Friday, June 11, 2010

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Or not.

This is a post about distance, and by this I guess I mean the physical distance between a person and a destination.

I consider myself a commuting expert, after my two years going to school in a township one and a half hours away from where I live, not to mention working a job in another municipality. And sans wheels, I am a public transit champion. Toronto doesn't have the best public transit system, for sure, but you can get around from A to B, with a little effort.

During my school days, I moved north from downtown to the area known as "mid-town." It cut my commute to school from 2 hours one way to 1.5 hours one way and was purely a move of convenience. I am right on the subway line and can get downtown usually in less than half an hour. The plan is to move back downtown once I get past my three months probation at the new job. But for now - living here is isolating as hell.

Home is where I sleep, walk the dog, and store my crap. For everything else, I'm required to travel. My baseball team plays in a park that's an hour commute. My clinic is about a thirty minute commute; obedience school is forty five. For the next four weeks, I'll be teaching the dog part of Fetching, a bootcamp exercise program for dogs and owners which Ola's launching with a personal trainer friend - that's in the Beaches, an hour commute. Between two jobs, baseball and this temporary fill in gig at Fetching, I'm booked Monday to Thursdays, morning to night.

And on the weekends I've got to, yes, head downtown again, if I want to see anyone. Which, I love downtown. I do. But sometimes...sometimes it's not about where you're going, it's about the person or people that will be there. The backdrop can change, but you're still having meaningful conversation over a pint. You're still catching up, you're still laughing with each other, right? Right?

Well, lately I find myself pitching an idea - meet for drinks here, go see this band here - and am met with "that's too far", or "all the way out there?", and then inevitably, "nah. I think I'll pass." Like, if the destination is not within walking or biking distance, or in the person's neighborhood, they're not interested. Am I being too sensitive that this offends me? I read into this "I just don't like spending time with you enough to sacrifice a short subway ride, or a longer walk." When for me the distance is double or triple what they'd be travelling.

So in short, the politics of distance have been getting me down. I don't always want to have to cater to everyone else. I have limited time available, to begin with. Why is everyone so fucking spoiled? I'm not even asking people to come down to my lame hood (although sometimes, admittedly, it would be nice to not have to go downtown for everything). From Queen and Bathurst to Queen and Roncy is not that far though. Or from the Annex to High Park. It's like people have developed zones - little unspoken radii - that they will not venture out of. If I want to hang with them, it needs to be on their turf. My radius is the whole damn city.

I've recently decided, fuck that. I'm too busy for that. I'm going to be more insistent, or I'm going to start making plans with people who will make the journey to where I want to be. Because I don't think I'm wrong. The physical destination should not be the point.

Also, I really need a car.

No comments: