Since I'm currently avoiding the more-than-usual responsibilities I've yet to tackle, I'll just talk about something totally unrelated: ice cream...oh, and homeless, crazy people.
The wind was still cold, but the ice cream parlour was finally open. Imagine a sunshiny Saturday afternoon with only moderate guilt about not completing all the tasks I've set myself up to do. It was glorious!
Selection was limited because it's not even May yet and the freezers aren't cold enough to keep the ice cream hard, but even though it was gooey and melting (and probably left over from last year's stock), it was irresistible.
Armed with Cookies & Cream, Extreme Chocolate and the classic anomaly: Pistachio, we crossed the street to the ever popular sunny-side and found an available bench. This was the perfect bench: a little shelter from the wind, full sun, and no pigeons or squirrels to lustfully eye our cones. The only problem was that it seemed to belong to another unaffiliated venue.
We pondered the possibility of someone's irate Italian grandmother coming out of the restaurant to shoo us away. Upon establishing that we could take her, should she be aggressive, a homeless man approached us.
This man is a sort of institution here. His skin is leathery from the cold Canadian winter, his eyes are glassy, his nose wasn't properly set. This man's priorities switched from conventional to narcotic many years ago.
Now I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but, he looks violent.
Fortunately, being a Montrealer, I'm used to dealing with aggression from the homeless. A good friend recently brought one up on sexual assault charges. She didn't feel the need to involve the police in the "tit-grabbing incident", but upper management got tired of the man lurking just outside the window wagging his tongue at her. As it turns out, he was making the customers uncomfortable. The court date is set for next week.
But, back to my tale...
The 30-something homeless guy stumbled in our direction, empty collection cup in hand, and mumbled something. I could only assume he was asking for change. We responded politely, not wanting to pull out our wallets. There we sat. And he stared. And we sat. And he stumbled closer, and stared.
Something was happening and apparently it was our fault. Realizing he wasn't planning to move away, we slid down the bench and stood up to leave. That's when he kicked me.
Luckily, his balance was a little off so when he pulled his foot back he stumbled a little and lost momentum. I was wearing thin girly shoes though, and they were no match for his steel-toed boots. He recovered more quickly than I thought he would and caught my friend in the knee with a weak roundhouse. We got off easy. The third, and imaginary person beside us yielded the hardest kick of all.
Ice cream still in hand, we decided the Italian grandmother was the least of our worries, and made our escape. It being a sunny day, we promptly bumped into a cowboy and some punk kids we knew. By this time, the incident had already reached 'hilarious' status and, unable to control ourselves, we began to reenact the scene and kicked our friends in the shins.
In agreement that the story was, in fact, funny, one of them kicked more imaginary people as he walked down the crowded street. So it's true. Violence does breed violence, even the weakest of efforts.
When I'm not journaling in obscurity, I'm flirting with disaster, missing planes and planning adventures. I've just moved back to Canada from London (UK), where I developed unsavoury habits like looking left before crossing the street, holding my fork curved down, and asking for the 'loo'. Follow me as I fumble my way to familiarity in my new home – Toronto . I promise won't spare you the gritty city details.