F 1 D 0 - 2004 08 18 at 0105

The Last Six Cookies.

Ah, I'm always wondering where I should
start to tell a story.

"At the beginning!" you chirp.

Nope. That's too far away. 

"At the end", you sigh.

I did that last time around. With Kasha Backwards.

It worked better in my head than it did on paper.

I'll start with last night, and work my way
toward the cookies.

I got to bed rather late last night, probably around
500am, and fell asleep much later, around 600am. Not
good for me, who loves a daytime schedule, although
I'm a good night owl.

Before bed I was advised that the dance would have
Vivian and Les leading - I could have a day off!

And this leads up to today's suprise in the morning.

A phone message was left for me, but not a normal
one, but a persistent one. The kind which calls you
back every 20 minutes or something until it really
is satisfied the message has been actually delivered.

The message was important: "Bring your MP3 player, and
perhaps a musical instrument too; there won't be any
musicians. That's been confirmed. I'm counting on you."

Oh, she didn't use those words precisely, but that was
the message. It said please and thank you as well.

But Bell Canada turned it into phone SPAM.

I had to ignore the phone. I certainly tried to ignore
it. I didn't answer. But that somehow wasn't enough. I
was aware of it.

After getting up for lunch, I proceeded back to sleep.

I'm thinking I must have been depressed this week. I was
cold an awful lot, and just motivating to do the minimal
things was a real effort. No misery, no sadness, no desire
to die. Just cold, just sleepy, just sleepy ALWAYS. 

In spite of all of that, I've been exercising as much as
possible, even under the "influence". 

Usually that has meant just half an hour of prescribed

Today I did that half hour, followed by Bruce's "funk"
class. We used to call them "hip hop" classes, but perhaps
the phrase means something else now.

Hey! Bruce got mad at me for dancing barefoot. All of the
best classes are barefoot, but he decided he didn't like
that. Fine. Be that way.

The nice thing about a class or a workout prior to anything
is the sweat followed by a shower. It's always a good thing.

I left for these things early enough today that I could bring
my bike with me. I didn't do a lot of biking, but did manage
to have a Taco Bell stop prior to it all. It tastes the same
as it did years ago. 

So now, I've finished with the fitness place, and I'm heading
to St Mary Magdalene church. Not our usual haunt. 

It's brighter and far more cheerful than our hall. But this
place is simply linoleum protecting a concrete floor. Not
a first choice for dancers, esp since so many of them have
bad knees.

I brought my equipment, but the most important thing to 
bring was Me. I was pianist for tonight's dance. I rarely
get to do that. I stayed rather quiet, and just played
exactly what I was asked, and did what I could to be 
malleable for the two teachers today. 

Vivian has done this a lot, but not recently. Les teaches
public school, but doesn't lead dances a lot. Giving them
a chance to do this without pressure is valuable for them.

Karen came with makings for FLAN! She got 3 cups of fresh
currants from Bill's backyard, where they seem to grow
as weeds. She mixed them with some strawberry jam to give
it the cooked fruit nature. And whipped up some cream.
This into two standard flan cake bases.

What a nice thing to do for us!

English Dance ended around 1030. I was handed a small bag
which had the leftovers of the Peak Frean cookies someone

I'm usually all mixed up for a while after the dance. I want
to walk; I want company; I want to be alone; I want food; I
want to sit; -- who knows *what* I want? I'm a mix of confused
desires after a dance. Walking works. I walked to Dominion
as that's not far from our dances.

I was hoping to stock up on more 49c quarts of chocolate milk,
but they were all sold out, with just regular priced stuff 
left to sell.  

I asked Bonnie there if she needed help. Visibly it appeared
so. Each of the two cashiers had lines which went back 12 people.
That's too many. But both of them were fast enough, so the wait
only translated to about 5 minutes.

I bicycled back along Bloor Street West, a very very urban
street with super tall buildings, hi-end fashion shops, and
expensive parking.

It was here, at Bloor and Bay, I saw a grey "cat". No, it
wasn't a cat, but a medium sized raccoon. Not tame, but
not wild either, it just sat watching everyone pass along
Bloor Street until a loud sportscar came too close, and
it ran up the stairs like a pro. Certainly not like a cat.

I wanted to commune with it, the same way one meets with
squirrels in the park.

I scootched down, and assumed the "feed the squirrels" position.

This wasn't effective. It ran up the stairs to floor 1.5 - able
to watch me, but safe.

I remember my bag of Peak Freans. I ate one. It watched me. I 
walked toward it, and it climbed up to floor two. I tossed a 
cookie - it landed on the first floor landing. I tossed a 
second one, but it only made it to floor .75 - nowhere near
the furry one.

(I'm sure by now you understand what I mean by floor 1.5, floor
.75 etc, yes?)

So I stood at the street now, and ate one. It's watching me.

I took the next one, and ate half of it, thinking I might have
it's attention. I do, but it wasn't going to be handfed tonight.

It started slowly, but accelerated until it got to the highest
of the two cookies. I finished the other half as it finished
the first one.

I guess raccoons don't get many cookies. It squeezed it too
hard, and it broke in its hand. It went back to pick up each
of the crumbs.

Also, it was clear that while the cookies were fine for me, 
the raccoon acted like the cookies were dry, lifting its
head sometimes, in an effort to help them go down.

It found the lower cookie, and I was hoping I could coax
it right to me and the bag of them, but my own nibbling
only left one final cookie. It belonged to the masked one,
but that wouldn't draw it close to me.

Then, the garbage truck went by. It got startled. 

After that, the street sweeper passed. That was very bad.
Raccoon went all the way to the top of this staircase,
which was apparently the fourth floor.

My vision would be improved with glasses, but I don't
wear them for daily use. So I could not see if I was
being watched or not. I could see him, but not his

I did as before, walking close, and tossing it as
high as I could without shattering the cookie.

Look! It came all the way back down to get it.

But this time it didn't honour me with eating it up.
It carted it quickly up the stairs to the third floor,
where it vanished.

And that's the story of the last six cookies.