Saturday, June 28, 2008

Down by the water

This Saturday was the first day in a long time that I didn't have to be anywhere by a certain time, or do any particularly onerous chores. It was SO AMAZING not to be on a schedule.

I woke up at 6:18 am when a thunderstorm came crashing down outside my window. I rolled up my blinds and watched the downpour for half an hour or so. Thunder sounds different here, in my neighbourhood of looming condo towers. The echos ricochet from building to building before dying away.

When the KABOOM!s had turned into rumbles, and the monsoon was reduced to a gentle summer rain, I rolled the blinds back down and slept again.

Much later, Ken and I ventured out into the city, armed with a big umbrella. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms all day, but we had to get out. So far this year, since the snow finally melted, every weekend has been either chilly or stormy, and I've been suffering from cabin fever. It's time to get outside at any price!

We considered going to check out the Lesbian and Gay Pride Week celebrations, but decided against it. It's always an eye-popping adventure, but neither of us was feeling in the mood to deal with rowdy crowds. Saturday is always the Dyke March, and the big Pride Parade is Sunday. The city shuts down a whole section of the downtown to accommodate the celebrations.

I've always been impressed by the female impersonators. I tell you, some of them are more womanly than I'll ever be. With their elaborate wigs, gowns, and fluttering false eyelashes, they're like a rainbow of exotic butterflies. They also manage to keep their makeup flawless in the summer heat, which is more than I've ever managed to do.

Pride Week is the place to go if you want to experience a goodly amount of public nudity. Men and women go topless. There are always plenty of buttocks hanging out of short-shorts. And some go straight-up nude. Let's just say that not all nudity is equally appealing, and leave it there. Anyway, the free-spirited, let-it-all-hang-out atmosphere is fun and contagious. There are as many tourists there as there are participants, but no one's really counting and it's just one big party.

I guess we'll catch this year's highlights on the news later.

Instead, Ken and I opted to head down to the lakeside, due south of the city's centre. It's always a few degrees cooler there. Even on the hottest days there's usually a breeze coming off the lake. We hung out on the boardwalk, watching people stroll by. There was a constant stream of folks: old; young; dressed in shorts and a T-shirt; dressed formally for a wedding reception; walking dogs; just learning to walk; skateboarding; licking ice-cream; holding hands.

There was a free concert nearby; music floated to us across the water. We stopped at the international food tent for samosas and tandoori chicken. I relaxed and didn't once look at my watch to mind the time. And guess what? It didn't rain one single drop all day.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Sounds like a perfect day!

Aurora said...

It turned out to be beautiful yesterday. Those are the prettiest days, when the thunder threatens but all you end up with are clouds and sunlight.

Nilsa S. said...

I love those days when you can be spontaneous and do whatever makes your heart flutter.

Anonymous said...

Wow that story was so gay.

Jenski said...

What a great relaxing day! Good thing you brought the umbrella, otherwise it may have rained.