Canada. Toronto. New York want-to-be. It's the Cleanest city in the world for having no trash cans on the street. Thanks to my training, work was completed 18 hours ahead of schedule. 2:30PM Tuesday and I am back in my loft. By some mistake or fate, I am upgraded to the penthouse suite of the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel at Terminal 3. Honor bar, terry cloth robe, more liqueur is available in the private lounge if necessary-and it will be necessary. My father, the elitist, would love it here. The Toronto airport code is named for the Rush album YYZ-or could I have that backwards?
A workout sounds nauseating, but I do it anyway. If you go first class, you become fat. More on that later...Three-thirty and I shower for the night. It feels like when my mother would put me to bed at eight-o-clock, my usual bed-time, even after daylight savings time had extended everyone else's playtime outside by an hour. Regardless, I clear my head and away to my Chevrolet Malibu in the hotel parking lot. I have never been so far from Malibu.
Queensway, Kingsway, every way I go is the wrong fucking way. After some Traffic and a Heineken (a roadie stolen from the honor bar), I arrive near downtown. Wait...Chinese, everything is in Chinese! I hastily pull over and cut the engine. Paying no meter fee, I begin my journey through this Hades of a city. Raw, freshwater fish, suspended some one meter above the dirty sidewalk. It is for sale next to the cheapest jewelry imaginable. Appetite gone, I make for the main drag. Hey, the Fleshtones are playing next week in Chinatown-weird. Coming close to being severed into 3 and 1/2 un-even proportions by a lightrail streetcar (please Austin, don't do it!), I decide to cross at the intersections from now on. I buy my wife a souvenir tea pot for $25 Canadian. It is the only thing authentically Chinese on the entire strip. Bikes, motorcycles and comic book stores with books laid backwards in their shelves (this is correct if you are Chinese, of course, but temporarily threw me for a loop. I unconsciously began rotating them back towards capitalism). I might as well be in Laredo, Mexico. Border towns are all the same. Moving about, I realize that the local folk have no idea that they are in Canada.
Queen Street. Sojo? It doesn't compare to my hometown. A penny here, a penny there. Won't you drop one in it's water well? It is tempting. The famous "Bamboo" club reminds me of the Hula Hut-only worse (if you can believe it). The Sushi doesn't even come close to Musashinou on Mopac. And How many Hard Rock Cafe's are there on this big blue marble anyway? I walk the street and take some picks. I stop for two Guinness' at what appears to be an Irish-like pub. I guess they come close, but I will never know until I go to Ireland now, will I? The only thing remotely interesting is the organic Cosmetic Market, which grows all the makup that it sells. I am so sick of fucking coffee houses! Maybe my A-D-D just gets the best of me here, but what the hell is the point of sitting down to have a relaxing cup of a drink that is specifically designed and fine-tuned to wire the brain and keep a body on the move? Fad. Onward to the payphones where I call my wife and my bandmates. Cheers! Here I am where you are not! Why do I insist on doing this? Ego. Mistake? What the hell am I doing here on an all-expense paid vacation to Toronto? External locust of control, baby-yea.
Retreat off the street to my domicile in the sky. Another Heineken and a Bailey's decaff from the well honored honor bar and I order up "As Good As it Gets". Chick flick. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to be Jack Nicholson who plays a writer...See, I am already on page three, single spaced with four hours of prose left in me! I pass out at 1 A.M after gaining three pounds of rib-eye steak and a cheesecake.
Bezzer. Bizzer. Buzzer. THAT ANNOYING FUCKING BUZZER! Seven-thirty already? Did I forget to order that porno, ahem, "late night entertainment"? Guess so. Another suspiciously great day with my client. Even the bugs so prudently and accurately predicted by Mr. Arvesen two years ago seem to work themselves out without too much intervention. I once again bail early and head to the airport to catch the 12:55 to big "D". I can't wait to circle that Nascar track again. What's this? A first-class upgrade in my wallet? Ho-hum. Ti's but a nuisance. I suppose I will use it. I could use a bloody Mary. Two hours later and here I am. I have a bloody Mary and they still offer me wine with my sup. Double-fisted, I feel a surge of creative spunk which can only be reflected in the pages above. Landings suck, but are necessary if you want to fly.
(P.S. can you believe that Heineken and Guinness are both in the Outlook spellchecker? (no, I did not add them to my wordlist)!)