Cora’s twenty-year-old self had always wanted her twenty-five-year-old self to have days like that. She was in a building that was half ice factory, half studio space and concert venue, and she was watching her friend play improvised electronic music. There were cables webbing across the stage, and her friend was one of three enormous spiders spinning rhythms while the eighteen people in the audience nodded their heads along in appreciation.
Cora usually got bored at this kind of thing. The people were too sincere, and her twenty-first century mind needed action, action, reaction, action twenty-four tabs open at the same time, but there was a screen behind her friend projecting distorted videos of what might have been Ghandi and what might have been Rob Ford, and she was a little bit tired and a little bit drunk, and everything seemed to be going ok.
Earlier that day, Cora had left work and walked in the cold and the sun to Kensington Market. There, she had met a guy in line behind her at the ATM. He had never been to Toronto before and was only in town for a week, and Cora tried to be extra nice to him so he would have a good impression of the city and the people who lived there.
After the ATM, she had gotten two Jamaican patties and walked up the street in her sunglasses and leather jacket with a patty in each hand. She had taken a bite of one patty and then the other. She had realized that eating Jamaican patties and walking up the street wasn’t an innately cool thing to do, but something about the situation, probably the leather jacket and the sunglasses, had made her feel like hot shit.
She had walked to The Annex where a girl she was trying to be friends with but didn’t know very well yet lived, and she’d stopped for tulips on the way because she’d decided she wanted to be the type of person that buys flowers for her friends as often as possible.
And now Cora was at this concert in the ice factory and it was where she had always wanted to be. She had always wanted to eat Jamaican patties and wear sunglasses and watch distorted videos of Ghandi and Rob Ford and nod her head in appreciation with eighteen other people who were also nodding their heads in appreciation.
The sounds were just sounds to her, and usually she would have been bored watching a guy with a scratchy tape player, a guy with a guitar and her friend behind a computer, but she was suddenly the type of person that wears leather jackets and makes friends at ATM machines and goes to intimate concerts in enormous warehouses, and somewhere in all that she remembered that sound is a wave. Low sounds are long waves and high sounds are short waves and all those waves were travelling through space from the speakers to her ears, millions of waves and millions of sounds, and they were happening just for her. There were eighteen people in the audience, and there were sounds for each one of them, waves in the air like the ice factory was a loud and invisible ocean. They were all under water and they were the water and the water was waves upon waves travelling though them and out the other side.