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 weights. 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 brought. 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 eyes. 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.