Dew Drops

Scenes on the Floor

A new world appeared on the floor of my house since I had kids.

My middle daughter always drank milk lying on the floor when she was a toddler. As soon as she was given a bottle, she would immediately lie down on the linoleum floor of the kitchen, or on the wooden planks in the living room, or on the carpet in her bedroom, wherever she happened to be. She would be rocking herself gently side to side, cooing and humming, with her little legs up in the air sometimes, as if floating in some fairyland.   We would go around her and not disturb her in such a state of enjoyment.

There was a time when my first daughter loved all Schleich animals that came in a pair of mother and baby. So we would come across a mother mare and her baby pony grazing on the kitchen floor, a mother rhinoceros and her baby rhino sunbathing on the rug in the living room, or a mother bear and her baby cub roaming around the dining table. We would go around them and let them frolic to their heart’s content.

My son has so far pretty much lived on the floor in his twelve years of existence. He draws on his sketch book lying belly down on the floor. He checks his Instagram lying belly up on the carpet. He knits hats while sprawling himself across a stair with his shoulders leaning against the wall and his feet resting against the railing. We skip over his recumbent body as if he was part of the terrain in the house.

When the boy and his middle sister played together, we would see two bodies tangled up and rolling on the floor, arms wrestling, legs kicking, both giggling or screaming. The sister used to sit on her younger brother while browsing on Snapchat, but as the boy grew bigger, now he is the one who pins his sister flat on the floor, her long curly hair spread out like Medusa.

Santa Claus sent us a Labradoodle dog and a Bengal cat when kids repeatedly wrote to him.   The floor became their battleground too. The dog pounces on the cat and almost gobbles him up before spitting him out of his soft mouth. The cat sneaks upon the dog and jumps onto his face with his claws wide open. In times of truce, the dog lies on the floor resting with the cat spooning by his warm belly and purring tenderly.

I told my husband that when the kids all grew up, I would be sad to lose the world of wonder they made on our floor, so it would be up to us this time to create a new Atlantis on our floor somehow. His face spread wide into a huge ear-to-ear naughty grin, like that of the Grinch when he got his awful idea.

Dew Drops

First Date

After the beer by the fire, the dance in the barn, the frolicking on the grass, the train ride back to the city and more frolicking in my flat, we emerged from the extended party with hunger. We had not eaten in the past twenty four hours. I ran out to the nearest store and got some ready-to-eat roast chicken and spaghetti.

We sat down to eat at my little round table covered with a pale peach coloured table cloth that hung down elegantly all the way near the floor. A soft and tender light glowing through the lamp shade.   A prosperous philodendron plant hanging from the ceiling nearby. It was the first time we faced each other with the prospect of having a conversation across the table, like a first date.

“You want to see a trick?” He asked over the spaghetti in thick tomato sauce, his eyebrows tilting up its ends as if to put a question mark.

“Sure,” I said, thinking that he might pull out a rabbit under his sweater.

He picked up a long spaghetti with his fingers and started to push one end of it up his nostril. The spaghetti string was too soft to be pushed in straight, so he started to snort in to help it through the journey. The red tomato sauce started to get around his nose and his face.   Then he opened his mouth wide, and put in two fingers to catch the end of the spaghetti from his throat.   He caught it, and started pulling the spaghetti out of his mouth. The other end of the spaghetti string quickly flew up from the plate and flipped in the air a little like a little fish tail before he caught it with his other hand to stop it from disappearing into his nose. Now, he had both ends of the spaghetti string that travelled through his nostril, down the throat and out from his mouth.  Holding each end with two fingers of each hand, he began to pull the string back and forth through his nostril and mouth as if playing an instrument. The string was covered with gooey snot from his nose. He had a triumphant smile and red stains all over his face looking at me for amusement.

I was flabbergasted. If this was what he could do on our first date, what would he do next? I considered it and decided to take a second date.

Dew Drops

The View from the Office

The day after I landed in Toronto as an immigrant, I took a stroll in downtown. I was eating poutine on Front Street, with my back to Lake Ontario and facing the half a dozen skyscrapers in the two blocks of downtown core. I asked the guy in the truck who sold me the fries, what building was the shinny golden one on the corner.

“That’s Royal Bank.”

“What about the white marble tall one on the next corner?”

“That’s Bank of Montreal.”

“And the brown one across the street?”

“That’s Scotiabank.”

“And the black one on the other corner is TD Bank. They are all banks.” He anticipated before I asked about the other two tall buildings.

“Hm, it looks like I should work for a bank if I want to stay downtown,” I said.

“Or you can rent a truck and sell French fries like me,” he suggested.

“Right! I will try a bank first!”

I picked a bank and worked there for two decades. Every morning I got a glimpse of the lake when I walked into my office. On many days, the morning sun cast its vast brightness on the lake, and the lake intensified the sunshine by making millions of little stars twinkling through the eyes of the ripples. I would take two seconds to marvel at these bright ripples before I turned away from the window and plunged into the world of Debt to Cash Flow and Libor pricing. Those two seconds carried me through the busyness of the day and everyday.

After twenty years I got a notice that my line of business would be restructured and I ought to look for a new job. On the last day, I said goodbye to the ripples on the lake through the window. They were so pregnant with sunshine that they were bursting with light. Then I took a stroll on Front Street to visit the guy selling poutine from his truck.

“Hey, I tried a bank.”

“How did it go?”

“I got to see sunshine from my window for a couple of seconds every morning. It made me happy. But now I need a new job.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Now I am going to rent a truck and sell French fries like you.”

“Huh, why?”

“So I don’t have a window and can touch the sunshine.”