December 9th,, and I was going to take the Lawrence West Subway to Eglinton West and stop to say hi to Sue who would be panhandling at the Ramp before going home; she recently confided that she could have cancer and that sucks! However, the sidewalk out front of the station was packed and a stressed commuter informed me that southbound trains were not running the two stops to St. Clair West; a growing mass waiting to board shuttle buses blocked the entrance.
Time to take a detour! Went up the street to wait for the 109, short bus route and an easy option, as it stops in front of my building, but often delayed on both ends, particularly where the construction and destruction of the expansion makes for traffic chaos. If it didn’t show up fast I’d walk the way which I normally do.
At the stop a few people waited with me, no one quite sure when the next bus was coming as the shuttles kept rolling by. A young woman sat on the bench, slumped over with a half-eaten bag of Cheetos on the ground beside her. It was obvious to me that she was nodding out and in no hurry to go anywhere! No-one took much notice until she started hacking away and I asked if she was okay, causing her to stand, mumble and shuffle perilously in place. When she raised a can of what appeared to be air freshener to her mouth and took a deep huff we all moved back and stepped out of the shelter.
“Don’t do that girl. It’ll make you sicker,” I said, even as I knew my words would have no effect upon her habit of inhaling toxic substances, and then the bus came and I got on with the other’s leaving the poor soul behind.
On board I overheard, as clear as it was a rainy day, a TTC driver who was hitching a ride tell our driver that it was “a bomb threat” causing the subway shutdown and adding that workers were tired of “this” happening, which implied not an isolated incident. Other passengers heard this too, prompting the middle aged black woman who lives in my building and was seated across from me to launch into a blame game, the extinction of The Lord’s Prayer in our schools, lost values and too many immigrants, and finally, it was Trudeau’s fault that immorality ran amuck in the city; to which, at that point, I felt compelled to reply, I don’t get into politics with people. There was no mention of a bomb threat on the evening news and since subway closures are a norm in Toronto who would have known?