Some people long for a place they’ve never been to

But not me

I’m nostalgic over the feelings that the places I’ve been to evoked

The memories of feelings those days evokes

I don’t know how to explain it in a any less of an abstract manner

I can only paint a picture of what my nostalgia allows to remember

All of this because I met with a legend of 1980s Toronto

Crazy Joe the drapery king

I sat and listened while he regaled me with vivid stories of all his years in the business

Usually I do anything to avoid the banal back and forth chatter of strangers

But that’s the very reason why I sat and listened so intently

It was anything but unoriginal or boring

And it reminded me of a different time

I miss when the Crazy Joes of the world were all around me

The ones with whom you could sit down and haggle good-naturedly

And reminisce about a Toronto that was messy and vibrant

Like my dads old fabric store in Chinatown or Crazy Joes drapery shop

Filled to the brim with fabrics and with treasure waiting to be unearthed

Bursting at the seam with stories and jokes and hard bargaining

A Toronto that doesn’t exist anymore

A Toronto that is now turning out mass produced everything

Processed and easily digestible to anyone (and everyone’s) sensitive palette

I miss the days of wandering through Graffiti Alley

With its dimly light hallways and shops smelling like burning incense

Or rifling through clothes in Black Market trying to find that perfect piece while the comforting smell of old clothes permeated my nostrils

If I close my eyes and concentrate I can conjure up those very same smells of vintage clothing, incense and enchantment of exploring unique places

I wish that everyone could be so lucky as to experience my Toronto that way

A Toronto that was just so real you were unsure if you were stunned by its beauty or shocked by its mess

And although I’m sure some of it has to do with the rose tinted glasses of youth

I am certain there was more to it than just exploring unchartered territory

Because I went to the same places over and over again

And it wasn’t the newness that left me enchanted

I don’t know

I can’t explain it

Maybe it was just magic

But all these years later

And I would do anything to get that feeling back

To wrap myself in those same emotions and luxuriate in them

But this time

I would not take it for granted

And I’d steal some of that magic to keep it with me when the memories just aren’t enough

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4 thoughts on “Some people long for a place they’ve never been to”

  1. “And I would do anything to get that feeling back. To wrap myself in those same emotions and luxuriate in them” – I feel this way quite a lot, and more so lately, especially about some parts of my early childhood at home, where things felt fun, safe, comfortable, when my body was okay. Very well-written.
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

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