Moonstone Music

Musings on music composition, walks in the woods, and life after the big city.

Location: Moonstone, Ontario, Canada

I'm a music composer, clarinetist, writer, podcaster, environmentalist and warrior against the terrors of everyday living!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Big City

Yesterday Nick and I had to go to the Big City, a bustling metropolis of about 2-1/2 million people, not counting the surrounding network of suburbs. We each used to live inside the city. I was there for about 12 years before I escaped. And because I’d lived and worked there, I thought I could handle a quick trip in.


I was fairly well prepared for the gradually increasing traffic. But I’d forgotten entirely about the relationship between the increasingly risky craziness of the drivers as the traffic speed grinds down to a halt. The pedestrians looked equally dangerous – the women tottering on stiletto heels even though they wore casual daytime clothes, the men emerging from black SUV’s and muscle cars, their bulging biceps bursting out of snug T-shirts.

Two hours of heavy driving saw us fighting our way as far into the city as we could, until we finally gave up and stopped, still at least a half hour away from our destination. We turned into a maze of discount textile and furniture shops and cautiously found our way into a huge parking lot servicing health clubs for men, for women, and for both, at one end, and physicians, pharmacies and clinics at the other. We spread out our picnic lunch under a welcoming willow tree sandwiched on a strip of grass between the Purolator distribution centre and the waste dumpsters, and caught our breath. Jet airplanes from the international airport roared over our heads at regular intervals. Transport truck sirens sounded as they backed into the loading bays behind us. And ahead of us, off to the side, a small flock of Canada geese stood nonchalantly near the curb. Having finished pecking through scraps of discarded fast food, they looked as if they were waiting for the city bus.

As night closed in, Nick and I quarreled over trying to read the map and the quickly passing street signs until we got ourselves back onto the main highway leading north. During a long and silent drive back, we each renewed our vows to stay home. We may have been city folk once, but we are firmly country hicks now, and it will be a long, long while before we ever attempt such a foray again.


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