing. That’s where his book becomes his weapon of choice. His mighty “fuck you!” to those, and all that need to hear it. Left to bellow in their minds forever, as Grumpy Bear becomes G.B, sells his book and moves on to bigger and better clouds, being the greatest thing to come out of Care-A-Lot, since cloud cars.
I had two hours to kill before a concert.
It had been awhile since I visited my fair city, so I was due for some quality time. I had been living in the suburbs for a year, which was a long enough time to forget the little things I secretly enjoyed so much.
Staring up at enormous buildings always made my problems feel so small. The herd of Leaf fans that blow by, yelling and cheering, giving Toronto forewarning that there’s a game on tonight, like sirens before a tornado. Or the endless flow of foot traffic, that always makes me feel as if I’m riding the current, like those turtles in Finding Nemo. I forgot how funny it was to catch bits and pieces of conversation, as the people having them sped by.
“...cajun food isn’t one of those things you can just sit down and eat...”
“...eleven is a good enough number right!? What the fuck’s wrong with eleven!?...”
Nothing. I like the number eleven.
“...you don’t buy those for a forty three year old women. Not without a gift receipt...”
Don’t buy what? Come back! I want to know!
I loved that I was one of the city folk who understood the flow, and was brave enough to cross the street when and where I wasn’t supposed to. I smiled as the drivers honked at me and called me an idiot.
“I missed you too dirtbag.” I thought to myself.
It felt good to be back.
I’ve never really had a “home” but, if where you’ve spent most of your life is considered your “home,” then I was there, and there truly was no place like it.
After, what seemed to be a tour of every Starbucks in the vicinity, I finally found one that sold the tea I liked. I paid the barista for my ridiculously priced beverage, wished her a pleasant evening, and went on my merry way.
As soon as I popped back onto the street, a girl I used to know from a whole other life, zipped by in front of me. The person I used to be from that life, was not at all happy to see her, as this girl was what some might call, a douche.
The bits and pieces of her conversation that I caught, led me to believe she was still working in production and that she was as arrogant as ever, and a true piece of work at best.
A long time ago, that girl told me my writing wasn’t very good. She made fun of my style and told me I wrote “like an old person.” She was a terrible friend, and it took her humiliating me in front of a bunch of people, to realize it. As tardy as the lesson was... lesson learnt.
I smiled at her anyways.
There’s no way she knew it was me.
Nor did she give my smile the time of day.
She was gone in a matter of seconds.
A blip in my city visit.
But would I let her stay that way, was the question.
Was my brain going to accept her as a stranger? And leave it at that? Or would it begin recycling all her old antics into new anger, that would consume me for the rest of the evening, right before I was to meet up with friends for a concert. Would I let seeing her serve as a reminder, that I hadn’t been successful with my life, in all the departments I had hoped to be.
The smile I gave her was sincere.
It was the same smile I gave all strangers, strangers that I had never met and strangers that had never hurt me.
It took a sold out show at the Air Canada Centre, for me to realize what a blip she truly was. The here and now was where I needed to be and it was one of the most beautiful things I had seen in a long time. Thousands of people singing along in the dark, waving their lighter apps, swaying to a tune we’d all heard a million times before, but never was it so special.
I tucked my hand in the back pocket of Luis' jeans, and leaned my head on his chest. He threw his arm around me and the two of us stared down at the stage, him singing, me smiling.
Smiling and thinking.
You don’t play a sold out show without someone having told you your music sucks, or you can’t sing for shit, or you’ll never make it. And you definitely don’t become a writer without hearing “your writing isn’t all that good.”
But you do play sold out shows if you don’t listen to them.
And you do become a writer, if you keep writing.
No matter how shit you’re told you are, or how crazy, or how bi polar.
I can’t lie and say all is forgiven and forgotten when it comes to the detractors in my life and although Grumpy Bear, you, me, and every rock band in the world could probably write the book on “FUCK YOU!” ... why would we ever want to?
Just prove them wrong.