When the earthquake hit, the teacups on the shelf in my bedroom started dancing around and there were about twenty minutes there, before I checked google, when I thought that maybe they were possessed or enchanted or something.
That night, I had a dream I was pregnant with a gigantic octopus. I was the same size I am now, only I knew there was an enormous octopus larger than a skyscraper inside of me.
I woke up and it was still dark out and my legs were aching like they needed to move. Twitchy legs like old men have. That’s a thing, right?
It was 5:30, and I waited until 5:45 because I figured the serial killers and rapists would be in bed by that time.
I stood in my kitchen, waiting, opening and closing the fridge door. I took out an apple and washed it, then I washed it again using soap and a sponge, and at 5:45 I put on my coat and I said I’m going to walk every fucking street in Toronto. I said it aloud, and I might have woken roommate by saying it so loud.
It was like the earthquake was still going on inside of my body or maybe I really was pregnant with a gigantic octopus only you couldn’t tell from the outside.
I walked east along Bloor and the sun rose like the city was drawing itself in, becoming three dimensional again.
At the used car dealership before Lansdowne, I thought it was raining, but when I looked up, it was just the foil fringe the owner had strung across the top of the parking lot rattling in the wind.
I kept a lookout for the Lansdowne rapist because I don’t think they ever actually caught that guy, and the further I walked, the more people came out of their apartments like they were all coming to say good morning even thought I knew none of them actually cared that I existed, and I guess it was fair because I didn’t care that they existed either.
I got to Korea Town, and the sun was right in my eyes like I was walking into it. There was a doll’s foot on the sidewalk. I don’t know where the rest of the doll went. The earthquake was still going on in my legs and I could feel the octopus tentacles brushing against the inside of my skin.
At Spadina, I went south and started eating my apple. I started thinking about taking the greyhound back from my parent’s house the Sunday before and how there had been a terrific thunderstorm. I had kept falling asleep, and every time I’d woken up I’d had no idea what time it was. It had felt like we had spent all night driving around and around the outside of Toronto, only when we got to Union Station it was just after eleven and the rain had stopped.
I was in Kensington market now, and it was the same kind of feeling as getting off the bus but worse. I knew I’d walked the whole way there, but I couldn’t piece together how it had happened. I thought maybe I’d always been in Kensington Market, looking into the window of a cheese store, and maybe I’d always had an earthquake in my legs, and maybe I’d always had a spectacular octopus in my chest, only I’d forgotten for a bit.
I had to work in a few hours, so I took the streetcar home beside eight or ten people with red eyes andtravel mugs stuck to their faces. I looked out the window at the way people look when they are driving alone in their cars and don’t realize that anyone is watching them. I thought about how all those people were once babies inside other people. I thought about how all those people knew tonnes of other people and how we all somehow know everyone. I thought about how the earth is so big that the sun never sets on it. I thought about the earth how we’re all balanced on tectonic plates floating on melted rock hotter than anything anyone can ever imagine. Sometimes the tectonic plates crash into one another, and sometimes they don’t. I still had the core of my apple in my hand, but I couldn’t remember when I’d finished eating it