Saturday, November 20, 2004

Traveling east/west in Toronto reveals a curious math. Two streetcars or subway cars, must pass in the opposite direction of your travel, before yours arrives. This number may even be three or greater. St. George station is the greatest bottleneck of humanity since they installed turn stiles at the Holy Mosque of Mecca. Of course, when a subway car does arrive, it is full yet, only one or two patrons step out leaving those inside and outside exchanging looks of fear and resentment. Those inside fearing the crushing crowd approaching, and the approaching mob resenting those that are taking up space by not having disembarked in the first place. The city has grown along the lake, but only has one subway line on that axis. The North/South axis is well served by two subway lines, while East/West travelers are left to be carted like pigs to the abattoir on slow rumbling streetcars, cut off by taxi's, bouncing over ruts and generally stuck in traffic.

Yet, what do I really notice while using public transit? Not the cost, not the smell (well ok sometimes), not the maintenance. I notice the hair colour. Why do so many people colour their hair? Do more people do it now than before? Is it my imagination or my ability to spot it? I don't mean the faddish coppering or frosting that so many people employ as fashion but the real live dyed in the wool, colouring to cover grey hair. Both men and women. Though, with the men, I always hope that they were merely relenting to their mistress/wife/girlriend's plea to 'give it a try, you'll look great.' Unfortunately, there are just too many of these men for this to be the case. Our society's much advertised youth obsession, has pushed these men's heads down the drain. Once in the drain, a goodly dose of bottled or powdered colour is applied. I suppose it's not as bad as wearing a powdered wig. It also reminds me of my seventeenth year when I would have given anything to look two or three years older. Which is a perfect example of how it's your perception that changes and not the world around you. Nowadays, my hair is thinning and white hairs appear on my chin with regularity. I remember my first white hair. I saw it and thought, how odd, how did I get paint in my hair? Is it LiquidPaper? A quick pluck later and closer inspection under the clinical fluorescence exposed the awful truth. I had a gray hair. A single gray hair. How silly to even think about it. As long as one eyebrow doesn't go white while the other one stays black, I'm okay with the graying of Peter. I only have to spot one of those guys with their JanTans (a tan in January?) and dye lines on their heads to think that aging the way God intended isn't so bad.

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