A Lazy Sunday of Vaguely Medieval Badassery
(September 10, 2006; my muscles thank you)
Lazy Sunday, late afternoon - too late to go to the gym, too early to flop back down in bed for some pre-sleep reading, the time of day when nobody cares what I'm up to. I exit the subway station a few stops north of home and amble eastward to the St. Clair Resevoir, a city block-sized park which stands about ten feet above street level. It's an oddly isolated-feeling place in the middle of midtown, the CN Tower one of the only buildings visible in the distance. People run with their dogs, wrap themselves around their partners on sun-warmed benches, and jog around a well-worn track, and most glance at me as I pass. I smile and wave with one hand, cheerfully twirling the purpose for my visit with the other. Nobody says hello, but I don't really expect them to; I'm happy enough that they don't seem to mind my presence.
Making my way to the quieter southern end of the park, I toss my satchel on the grass and tuck my iPod into a back pocket. Painfully aware of the couple watching from about fifty feet away - not to mention the half-dozen runners who loop behind me every couple of minutes - I start slowly, holding the wooden practice sword at my side and dropping into a comfortable stance. For a while I wind my way through the moves [info]stephenmblundon has taught me: sideways cuts, attacks at invisible opponents' knees, parries and slashes and showy ripostes. It's repetitive and quiet, exercise and practice more than any real exertion, until the right song comes on.
Strangely, it's like dancing; I'd normally consider that kind of comparison trite, but here we are. My disinterested audience fades out, and I may as well be at Velvet Underground on an unusually good night - without any particular thought, I find myself lunging and twisting and switching hands like it's not something I'd just been struggling with, and when I catch a glimpse of my long shadow, it looks good. The weapon is giving me useful feedback as it moves through the air, and I'm moving with it; this is nothing like sparring against an actual human with actual muscles who might actually hurt me, but it's enjoyable all the same. The beat in my ears urges me on, and the next time I pay attention, five songs have passed and sweat is pouring off of me.
That's about enough of that. I plunk myself down with a book, letting my heartrate return to non-speed-addict levels as the joggers eye me with distinct perplexity. A tall guy with a very small dog looks highly amused, and we trade grins, though mine's a bit sheepish. Eventually I force myself to cool down, and wander back to the subway station, making a brief detour at the giant Loblaw's next door.
Interesting fact: people respond strangely to you when you're in a grocery store carrying spinach, salad dressing, yogurt, and a sword. I can't think of any better way to banish a Sunday, but I do need to make myself some sort of sheath for logistical reasons. :P So if you've been wondering how I've been lately, apparently I've been like a VNV Nation song: all honour and fearlessness and repetitive basslines and SWOOOORDS!!!
I am NEVER going to get a date for the prom at this rate...