I dare you to call me a pessimist……or, where the fuck is the fucking streetcar?

I catch a lot of flack for being an eternal pessimist. I’ve always been told that I look at the downside of things, that I’m negative, blah blah blah. I disagree with that for a multitude of reasons, but would compromise on the term ‘realist’.

This morning though, in the cold of a Toronto February, I realized that I am, in fact, a true optimist. A diehard, always hoping, never failing optimist.

That…..or I’m a fool. The line is thin and possibly blurry.

Observe: Every morning I take a bus down to a street with a streetcar for my commute. I have tried out three commuting options for getting into the downtown core from where I am, and as anybody with any brains would have predicted, each route sucks ass. The route I’ve chosen seems to suck slightly less ass and has the benefit of at least being above ground for the entire ride, reducing my chances of dying of Vitamin D deficiency. (The other options are streetcar – subway, or bus-subway-bus, for those who care).

The bus drops me off, I cross the street and stand dutifully at the streetcar stop. Every morning I think to myself, ‘Maybe today is the day that I won’t have to wait forEVER for the streetcar to show up!’ or alternatively, ‘Maybe today is the day that I won’t have to wait for two streetcars to drive by me before there’s one that I can sandwich myself onto’ or even, ‘Maybe today is the day I’ll get a seat!’.

I stand there, shivering, doing that dance that you do when you’re so cold that your primary focus in life is maintaining feeling in your toes, I walk back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I toe at the crusty snow, I check myself out in car windows as they drive by and notice that I am turning bluer and bluer. I exchange other desperate/annoyed glances with fellow Torontonians who are trying to get to their respective cubicles. My heart skips a beat when I think I can make out the vague shimmering shape of a streetcar down the street and plummets into my stomach when I realize it’s just a delivery truck. I find myself longingly staring at cabs, with their lights turned on, sirens of the modern urban commuter, trying to rationalize spending the money on a warm ride to work.
And alllll the while, I think, ‘Any second now! I’m sure it’s juuuuust around that bend!’

No. No it isn’t. It never has been. It never will be. For some reason, it is just impossible that I should arrive just before the streetcar does.

But every damned day, I hope. I hope, and I actually buy into my own bullshit. I never veer from the routine, I never use the alternate routes. I wait, loyally, and stupidly, for that fucking streetcar to let me down once again. I’m that dog that keeps getting kicked, but just keeps coming back thinking that maybe this time, there’ll be a treat instead of a foot to the face. What? Too far? Nobody laughs at kicking dogs anymore? Oh, lighten up. I dont condone kicking dogs. Or cats. Or small children. Adults, knock yourself out, they probably did something douchey anyways. Where was I…..

So this morning in the cold, I realized that I am not a pessimist. No no. I am a rainbows and puppies and sunshine optimist. And one day when the streetcar actually DOES show up and I actually DO get a seat, it will fuel my pie in the sky hopes for months. Until then, I will continue freezing my ass off and being that person who has to hold themselves up with the handrails so that I’m not standing on the steps so the streetcar can go.
Sure, I totally get molested inappropriately as a consequence of way too many bodies in way too small a place, but fuck it, the body warmth is better than the bone chilling cold out on the sidewalk.

See? I’m putting an optimistic spin on everything now.

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7 responses to “I dare you to call me a pessimist……or, where the fuck is the fucking streetcar?

  • trisha

    I would never dare to call you anything except witty, talented, and determined. Ascerbic would be about as far as I would dare go and I consider that a compliment, too! heheheee

    I love the adjectives! Keep ’em coming!

  • Peter 'n' Bunny

    Ahhh, strange body head. 😛 Things are looking up already. 😉

  • Carla Pearson

    I’m gonna say it – here I go – IF waiting in the cold sucks so hard…WHY WHY WHY not choose the glory of underground??? I would KILL for a subway that shields me from the winter that lives about ground. KILL.

    • ijustliketowrite

      I’m pretty sure you’d also KILL everyone around you if you tried to take a southbound train at 8:30 AM on a weekday morning. I don’t take the subway cuz it’s a bloody cattle car, and I can’t even get ON it.
      It’s for my mental health, which is precarious at best. If I take the subway, I hate humanity by 9AM. Streetcar, I am just mildly disappointed and irritated by humanity.

      • Contest queen

        I have to side with Carla re: subway vs. streetcar. Yes, the power could fail and you might have walk through a frighteningly dark and dirty tunnel one day, and yes, a mad bomber could target you along with the rest of the cattle in the car and the rats down below, and yes, you’ll be groped on a regular basis, and yes, you’ll be ‘losing’ those extra minutes of sunshine, but, in my books, the warmth will always win.

  • Scott

    That’s really it!

    Pollyannas are people who either don’t know what real suffering is, or are to shallow to confirm it. Optimists, like you, keep getting back up, after being knocked down! I remember a poem from middle school, called “Still Here”–“I been scarred and battered, my hopes the wind done shattered…but I don’t care, I’m still here!” And a little off topic, there’s also a quote: “Religion is for those who are afraid of going to Hell; spirituality is for those who have already been there.”

    Good post–the kind that makes commenters ramble, like me!

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