I’ve turned into a bit of a downtown snob. I’ve always had a bit of a disdain for the suburbs (I can recall one trip to Guelph by way of Mississauga, speaking very loudly on the phone with my mother and telling her if I ever moved to the suburbs, she has permission to shoot me in the face), but I could never really explain why. There just always seems to be something missing, something intangible but noticeable nonetheless. The best way I can describe it is that the suburbs have no soul.
I spent the past week house/catsitting for my business partner in Oakville (I may have found my second calling in life: I was catsitting for a friend in the city the week before, and I’m off to another friend’s apartment tonight to care for her four felines). It was nice to drive for a week (after having an expired license for the past nine months), and Oakville is pretty nice. Yet I still felt … off. It’s very quiet there, but it’s also disquieting. I was at a client meeting mid-week, and we were discussing the energy of different places, and that’s where it hit me: my energy does not mesh with that of the suburbs. I can handle a small town (since I grew up in one), although only for a brief period, but the suburbs just leave me unsettled for some reason.
My suburban adventures were also immediately preceded by a week at my family camp up north (some of you would call it a cottage, but you would be wrong). I’ve been going up there for a week every summer or two for 23 years (holy fuck, was that ever painful to write). It’s very secluded, and very quiet – but a different kind of quiet. It’s about an hour outside of Sudbury, on a lake near a very small town. It’s just our camp on the island, which means no other people and no road access, on top of no electricity or hot water. I spend a lot of time reading, not worrying about work, putzing around the lake on the boat (in one very specific bay, so as to not get lost), and new this year, cooking. I had a great time, but I was ready to return to civilization, even if that civilization was suburgatory.
After two weeks mostly not sleeping in my own bed, I miss the buzz of the city. Downtown isn’t for everyone (as I’m so often told), but it is for me, and I am happy to finally be home.