There are so many new and innovative restaurants in the city that I’m excited to try. So on Thursday, the Beast met me after work and we headed to the Keg on King St.
When he found me outside work, I’d just been ‘nized by a lovely young woman on her way to a Civic Action meeting hosted by Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway. “You should go!” she said to me. “It sounds amazing,”I said. “But I have to go to the Keg.”
Afterwards, The Beast and I walked in the sunshine to the restaurant.
“How was your day?” I asked.
“It was good. I read some scholarly essays on the differences between race and ethnicity.”
“Then I suntanned on the deck because sun’s out, guns out. That’s my life motto, girl.”
We passed a Michael’s craft supply story.
“Do you mind if we pop in here for a second?” he asked.
“I just have to get some glitter. Scrap-booking has became a big priority for me now that I’ve stopped working.”
We passed the TIFF Bell Lightbox on King and a man yelled at me from a black SUV.
“Jennifer! Jennifer!” he said. “I love you on The Social! I can’t wait to tell my wife! She is never going to believe this!”
I smiled and waved enthusiastically.
“Man, if you get ‘nized anymore, you’re not going be able to get your head into the Keg,” the Beast said.
“Yeah,” I said, “because my head will be Keg-sized! LOLLOLOLOLOL!!!!”
We passed a Patagonia store.
“What if I told you we weren’t just going out on a whim tonight but that we’re actually celebrating something?” he asked.
“We’re getting married?!?!”
“Even better: Patagonia has announced they’re open 24 hours now and I’m the new night-time manager.”
The thing with the Keg is that you know exactly what you’re in store for. We were not disappointed.
It was our first meal out in a while because the Beast has been killing the meal-planning and prep at home.
He’s recently been enchanted by udon noodles: he made a fabulous shrimp dish with them, and then a mushroom soup.
The last time we took my mom to Costco in London, he picked up some Schwartz’s smoked meat. It turned out to provide a modest and delightful dinner for two.
I found him slicing the meat in the kitchen the other night while singing along to Beyonce’s Formation.
“Do you know who I hope SNL casts next as Trump?” he asked in between of “I slay, you slay, we slay.”
“DMX. Can you imagine him rapping that whole press conference?”
“This dinner is perfect for my new diet,” he continued.
“What new diet?”
Well, first I have a new work-out regime. It’s for Navy Seals. I have to swim for 45 minutes.”
“Did you go for a swim?”
“No, but I did my rowing machine for 10 minutes.”
“I’m also off night shade vegetables, like Tom Brady.”
“But you just bought an entire pineapple!”
We’d purchased said pineapple from our green grocer the other night, just as the sun was about to set.
I had to stop the Beast on the street because the light was so beautiful and he looked like an angel in it.
“Let me see that,” he asked. “I look like the love child of Legolas and the dwarf, son of Gloin, conceived in the Mines of Moria.”
To be honest, I had a rough week. But every joke the Beast made helped.
I filed a Metro column, which I was so proud of, but the paper couldn’t run it. It needed too much work and there wasn’t enough time to get it into publishable shape before their printing deadline. That was Tuesday. I still feel gutted. How could I have been so wrong? Am I that out of touch, that delusional? I have become a melancholy, self-doubting, nasty woman at home, despite being presented a platter of meat.
The Beast will have none of it. He goes high humour when I go low into the mines of feeling sorry for myself. I know I’ll find my way out. But holy shit, is it dark in here.
This morning, I called my mom. I wanted to talk to her about the trashed column and how lost I feel, but she was so happy, I didn’t want to bring her down too. Last weekend, she told me, my brother showed her how to use Google Earth. “Jessie, you can go anywhere in the world! I went to Scotland! There were such pretty roads lined with old stones and fields of Heather as far as the eye could see,” she said. “Finland looks nice, too. It feels like you’re actually there. It feels like I can go anywhere.”
And just like that, I forgot about me. I began to dream up ways to get my mom, who is disabled, to the places she’s dreamed of seeing, from Las Vegas to Jane Austen territory in England. How we can navigate the Bellagio and Bath with a walker, or maybe I could push her around in a wheelchair. How I will set her up at a slot machine in the Venetian while I swim in the pool. How we will stay at a little inn in Devon, and maybe dip our toes into the sea.
How I don’t feel so lost now, just thinking about getting her there.