"I'm not going out!" I yelled at my mother just now.
She had headphones on and, I suspect, Netflix on at full blast.
The Aged P has gone rather deaf. Her father was rather deaf, too. His family thought it was from shooting down the Luftwaffe. However, after a few years of the 40-something Aged P telling her children not to mumble, she began to suspect genes, not the Luftwaffe, were to blame for her father's early onset deafness.
When Aged P took off her headphones, and I repeated that I was staying in, she gave a sardonic but friendly cheer. I think it a good idea to stay in from time to time--even though my parents will surely watch television instead of engaging me in board games--to prevent accusations that I am treating my parents' house like a hotel.
Let me think. Where have I been going? Saturday night--stayed in to battle jet-lag. Sunday night--family dinner with sisters and nephew. Monday night--in Koreatown North with literary pal. Tuesday night--V&A pub with kindergarten chum. Wednesday night...
Wednesday night I went out in fear and trembling to an inter religious dialogue event at my beloved theologate. I found out after I graduated that my dear old college was considered rather liberal. Meanwhile, while I was there I was rather indignant that some students thought I was rather conservative.
"I'm centre-left," I wailed at the time.
"I'm centre-left," I wailed at Boston College.
The amusing thing about Lonerganian-- and I was trained by Lonerganians to be a Lonerganian--is that, be we Marxists or be we free market anarchists, we all think we're in Lonergan's "not-so-numerous center." (Lonergan, a Canadian, used American spelling, which irks me.) Anyway, I'm clearly no longer centre-left or even in Lonergan's not-so-numerous centre. No, I am clearly a bloodthirsty TRAD, so I was a bit worried about my reception.
However, the wonderful thing about my theologate was always its hospitality, and I was welcomed back with smiles, hugs, news and gossip.
One of my favourite former professors gave a paper about Catholic-Native Spirituality syncretism. I was so moved by his description of the dire poverty of the Plains Indians in the early 20th century, that I felt rather bad about having described my mangiacake self as marginalised. As marginalisation goes, being taunted by classroom nitwits for three years is not that serious, I admit.
After the lecture I took the subway north with my very favourite former professor, and our conversation was moving too.
Then on Thursday, Valentine's Day, I hastily donned some clean clothes after work and went to my youngest brother's for dinner. When he answered the door, I discovered that he had turned into a Toronto Russian. That is, he now has Toronto Russian-style facial hair and a gold chain. He revealed that Pirate is also intentionally dressing a la Russe. This interested me very much, for being mistaken for a Russian surely prevents one from being reviled as a mangiacake.
Naturally I approved the imposture, and wondered aloud if either brother or nephew might be interested in learning Russian. Naturally I had read Winter of the Moomins in Polish on the way there. I prefer to read Polish on the TTC, not only because its a great opportunity, but because the vast majority of people around me are also thinking in at least two languages. It makes me feel like a real Torontonian instead of a born Torontonian. There's a sociological paper in there somewhere.
Meanwhile my brother eyed my fake bear skin hat askance. Apparently it looks too real and might get me attacked with paint. I think I would be much more likely to be attacked for this hat in Edinburgh, and that in Toronto it's too cold for paint-attacks. Besides, Toronto vegans probably think it's not nice to throw paint on foreigners, and given my hat, my tweed coat, and Zima Muminków, I look very foreign, let's face it.
After a very delicious dinner and a bottle of wine, we went woozily into the cold and snowy streets for dessert. My brother lives in a spacious (for Toronto) apartment in a now-fashionable district, so I enjoyed looking at all the snazzy shops and inviting bars on the way to the ice-cream parlour. There, despite tentative plans to become each other's fitness accountability buddies, we shared a banana split.
It was past midnight when I got home, and I felt a bit guilty. However, I consoled myself that my mother was unlikely to sniff at me for getting back so late on a work night when I had been out with my own brother.