27 April 2009

Tales of the mundane: Coming home

Today: the first installment of what I hope to be an occasional series: 'Tales of the Mundane'. In which, in true personal weblog fashion, I describe some aspect of my day.

Let me know if you enjoy. Or submit requests for a next chapter.

Coming home, Part I: Keys, doors and mail

Arriving at the front door of our building from a day of work I immediately dug into my back left pocket for the house keys. Sometimes, if I'm planning ahead, I will already have the keys in my hand upon arrival at our bright blue front door. Today was not one of those days.

Fortunately, after just seconds of searching, I found the keys to my kingdom, and extricated them from the back pocket of my blue jeans. There's only about four keys on the ring, so in no time at all, I had deftly inserted the correct one into the lock.

Closing the door behind me, I looked at the mailbox. It had been without an inner door for over a week. I almost remarked mentally on the need, as the ranking male in the household, to repair the hinges that had caused the door to fall off, but swiftly decided against thinking that particular thought. Why put off until tomorrow something you put off even considering until tomorrow?

And anyway, no mail had come in through the slot this particular Monday. Thus the floor was free from postal detritus.

The feeling this engendered was not so much relief as a cultivated indifference: no mail meant no person, agency, or organization trying to contact me. Huh. This was not a big deal.

Nor was it unusual. In fact many days are no-mail days in my household. I tried not to let the lack of mailing interest bother me, and succeeded. Besides, often mail is in French or Dutch, and thus extremely challenging, irrelevant, incomprehensible, or some combination of the three.

Springing up the steps one at a time I bounded to our interior apartment door at the pinnacle of our maison de maitre, and was able to unlock it even faster than I had unlocked the downstairs building door. This was because I had kept my keys in my hand for the whole trip up the stairs. I complimented myself for this clever time-saving piece of foresight, and blushed shyly in response.

Throwing the door wide I crossed the threshold and put my bag down. I realize now that I forgot to mention I had taken my jacket off and hung it on the peg outside the front door, just after I had unlocked the door, yet before I stepped inside. However, this - I assure you - did in fact happen. It must have happened - because when I stepped inside I was no longer wearing a jacket, yet when I unlocked the door, I most certainly was.

Coming home, Part II - Inside, at long last

I strode purposefully the six short feet to the desk on which my laptop frequently rests. I switched it on. The laptop, I mean.

I did this because I like to listen to music when I'm at home. When my wife is home, we listen to music that both of us like. That means it must be heavily melodic with a minimum of rapping. So today, as most days, I seized the opportunity to rock out to some loud tuneless rap music.

Or rather I would, once my computer had booted up.

In the meantime, I crossed the floor to the kitchen zone, and opened the fridge. By the way, I had also taken my shoes off, though I'm not exactly sure when. But I definitely wasn't wearing them by this point.

Coming home, Part III - A thrilling conclusion

The fridge was stocked full of food. We eat pretty healthy, and frequently at home, thus we keep alot of food in our fridge. Perishables and stuff. Alot of vegetables, and also alot of jars of condiments. There are at least three different jars of jam in our fridge right now. Raspberry. And of course, some cheese.

A few bottles of delicious Belgian beer were strategically positioned throughout the fridge, affording me the opportunity to play a 'Where's Waldo'-esque game of Beerspotter. Mmmm, Duvel. Oh look, it's a Maredsous!...

My eyes glanced over a bottle of store-brand lemon soda in the door. Thus, I was presented with a quandary: is it time for a beer? Or not? Perhaps a glass of store-brand lemon soda would slake my mild thirst just as ably as a beer? Although, beer is so delicious...

I looked up over the fridge door and spotted our stainless steel sink: maybe a glass of water: calorie free, and straight from the tap, is what this situation calls for. Yes! That would do, that would do just fine. I could always have a beer later, I reminded myself.

And I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I would.

Taking my cool glass of cool water, I walked the short distance back to my computer and sat down. In the chair. My computer was on, the beverage (glass of tapwater) was in my hand, I wasn't wearing shoes or a jacket, and iTunes was loading.

I was home.


  1. Anonymous5:12 pm

    I love this. I'm inspired to write a short act account of my journey home, which, like yours, is also mundane and also, at the end, includes the beer dilemma.

    Part One: from work to the metro.

    I leave the school, which is a box-building built on a parking lot. I walk across the parking lot, past lots of students and their cars. I walk across another parking lot and finally under a huge highway bridge that cross the river. Sometimes I'm excited to see a big ship from China or Russia or somewhere else very far away slowly pushing up river. I think: what illegal goods are they bringing to our city. Then I walk across a third parking lot and pass gangsters who hang out ner the doors of the metro station despite the classical music.

    I nearly puke because of the subway smell. Then the pizza smell. I negotiate the rush of people coming out of the subway and sometimes will run to catch it (against my better judgement), because I hate the wait so much.

    A second metro stop; more people; more waiting; incredibly hot.

    Part 2: Mount Royal.

    Ah: mount royal metro station. Spring time: a kiosk with fruit and plants and flowers. A public square with people sitting. Awesome buskers. A guy with an accordian playing Bruce Springsteen. Yes. I love my 'hood.

    Two blocks home. I note how careless the recycling pick up guys are. Shit everywhere: milk cartons etc. People drink vbeer on their patios.
    Almost home I get my keys. Mail box: sometime good things in their like cheques and letters. More often: bills. I never open these and feel guilty but forget about them.

    Inside my apartment: first floor. A longish hall where I hand my coat. I throw the mail on top of a pile of other mail. I walk to the end of the house to my office. I turn on cbc as I pass through the kitchen. I wonder for s second why I always listen to cbc radio. Sometimes, if very stupid, I turn it off. I turn on the computer. Recheck my email for the millionth time. I will either: nap; eat; pick up guitar; go for run.

    Alright ryan: not as good as yours. But sometimes I think you ought to get a piece of my life, as I'm happy to get a little of yours most days on this blog.


  2. Thanks D. That was awesome actually. It is nice to get a little window into a piece of your life.

  3. Anonymous1:47 am

    Eh, u r lame ;-))))))

    xx Carrie

  4. I have a tough time believing that having the house to yourself wasn't an excuse to pleasure yourself. And not with lemon soda.

  5. @M: Is that a request for another 'Tale of the Mundane'?

  6. both great stories. db's more carefully observed account of his journey home reveals the laconic contentedness in ryan's piece, which avoids having much, if any, direct or explicit feeling(s) about his life. db's story is tense with pregnant tenseness, though he feigns ryan-like indifference. ryan, of course, fears life as much as any of us, but that is not the subject of his story, nor mine.

    simply put: db reveals the tawdry boredom of his journey home through his fraught account, where ryan reveals the 'thrilling' aliveness of his own journey through thoughtfully feigned ambivalence.