Yesterday as I was returning home from Now Church, I stopped at a red light. While I was sitting there, a man began to cross the street at the crosswalk. He was of average height and average build, but with a decisive beer belly (How can beer bellies be decisive? Difficult to say). He was probably in his mid to late fifties, and his not-too-badly-thinning-but-nevertheless-still-thinning hair was pulled back in a ponytail. He was clean-shaven, though, so he didn’t quite look like a hippie. I think he was wearing glasses. As I watched him lope across the street I thought, “If Our Fair City were a person, it would look like that.”
Then I went home and told my Paul about it. “You know the kind of guy I mean?” I said. “Kind of artsy but kind of just . . . creepy?”
“Yep,” he agreed. “Our Fair City lives in his mother’s basement. And keeps his radio tuned to the classic rock station.”
When I laughed, my Paul, who grew up in Our Fair City and so would know first-hand, continued: “Smoked pot in the sixties, did hash in the seventies, coke in the eighties . . . wheat grass in the nineties.” Then he said, “I sense a blogpost coming on.” He knows me, too, evidently. So well.
Here’s the thing. I love Our Fair City–just like I loved the part of the East End where I lived in London even though whenever I told British people where it was, they would wrinkle up their noses and say, “You do?” or “Why?” (I kind of miss the cultural diversity I got in that part of London which I can’t seem to encounter in Our Fair City even though there is some, but that’s another story.) There are a lot of talented people in this town, and a lot of really cool independent initiatives, and a whole lot of hidden treasures. All the same, the general consensus is that Our Fair City has a little trouble getting his act together. I can’t say much about that, since, even though they weren’t living there at the time, I myself just spent the last seven years living in my parents’ house . . . until three months ago. Maybe I’m just saying I know it when I see it.