Monday, December 03, 2018

Walking home downtown at night

Building, interrupted
London, ON
December 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram
The scene: York Street, just outside London's Via Rail train station. It's 6:46 p.m., and I've just returned from a day at the Toronto office. Much good work was done there, and as I crank up Hooverphonic on Spotify, tuck my earbuds into my oddly-shaped ears, and pull my soft black hat over my head to ward off the damp chill, I catch sight of the building across the street. I've been here countless times, but for some odd reason this is the first time I've really noticed the stately late-19th-century facade at the corner of Clarence Street.

The sky long ago faded to night, and I really should start the walk back to my car so I can go home to my family. It's been a long day. I'm tired. Happy-tired, but still: It's time.

But as so often happens in the strange space between my ears, a gnawing little voice won't let go. It's not enough to tuck the inspiration away and come back another time. My brain is spinning now. Sure, the building will be there, but perhaps the light, the tone, the feeling of being right here, right now, won't be. Or maybe I'll forget in the chaos of everyday life.

So I stop and pull my smartphone out. The fast-dispersing crowd around me barely notices in the rush for taxis and lifts. I tell myself they're welcome to take their own pictures, then feel a pang of sadness when it dawns on me that no one else ever seems to.

This may be an in-between moment for me at the end of a long, not-particularly-unique day. It may be of a building I've passed hundreds of times before, yet strangely never thought to shoot until this very night. But it's special and worthy all the same, especially when I get photobombed by a Batmobile-wannabe. Okay, it's probably not the Batmobile. More likely a train-warrior much like me, driving home to their family, too.

Either way, I'm glad I stopped. 14 frames. 2 minutes. It was worth the slight detour and delay, wasn't it?

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1 comment:

Tabor said...

Yes, it was. I do not live in the city and spend much of my time blocking sidewalk pedestrians as I admire architecture and lighting when I am in the city.