This Was A Day: June 18

I signed up for a bookbinding workshop at the library here in Windsor. The event started at 10AM and I arrived just on time—the bus was a bit late, but fortunately not too late. Even I was pleased with the turnout to the event! There were a number of elderly folk. I hope if I reach a wise age, I still have interest in trying new things. We made a simple and adorable pamphlet-style single signature booklet. The workshop was run by Jodi Green, a local bookbinder at Levigator Press. She has so many classes and skills, and I must say—the prices are very, very reasonable. If you’re ever in Windsor (or hey, if you’re a Windsorite), she’s super charismatic and knowledgeable. The library provided some stamps and ink to decorate the covers. I was starting to feel a little anxious and awkward by the end of the workshop, so I kept my stamping to a minimum. I’m very pleased with it.

A photo posted by Coryl o‘Reilly (@coryldork) on

One of the other attendees, who sat at my table, chatted with me throughout the hour-long workshop. Near the end, she introduced herself and a younger girl—a little unorthodox, like a footnote to all of our small talk. The woman worked with youth and the girl was in ninth grade. After I told her a bit about myself (student, final semester), she sad I could’ve passed as a high school student.

Needless to say, I was a little shocked; but over the past five years, I’ve been taken anywhere between 16 and 25.

My bus ride back home wasn’t the greatest. I really, really hate rude bus drivers.

I had to prepare for a meeting at 2PM with a potential client, so I prepared a small portfolio of my design work. Most of it was older and from about three years ago, but even after that time, I’m still very proud of the work. I was thinking that I could offer my design services alongside all of my editing and formatting ones. Maybe make myself a whole “package” for bookish production!

The meeting, thankfully, went well. It felt less like I had to try to secure her confidence or convince her I was skilled enough, and more that I had to show my interest and dedication to the project. I’m excited to work on the project, as well as with the woman. She and I clicked well, which is a blessing with any sort of business relationship. I like having a personal rapport with them—I feel less rigid, and it’s easier for me to show my passion.

Time went by incredibly quickly after the meeting. I had some food and messed up my dill pickle popcorn. Note to self: don’t pour a liquid seasoning on the stovetop popcorn. It’ll melt the popcorn. Toss in the liquids instead.

I watched season 4: episode 2 of Orange Is The New Black. Yesterday, I watched the first episode and didn’t think I’d be able to get into it. But after I finished this episode, I think I can still enjoy the series.

My boyfriend and I had a Skype date scheduled for 5:30—which is right now. I always budget my time to accommodate the fact that he’s always late. We’ll talk for a while, I might play some flash games, and I’ll end the night with reading and writing. Maybe throw in a to-do list for tomorrow and my new client work.

A small announcement: Starting next week, I’m increasing my blog posts to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for three posts per week.

Hope you all had a decent Saturday!

This Was A Day: April 11

4:47am – My bunny clunks his bowl because it is empty. I forgot to give him the rest of his serving of food. I wake up and write a memo on my phone in order to document the event for this blog post—and then I forget to feed the bunny.

8:00am – The alarm sounds and I change it to let me sleep for another hour. I briefly get up and pour food into my bunny’s dish. I doze to the sound of his noms.

9:00am – Up and at ‘em. Shower and food. I can’t wait to go grocery shopping again so I have options and don’t feel like shit from eating shit. I’ve been eating leftover pizza for days.

12:06pm – I’m browsing flyers for the grocery stores and am amused by the Bulk Barn one. I’m also appreciative of their consistent and minimalist design. Excellent branding. My phone rings—a private number—and I hesitate to pick it up. Something about the gas company. I scrawl a note on the top of the Bulk Barn flyer and feel like a middle-aged stay-at-home home-owner. I need to check the lease for stipulations about the gas supply and changes and whatnot, and possibly contact the landlords. Fuck, I’m such an adult and it doesn’t even faze me.

12:20pm – I study for a bit, waste some time, study some more. My motivation is low today. Yesterday I was hungover and reviewed all my notes, so who knows what’s bogging me down today.

2:45pm – I leave for my exam since the room is in a building I’ve never entered, and I don’t want to get horribly lost and late.

2:50pm – This building smells weird. It’s large and open, with a concrete and wood design; that “modern” look. Despite the walls of windows on the exterior, the interior has very little natural light. The fluorescents bother me. A classmate calls out my name and I chat and review with two of them.

3:15pm – We enter the exam room. Some other students are in it, studying, and I loudly ask my classmates, “Do they know we have an exam in here?” I know they aren’t also taking the exam; I remember faces and have never seen these ones, even on test days. (They leave in a few minutes.)

3:30pm – Exam starts. Prof spends ten minutes reading through the instructions and the questions for the entire exam.

4:25pm – I’m finally let out in the first batch of students. This prof only lets us out of exams in designated blocks, like every half hour, to avoid multiple disruptions. Instead of a trickle of students leaving, he gets a wave of them. I don’t know if it’s more efficient, but it’s at least predictable. I think I nailed the exam.

4:30pm – A building on my street catches my eye. I write a quick poem, or poem fragment. When do poems start and end? Do we poets simply collect lines and put them together? Like word weavers creating textiles of text.

5:00pm – 8:45pm – In between some half-assed work on an assignment due tomorrow, I don’t do much. I’m anxious to get on the bus to pick up my boyfriend from the train station.

9:20pm – The bus comes. Late.

9:40pm – I forgot about the construction going on at a key intersection , which renders it completely closed off. The bus makes a detour and goes behind the brewery, which is right near the train station. Darkness engulfs everything and I can’t tell where I am, where the bus can stop, where this detour goes. I’m lost. I’m having a panic attack. I’m furiously texting my boyfriend and one of my friends.

9:53pm – We pass the first street sign I recognise and I’m way farther east than I should be. I try to calm down, and then I get off the bus. I begin walking back west, still furiously texting my friend. I ask if I can call her. I panic to her.

9:54pm – “We’re gonna come get you.” My friend and her dad are angels. I am lost and afraid and this moment makes me understand faith. It seems that my attempts to get to the Windsor VIA Rail train station have had hiccups lately.

10:05pm – I wait inside a grocery store and ponder the fruit and hummus. My friend and I call again and I count the number of people in the store. Her dad says there are less than 10—he’s correct. There are 8, plus myself.

10:10pm – They arrive and I’m so relieved and grateful I could cry. My dissociation is high. My body feels like a piece of metal guided by a cosmic magnet. They drive me to the train station and offer to drive me and my boyfriend back to my house. I say, “Thank you,” often and send out prayers along the magnetic waves keeping me moving.

10:30pm – I’m hungry and my boyfriend “can stand to eat something,” so we head to the Chinese restaurant at the corner. Most of the others have closed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm. The servers here always seem disgruntled and fed up, but the food is okay and relatively fast. I order the chicken soo guy and my boyfriend orders the beef with dried orange peels. Both are tasty. Both will be leftover for breakfast.

Boyfriend’s fortune cookie fortune: “You will be generous and others will be generous to you.”

My fortune cookie fortune: “You will get a promotion.”

11:00pm – A movie and cuddles and I’m glad he’s here in my arms again and the day is done.

An adventure and a half because I got lost today.

This Was A Day: February 13

I slept terribly last night. Packing until 1am, after waiting for laundry, and then the excitement of returning home. I wake at 6:30am and rush to get things done: shower, breakfast, brush teeth, make and pack lunch, check my luggage to ensure everything is packed, get dressed, grab a bus ticket, and stuff my phone in my pocket. I leave the house, dragging my suitcase, bundled with my winter coat against the -35C weather, and my backpack loosened to accommodate the extra bulk.

When I wait at the stop, unfortunately one without an enclosure, I pace back and forth until I remember that jus wastes energy. My breath is collecting on my scarf and moistening the area around my mouth.

The bus is late. I have just under an hour until my train leaves and the bus takes around 20 minutes to get to the station. When it finally arrives, I sit next to an Asian girl who also has a large suitcase. I place my backpack on the seat between us and spend the ride avoiding the sun shining into my face through the opposite window.

I see the parking lot and the series of loft apartments. I pull the cord and the driver stops. After I thank him and cross the intersection, I realise I left my backpack on the bus. A blonde girl, who also had some luggage, was right behind me. The bus has a stop a little further down the road, just after another intersection, and I ask the girl if I could trust her with my suitcase. She said yes, and I sprinted like all hell to catch the bus waiting at the next stop.

I wasn’t fast enough. It is me, after all. I suck at physical activity.

There I am, on Wyandotte and Walker, wailing and cursing; wondering what the hell I was going to do without my wallet, ID, subway fare, lunch; looking up the phone number for Windsor Transit to see if I could locate my backpack or inform them about the incident. I am too upset to acknowledge if I’m crying or cursing or simply screaming, “No, no, no, no!” over and over. I try to collect myself and think straight, planning what to do, but I am certainly distraught as I walk back to the girl watching my suitcase.

And then I see with her the Asian girl who I had sat beside on the bus. Holding my backpack.

I wish I could have done something more than thank her too many times and ask if I could hug her (which she obliged). Maybe I should have offered to buy her Tim Horton’s.

I arrive at the train station, my lungs aching from the sudden aggressive use after sprinting so hard. I empty my water bottle, re-fill it, and step outside. The station is rather crowded and I need to cool down.

When the train arrives, I get to my car and sit in my seat. I settle in easily, putting on my music, adjusting my coat and sweater, and placing my bag securely between my feet. My phone is at hand, since I have my ticket saved on there. I bring out a book—The Silver Chair by CS Lewis—and finally get settled in by removing my glasses.

The attendant scans my ticket and I return to my book. I hope to finish it this train ride. It isn’t long and I don’t have much to do, after all.

The seat beside me stays unoccupied for a couple hours—the train ride is just over 4 hours long—and halfway, when we reach London, a chatty woman gets on with a friend of hers.

I’m going to blame the snow for my distraction. Also, probably hunger. That egg salad wrap in my bag has been on my mind since I got onto the train.

My timing for the ride and my reading ability is fairly accurate: just as I’m reaching Toronto, my destination, I’ve finished the book. I prepare for the terminal, the new renovations, and hope for no confusion as I try to get to the subway.

After a sign on printer paper directs me toward the TTC, I follow more permanent ones. The construction has lessened compared to my last visit to the VIA station.

As I get into the junction between Union and the TTC, I spot the girl who had picked up my backpack. She’s heading toward the University-Yonge line, as I am, and I slow down. The area is wide and not busy. Numerous DO NOT ENTER signs are around different spinning gateways that look more like torture devices with how man bars are in the way

After I pay my fare—exact change—I make my way toward the different lines. One is north toward Finch and the other north toward Downsview. The girl from earlier heads toward Finch and I almost head the same direction until I read the sign.

I can only fuck up so many times in a day.

The ride on the subway is fairly pleasant. I sit near the back of a car, my one side against the wall of the car and near the accordion-folding floor. I put my backpack beside me and keep an eye on it, with my knees gripping my suitcase. I take out The Last Battle and start reading, with one ear free to hear the station names announced over the speaker. Waiting for Yorkdale.

While reading the first two chapters of the final instalment of The Chronicles Of Narnia, I think of abusive relationships. Shift and Puzzle definitely have an abusive relationship, filled with gaslighting and everything wrong in communication, skewed to make it seem like compassion.

It is even colder up here in Toronto than it was in Windsor, and I call my dad to let him know I’m on the Yorkdale platform. He instructs me to go where he’s going to pick me up. I stand in the underpass, unsure where I even am, in the wind and the cigarette smoke. I try to huddle between two weird boxes; one is digital and the other is locked. I watch the intersection for my dad’s van and he finally arrives.

Halfway into our hour-long drive to my hometown, we stop for food. The supposed “udon” noodles I have, with teriyaki sauce, vegetables, and beef, are like thick bits of dough, rather than the authentic Japanese udon noodles I’ve had before. But I’m grateful for the food. The beef is nice.

I’m finally home and the first thing I want to do is snuggle my rabbit. He’s been staying with my little brother since I returned to university at the beginning of January.

I barely recognise Pringles. He doesn’t seem real to me, like he’s a very well-done CGI rabbit. He reacts to my voice and hides in his blue hut. I take him out and snuggle him. I splutter and whine, and then splutter some more since he’s shedding—which I didn’t know. His fur gets all over my mouth, nose, and shirt, but he nuzzles into me.

I wonder if my love for him is like a parent’s love for their infant.

When my brother returns, I give him a hug. We watch some movies. I snuggle Pringles for many hours and accidentally fall asleep on the couch.

It’s nice to be back. The snow is falling and the air isn’t as dry as in Windsor. There are no people shouting as they walk by a sidewalk—mostly because there is no sidewalk and the population in this town is mainly retired folks instead of post-secondary students.

I do some low-key unpacking and am relieved I haven’t forgotten anything.

This Was A Day: February 13 - A play-by-play of February 13, the day I took a train from Windsor to Toronto to visit family on my mid-semester break.