Walking by the TIFF Bell Lightbox building on King West on the way to work this morning, a guy in front of us strolls along with a hint of a drunken swagger. Dressed in ripped and soiled jeans, a dirty jacket that’s too big for his slight frame and carrying a green plastic bottle crate, he weaves and snakes his way through the early morning crowd. Oncoming people have to steer clear of him, as he moves from side to side on the already narrow sidewalk, seemingly oblivious to their presence.
I wonder why he’s carrying a crate. Does he sit on it outside of Tim Horton’s or Starbucks all day, panhandling for change? He looks down-and-out, like he’s seen better days and now his luck has run out.
Across the street on the side of the TIFF building, an impeccably dressed, larger-than-life image of Grace Kelly stares down on this unfolding scene with mild disinterest.
He seems to sense our approach and slowly turns around to make eye contact.
“Hey, fellas!” He actually shouts this loudly, as we begin passing by.
“Hey, how’s it going?” I reply, in a friendly way.
He blinks. I don’t think he’s used to people sounding so friendly after one of his outbursts.
“It’s goin’, it’s goin’…” he mumbles quietly after a second or two.
At this point we’ve passed him by and are on our way down the street, moving steadily away from Grace’s watchful gaze.
“It’s fuckin’ goin’!” he says, with an increase in volume.
“I said it’s FUCKIN’ GOIN’, assholes!” he shouts, as we make our way to work this morning.