Current issue

My View from the Cheap Seats

A collection of everything that I’ve collected over the year, every little thing I’ve observed from my expensive seat in the streetcar to the tastes that I’ve experienced with my body.

By Frida Mar

Part 1: Everyday Magic in Toronto 

Today I was rushing to class and I felt still when the subway ran underneath my feet at Queen’s Park. It felt like the beating heart of Toronto and I promised it, I’ll protect you, I’ll always take care of you.  

The empty subway car stopped in front me, a silver skeleton of a giant creature. Its wide gaping entries opened as the rib cages of a beast long expired. 

The streetcar came around the corner, a great red and black snake slithering its way through the streets of Toronto.  

The Moon was so tiny from here. You could almost peel it off the sky with your fingers, like the stickers on fruit.

There were burst grapeskins at the bottom of the sink when I was done. I remember cracking pomegranate seeds with bloody teeth but not much else. 

Part 2: A Meditation on Infatuation 

One time, he brought back bags full of mint, grown in his aunt’s garden. He gave me one bag and I ate a handful of mint leaves every day for one week. I chewed them carefully between my braces, mulling over him. When I went to Tobermory, I bought him a souvenir gift out of the caritas I had for him. Cariño, I used to call him, the Spanish word for “sweetheart.”  My souvenir gift for him was a wooden fish that he could hang from his walls, because I knew how much he liked decorating the space his parents bought for him. He collected every single odd thing there was, from his sci-fi posters to the metal toolbox on his headboard to the poster of periodic elements that were translated into music genres (Me was for Metal). He liked listening to heavy metal in the mornings. The morning we both returned from our trips, I wrapped my souvenir fish in mint and gave it to him in the midday. He never said a word about it and I never saw it on his walls again. Perhaps he had expected something different. 

I miss you.

I miss you, I miss us back when we sat in King’s College Circle, when you ate the stupid grass because you were trying to whistle through it. When you couldn’t breathe because of the hot air and I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I miss it when you laid your big dumb head on my lap and you held my pinky. When we ate Chinese pastries at Grange Park in front of the giant yellow slides and I was worried about coming home late to my grandma. But hanging out with you felt so sweet, sweeter than the red bean buns disappearing in our mouths. I miss you riding your bike in the amber light at Grange Park when we left the Remo Drive concert, one hand outstretched perfectly to capture the air and to signal to me that we were turning. I miss holding your hand at the concert, guiding you into the mosh pit and looking back at us, smiling and thrashing our heads together to the tunes of trauma. 

Frida Mar is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, with an Honors Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Psychology and English. In her spare time, she enjoys throwing kisses to the crescent moon, as well as using Twitter as her public diary and personal mythology. Frida’s prose touches on one of her many failed attempts at romance, when her heart was deeply broken by a boy who rekindled her love for biking. In this selection, her vignettes explore the boundaries between time and immortality, as well as between romance and heartbreak. 

Photo credit: LinedPhoto on Unsplash

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