The Bloor-Danforth Subway, 2005

“Who would have thought? A journey meant to have ended six years ago is still happening. I wasn’t supposed to stay on the Eastside of Toronto. I’m from Mississauga. But something about the way that train curves up and through Warden Woods made me feel like this time I needed to stay. And that’s when I started to believe. Believe that there was more to it. Believe that then, this unfamiliar territory needed my attention. For whatever reason. So I stayed. Not in the train station, of course. At a youth shelter. I was 17 at the time. And the intended destination was no longer available to me. I guess that’s what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket. Or maybe that’s just what happens when you depend on people. Either way, for better or for worse, Scarborough, Ontario was my new home. And this is September 2005. The city is crazy hot. Everyday a nigga getting took. Or two. Or three. Niggas just didn’t care. The streets was on edge and I was about to be the victim of mistaken identity, like I was wearing a shirt that said, “I pushed you there.” And this is before they brought TAV into all the TCH hoods. Before the raids. When a wrong look could put you in immediate danger. But part of me didn’t care. I couldn’t. Perhaps because I was more focused on adapting to my new living arrangements (as awkward as they were). Perhaps its due to my staring problem. Whatever the cause, I was start looking for a reaction. God put me in this new environment for a reason. So what was it? I didn’t know these streets. I didn’t know the people. Why am I here? It was time to get off my ass and find out.”

Excerpt from “A Smart Story” Chapter 1: A Fresh Start



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