Sunday, June 12, 2011

Into The NIght: Part 2 of Uhaul and Sleep and Save on Parking

...And so it is indeed that there are no rooms available at ANY inn in the city; with thanks to the ridiculous following of the UFC, happening now at the Rogers Centre right here in Toronto.    We pull onto a little side street to set up our sleep quarters for the night. We are lucky to have the deluxe room with a third upright sleeper available which serves as a perfect extension of the other two available; translation: we can take turns leaning in that direction and enjoy the options available for leg room and pillow placement.

We leap out onto the pavement and go to the cargo area to check on the most precious of cargo. We open the door to reveal them tucked very carefully and strategically into the corner closest to the door. Their eyes seem to brighten as they hear our voices. We tuck them in, ensuring their warmth with one of the packing blankets and assure them we will return. We bid the little Teddy Bear hamsters good night and pull the door shut and lock it up knowing they are safely tucked in for the night.

There is a little mall of sorts on our side of the street so we decide to go for a little walk around the block ending up in the mall where we will use McDonalds washroom; out of necessity following a final pre-bedtime beverage and an opporutunity to freshen up before turning in.

We climb into our "bunks" adjust blankets and pillows and nestle into our most comfortable positions; at least as comfortable as one might find until ones body protests and the need for a new "comfortable" position arises.
No real measure of sleep comes any time soon, only small increments of "dozing" which translates to hearing every little thing happening there on Selby St..

I have deduced from comings and goings that on the south side of the street at least two of the homes are inhabited  by college/university students.   I ponder that they have been out to a club or private home party and are returning for the evening, though also make a couple of trips to the mall closest to us on the north side of the street.   One such inhabitant whom I am certain is familiar with the area rushes to the doors only to find them locked up tight and then rattles them a couple of times and then as if in great desperation paces back and forth looking into the building.   She is perhaps hoping for the sudden appearance of joe anyone to let her in so she may have access to an atm or to the much sought after McDonald's coffee?
I rather like watching the world from eye level behind the safe cover of my bright red sleeping bag and whilst appearing to be someone who has simply pulled over to sleep off a long days journey in hauling unknown manner of cargo from no-one knows where!  In onlookers minds, I am just a stranger, but in my overactive mind, I am posing as "average joe" stranger, all the while on a very very top secret, most important stake out of epic proportion, sure to be worthy of a high level of commendation in its completion.

My watch continues...One home is inhabited by one young man, appearing to be a bachelor.   He arrives home alone just as the party goers arrive home next door.    He pays no mind to them, appears  awkward and hurried as he unlocks his door and enters in.  He  has ear length curly untamed hair, is tall and lanky and wears wire rimmed glasses.  He is carrying books.  I try to conjure a glimpse into his  being but I am getting sleepy and it's too much work to put a great deal of thought into.

After having obviously dozed off at least briefly I awake to the sound of a car door slamming shut,  and look up to see what I think is a cop.   I  shake John's arm, "the cops are here...are you ready?"!

John replies he is ready.   We both watch as he seems to survey our unit only for a fleeting moment makes a quick inquiry on his radio and then walks past to the car  behind us and John watches via the side mirror unnoticed.  The vehicle is ticketed.   The cop then walks to the vehicle directly in front of us and proceeds to write it up as well.    He confidently but in a relaxed manner as well walks back to his little vehicle, hops in and drives away into the night.
John laughs as I exclaim, "That was close!", and then he tells me that was not a cop but the City of Toronto parking authority.    I'm actually disappointed.   I like the feeling of "rebelness" in imagining a confrontation with the law, or at the very least LOOKING suspicious!   John adjusts in his sleep quarters and is soon fast asleep.   I keep watch for a while, see a young couple saunter down the street toward's quiet enough they walk without care right down the middle of the road and then doze off if only briefly.

A couple of young ladies rambunctiously exit the "party house" and approach the car ahead of us and are talking rather loudly; must have been a great party and they might actually be venturing on to another party.   The owner of the car stops to unlock the vehicle when she exclaims, "FUCK, not another one...god dammit they fucking ticketed me again!!!", "I can't fucking believe it!" .
She and her friend leap into the car and drive away.   It is deduced she is, hmmm, angry and she has parked here and has been ticketed here on previous occasion!   Their mood doesn't seem affected by the unwanted surprise though.  I doze off.

A cat fight has ensued and I am once again jolted to immediate awakedness as of course the sound is equal to the desperate cries of an infant child.   When this happens at home it's bad enough to feel the need to rush downstairs to the porch and call out for one of our own cats pleading for them to return to the safety of home for the nights remaining hours.   I wanted to make a rescue but this is not my "hood" and I dare not  rush out into the dark of the city's night.   I see a racoon cross a lawn to our left and shudder to imagine he could have been the opposition the cat may have met!   then a large cat appears and meanders up to the front stoop of the house where a group of students had come back to earlier and they hear him and the girl with the pretty red hair and kind smile opens the door and attempts to invite kitty in...I can't help but guess that she isn't so at ease with cats because she never offers to actually pick kitty up and take him into the house but stands awkwardly waiting for him to enter in instead.  She begins closing the door at least twice but opens it again and then finally succumbs to impatience and closes the door before the cat has any further opportunity to accept her invitation in.

the night rolls on and I  slip into "almost" sleep over and over  and can't  help but wonder  how it is that each time  I open my eyes John is sleeping seemingly deeply and at times making funny noises in his state of sleep.  Little wispy airy sounds escape his mouth, or on the verge of snoring/scraping throaty sounds interupt the silence.

I must finally have given my body and mind over to unconsciousness and now open my eyes to daylight...though very 6 a.mish!   John bids good morning and is venturing off for mornings first coffee.  I'm in for a coffee but not ready to partake in any form of breakfast menu.

the birds are singing and it is obvious it will be a glorious day...great for moving but would have made for an even better day to enjoy a leisurely drive and random discoveries along the way!   Oh well, I've rather enjoyed feeling like an undercover agent on a top secret stake out of some kind.  There was a little of that "outsmarting the cop" feel to it as well when upon realizing the "cop" was just parking authority, we had somehow pulled one over on him!   Apparently I may need more adventure in my life...or paintballing or something like that!...maybe Murder Mystery dinner theatre would suffice!  Bahahahaha!

Following that first morning coffee I soon come to the decision that I have reached the moment where my body begs to be fed!  John graciously offers to return to McDonalds; amazing how good their food and beverage seems in our circumstance of bare bones accommodation.

while John goes off into the wilds of the jungle for sustainance, I can't help but notice a car suddenly pull up on an angle in front of our unit.  I panic a little as I am in the midst of changing into fresh attire for the day; beneath the security of my  sleeping bag draped over me.   I quickly pull my pants up from my ankles and thankfully already have my fresh top in place, make a quick glance to the side mirror and push bangs to one side and finger other hairs into place falsely agreeing with myself in feeling that my hair looks properly coiffed.   The slim pleasant  looking parking authority; not cop, approaches as I roll down the window.
"Good Morning", I say with a wide friendly non-threatening smile.
"Good morning", he says, "You're moving today?".
I  replay w/o  wavering, " Yes my husband is just getting coffee for us and we'll be on our way.".
"All right, no problem then, you have a great day!"
"thank you", I say, "Take care and you have a great day too!".
John returns with my gourmet breakfast, I dine and appreciate every morsel of the lovely McDee's breakfast afforded me!
We then hop out, go to the rear of our unit and retrieve the hamsters to join us in the cab of the truck as we will now make our way to our sons new apartment complex.   The unofficial stakeout has now come to a close.
The Apartment is only about 5 minutes from where we are.   Pulling up in front of our sons new home I can't help but imagine how amazed he would with the nature of our evenings adventure  had we truly been "undercover" in a greater sense than simply staying warm beneath sleeping bags in the city without a place to sleep. Of course we could not divulge our involvement with such a stakeout and it would all proudly take on our duty as the eyes of the city!  hahahaha!
I contemplate the purchase of a retired UHaul to convert to an undercover unit of no official use beyond imagined stakeouts!  It was a "moving" experience!

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