“Sorry, no beverages allowed in this store,” the gentleman looks up from his book speaking to Z as he enters the store. The man sits at a desk directly beside the door. It seems more like a hotel check in than a thrift store. Z quickly downs his drink, while I have half left and decide to take my time. Z passes his empty cup over the desk to be deposited in the trashcan and I step back outside and walk slowly along the side of the concrete building. There is a sidewalk along it that leads to the bushes at the back. Carefully placed at the back corner at the end of the sidewalk are two dishes. There is a black cat sitting there. It reminds me of the one I left at home. This one has green eyes and peers up at me carelessly. The cat is not too interested in me and I deem it not a good idea to pick it up or pet this unknown cat roaming around outside. I walk back down the short sidewalk and sit on the curb in front of the double glass doors.
My thoughts relax as I sit down on this dividing line between the parking lot and the store. I feel more present to what is around me. Maybe it is because I am looking at things from a different angle. I shift my cup in my hand, the cardboard sleeve slowly moves around making a soft rubbing sound. I take a sip, enjoying the remaining flavours as it slowly cools off and begins to loose its thickness. My elbows rest casually on my knees and I stretch my legs out, examining my toes as my feet shift back and forth on my heels. Lushness surrounds me on this Island, even encircling a thrift store parking lot.
There is something about the casual position that relaxes me and makes me remember who I am. I am closer to the ground, closer to the pavement than I am to the inside of a shop housing the used wares of many different peoples’ houses.
I’ve taken to curb sitting. I did it just the other day on the streets of Toronto. There is a new streetcar that I take daily to get to the subway line. This streetcar isn’t quite as frequent as the Spadina line that I used to take. Sometimes there are holdups with traffic or malfunctions of the electrical hookups – so I never know when the car will arrive. My legs are usually tired from running along my newfound trails and from standing all day at work. It was a nice day and I didn’t feel like sitting on the cool steel bench in the shelter. The shelter is on a raised platform that acts as a curb marking the perimeter. I sit away from the crowd of people hovering at the entrance of the shelter and I wait on the curb – my elbows on my knees and my forearms stretched out with a book.