The Ritual of Journeying to Work: Saturday Morning

The Ritual of Journeying to Work: Saturday Morning

Written by Tawiah Ben M'Carthy

I lived at Church and Gloucester and worked at Josee’s Hair Salon in West Rouge right at the border of Scarborough and Pickering. My travel time to work was about an hour and 40 minutes depending on which of the 85 buses I caught at Yonge and Sheppard. Bus 85A will drop me off in front of the salon. Bus 85 took me to Meadowvale.  

I had a routine. I did not always enjoy the long travel, but I had a routine: my journeying ritual to work - pick an album and play it on shuffle.  

Artist: Usher 
Album: Raymond verses Raymond  
Song: More 

I walk to the Yonge and Bloor subway station, the northbound platform on the Yonge line. I walk to approximately where I know the doors to the third car will be, and I wait.  

Usher: Mars verses Venus 

People watching. It is not too busy on the platform. Who is starting their day and who is ending theirs?  

I see Josh, the stripper from Remingtons. Well, he is not much of a stripper; he can’t dance for shit, but he’s very easy to look at. He is not alone; he is with three other guys. 

The train arrives. We get in the same car. 

Usher: Little Freak. 

“You let her put her hands in your pants,  
be my little freaks...Usher buzz me in,  
everyone loves RAYMOND!  
Be my little freak.” 

Josh the stripper and his trio are ending their night.  

One is in a white short-sleeved tee with a nicely faded haircut - bet you it is a level two on the top and a one on the sides, it looks good on him. Two is in a black short-sleeved tee, standing with one hand on his buckle. He keeps moving his other hand around his crotch unconsciously touching and grabbing... it is not attractive, but he is the most handsome. Three, is the shortest and the cutest, wearing a white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up. He seems the most reserved. 

Josh the stripper is doing most of the talking. There is a lot of laughter and hand gesturing. He keeps moving his body weight around on his feet, restless. He walks away from the three and stoops over, holding on to his thighs. Maybe he is sore from work. 

The three keep talking amongst themselves. Josh the stripper walks back to the group and takes over the conversation again - more laughter.  

They are very attractive as a posse, but it is Josh the stripper who stands out most. He always did, even at work. This morning he is wearing black gym track pants and a dri-fit black, short-sleeved tee. It all fits perfectly, not too tight. 

Usher: Foolin’ Around. 

It is 7:30am on a Saturday. 

"Sheppard and Yonge, next stop is Sheppard." 

I get off the train. Maybe the foursome is going to a shoot… maybe to shoot a video. I want to see it. At the bus platform, bus 85 is a minute away, bus 85A is 20mins away.

Usher: Making Love 

Saturday morning. I am going to be late to work. I get on Bus 85. 

Usher: Pro Lover, Papers, Stranger 

“Next stop is Meadowvale, this will be the last stop” I get off the bus.  

Artist: SWV 
Album: It’s About Time 
Song: Weak 

I begin my walk from Sheppard and Meadowvale to Island Road and East Avenue, singing along to SWV. 

“Cause my heart starts beating triple time 
With thoughts of loving you on my mind 
I can’t figure out just what to do
When the cause and cure is you.” 

I arrive at work. 

These are among the things I miss. 

Tawiah is an actor, playwright, creator and director, and is currently the Metcalf Foundation Artistic Director Intern at Canadian Stage.

more from the grid

view all news & updates
Sep 21, 2021
Empowering the Movement Within

Written in collaboration with Christine Friday from Friday Creeations, Native Earth and Canadian Stage

Christine Friday is an Indigenous storyteller, choreographer, and dancer. In this edition of CS Grid, we take a deep dive into Christine's life story beyond the stage, inviting you into her mindscape and work inspirations and her relationship with self.

 

Aug 31, 2021
Is My Microphone On? If I Could Vote

Curated from responses by the youth performers of Is My Microphone On?

In this edition of CS Grid, we invite cast members of Is My Microphone On?, all between the ages of 13 to 17, to tell us what they care about. Find out what stirs their hearts, what answers they want, and what actions they demand. 

Aug 16, 2021
On Ancestral Reconnection and Intergenerational Rhythms

Written by Timea Wharton-Suri, Curator & Program Director of dance Immersion

MUKUTHÔ comes at a unique time and place, having it's world premire as part of Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park summer program in Toronto. We hear from Timea Wharton-Suri, Curator and Program Director at dance Immersion, who gives us an inside look at the beginnings of this creation and how the work landed at High Park. 

Aug 6, 2021
In Conversation with the Minds Behind BLACKOUT

Reproduced by permission of The Musical Stage Company

Interview excerpts with the BLACKOUT creators, Anton Lipovetsky (Crescendo Artist) and Steven Gallagher as well as Director and Dramaturg, Ann Hodges about their experiences developing the production.