January 11th, 2018
The last couple days I’ve finally been trying to adult, and I’ve fully diverged myself into the horror that is public transit. Last night I managed to get around downtown and make it home without a stitch, so there I was, thinking that I’m such a natural. Then tonight happens.
After a long evening of wandering around Eaton Centre, like I have pretty much every day this week, I decide to make my way home. My feet hurt and my phone is dying at an alarmingly fast rate. I quickly search my route home on Google Maps and I step outside into the cold, misty air. I pull out the umbrella that I had just bought ten minutes ago after looking outside at the rainy weather that makes me confused about what month we’re in. I feel like I look so natural at this city thing. I blend right in with all of the others, like we’re an army dressed in all black, holding umbrellas as we walk in herds to the bus stops. Then a gust of wind comes, completely folding my ten-dollar umbrella inside-out, and almost taking it from my frozen hands. I wrestle with it, trying my hardest to look like I’m not a complete mess who’s never used an umbrella before. A piece of advice – don’t buy an umbrella from H&M. Unless you live somewhere that only ever experiences cute little rain drops and slight breezes. But I’ve learned quickly that this is not the case for Toronto.
Eventually, I get onto what I think is the right streetcar. I sit down on one of the single person seats, because I can’t run the risk of someone actually trying to sit down and talk to me. I sit in silence, not even using my phone for music because it’s now at 12% battery, and I rely on it heavily for making it home. Several minutes pass, and I begin to notice that I don’t recognize any of the streets I’m passing. I quickly open Google Maps and see that I’m heading in the complete opposite direction of my home. Panic sets. My phone is now at 8% and I have no clue where I am. I hop off the bus at the next stop, and end up on some random street where there is absolutely no one in sight. By now, it’s so foggy and misty outside that I feel like I’m suddenly the star of a low-budget horror film. My phone is at 6% and I wonder if I should use it to call my family and tell them I love them, or if I should use it on a last attempt to Google Maps my way out of this mess. I choose the latter, and I start to walk.
A few minutes feel like a few hours, but I finally see a bright sign that reads “DOWNTOWN”. Relief washes over me and I start to sprint towards it as if one sign has solved all of my problems. Then I laugh at myself for thinking that since I found “downtown”, I know what I’m doing from here. I don’t know at all. But having a lot of people on the streets around me at least makes me feel like I am no longer about to be murdered in the dead, misty air by some creeper wearing a mask.
After many more minutes of wandering aimlessly, I stumble upon the right streetcar, and after double-checking with the driver that it will be going WEST, I make it home with 1% battery to spare. As I’m laying on my bed, waiting for my limbs to thaw, I realize that I did this to myself. I tried to be sneaky and get on that first streetcar without tapping my Presto card so I could get a free ride, and this is where it got me. Karma really is a bitch. She is a bitch who will take you to the middle of nowhere and try to get you killed.