August 16, 2003

happy birthday to me
thursday was my birthday. i can honestly say that this was my best birthday ever. definitely most memorable.

hanki was gonna take me out for a sushi dinner. work was hectic, just the way i like it. i had manchu wok for lunch. telus sent me a birthday greeting through text messaging to my cell. my computer and the computer next to me was infected with the slammer virus, but we cleaned it out easily and we were fine.

things were going great. we were getting really close to home time. i was definitely looking forward to the sushi!

then, it happened.

my computer turned off. luckily i had saved recently, so no biggie. the lights were out too though, that was a bit annoying, but we have great sunlight from the windows. so we all sat there. then my co-worker's cell phone rang. it was his wife. hummingbird centre lost power too. then another cell rang.. it was my friends girlfriend in New York. power was down there too.. wow! so we all grabbed our things and headed down the stairs. we're on the 27th, so it was quite a trek. i noted that the washroom water wasn't running either.. interesting.

when we got downstairs, there were lots of people down there, all whispering about what had happened. no one knew about NY, so i told them about it. no one really believed me.

it was a HOT day. i don't usually have to go outside, because the subway is connected to both my office building and my condo. it was REALLY hot. i took off my shirt and changed to a T. still hot though.

we noticed that all the streetcars had stopped, and that all the buses were packed. some of them said "extra fare required". i got separated from my co-workers and started walking east towards Yonge street. when i got there, i found that tons of people were just walking up north, so i decided to join them. i didn't have a plan or anything. i tried calling some downtown friends just to make sure it wasn't the Rapture. then my signal died. i guess everyone was using their cells, so signals were getting mixed badly. sometimes it wouldn't dial, even with full reception. other times, the line would ring, but then it would stop ringing and no one picked up.

there were a bunch of black teens trying to sell calls from their cell phones (which apparently were working fine). "$2 per call!" they yelled. i just shook my head. dumb kids..

i was hot, but i have a pretty good thresh hold of heat. i actually enjoy hot intense humidity, believe it or not. but i passed many people who were clearly suffering from it. at first stores on yonge street were selling water, but the further uptown i got, the more i found stores just giving it away. i saw a few buses drive past me completely filled right to the front steps. it became more and more apparent to me that i would be walking home.

the distance from my work to home is about 15 km. where i live is considered 'uptown' compared to where i work which is 'downtown'. i'm not sure why it's up and down, but thursday i found it might have something to do with the incline. my walk home on thursday was all uphill.

i'm not sure which coffee shop i went to because i was just dried up and wasn't paying attention. anyway, i got an iced cappachino (no, it wasn't timmy's). that thing sure was refreshing, even though their ice machines were down, it was still pretty slushy. once i had the drink, was quite happy. i found myself singing out loud. first, it was I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever, then it was Jesus, Lover of my Soul. I sang pretty loudly, although no one actually looked at me so maybe it wasn't THAT loud.

around rosedale or so (i go by the subway system, cuz i don't really know the streets), i ran into adeline, the girl who emcee'd lon's wedding banquet. she was with her bf andy. (i think it was andy). she didn't recognize me at first (what else is new). we walked together all the way til sheppard. that girl is a trooper.. she was walking fast and full of energy. didn't seem tired one bit, whereas i was lagging behind. i think at around eglinton we ran into andy's old roommate from university.

i think it's pretty interesting how we ran into people we knew. my feet were burning.. like hot burning. i thought the skin under my feet had grinded down to flesh.. that's how it felt. my legs were aching. yet, this girl adeline was just going, not one bit tired. she had running shoes on though.. i think that is an unfair advantage!

the whole time i kept trying to call home to make sure the grandparents were okay. they didn't pick up the phone though. i was worried they might have gone to china town. i prayed hard they were safe.

when i first ran into adeline, we saw a pickup truck with a bunch of people in the back. we ended up passing them on foot, but they caught up to us at around york mills. i think cars on the street must have lost so much gas from idling and waiting. there were some kind people who tried to help direct traffic only to be honked by the drivers. if only they thought for a moment what a huge difference these people were making.

anyway.. eventually we got to sheppard. adeline and andy parted from me at that point since they lived there. i walked a few more steps, crossed sheppard, and collapsed at the sheppard centre, right around the stairs.

when i came to, it was morning and i was naked. just kidding. i just took a break and when i looked up i saw my old childhood friend mike. he had me beat, he'd walked from front street. i discovered he lives in the same building as danny. what a small world! i called home again and finally they answered.. God really answers prayers.. they had gone out before the outtage, to go shopping then came back -- and the kicker -- our building had emergency power reserved for elevators, so they got home safely.

instead of sushi, i had peaches and lady fingers for dinner. i took a shower with a flashlight..

and that, in a nutshell, is the story of my 25th birthday.

oh.. another interesting thing i found out that adeline is actually hanki's cousin.. what a small world indeed!

No comments: