Make It Count.

Atop Blue Jays Way Bridge, looking west, September, 2010

My legs were tired. It was minutes to eight and I still had three and a half hours to go in my shift. The next movie screening was at Roy Thompson Hall at 9. I couldn’t be late. They had given me shit last time and there was no way I could afford this grind. I had bills to pay. Things to purchase. My video shoot was in two weeks. I needed an extra 450 for rent by month’s end. I needed to press my mixtape onto CDs. “So many things to do, so little time!” I thought to myself as I took a moment to watch the sunset. I had just dropped my last customer off. They gave me a 5 dollar tip. Not bad, considering I only took them three blocks. This EcoCab job was turning out to be quite the hustle. On average, I’d make around 50-60 bucks. And that was on average. We still got base pay on top of that. But what’s 150-200 a night anyway? I knew I was worth millions. My transit ideas? Billions. And that’s where I was trying to get to. I then started to wonder what I would do once this job was finished. The film festival was only for two weeks and we were told that we would be riding for about one to two weeks after that. Then, that’s it. Getting the job hadn’t been a problem. In fact, in the interview the lady had to me that I had single-handedly placed myself atop the list of viable candidates with my guided direction of taking passengers from the TIFF Bell Lightbox to the theatre on famous, using only bike lanes.

“Impressive,” I remember she recalled as we sat in that Starbucks on Queen East for no more than ten minutes. But that was last month. Now, it was just me, this dynamically-shaped EcoCab and a dream. Ah, my dream. The Transit City Mixtape was going to be the start of something huge. I could feel it. And I knew that, if anybody had a shot of getting where Drake was, it was me. Without a doubt. Find Your Love could be heard just about everywhere, but I didn’t mind. It was the first song where I could actually hear some humility in his voice. Plus, the video was cool. Nevertheless, I was focused on my goals. Focused on my vision. School had already began to impose a significant workload on me and still, I went harder. From class, straight to the LOFT. From class, straight to a show. A meeting. Securing film equipment. Whatever needed to be done, I was making sure got done. Suddenly, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. It was Asia.

“Not again, girl chill!” I said aloud though softly, before ignoring the call and returning back to my thoughts. She had been blowing up my phone all day, and after last night, I knew why. She wanted to come over tonight as well and I had told her I’d see. She was waiting for my reply, just like I had been waiting the night before for her to take off that tight, black summer dress she was wearing. She must’ve had me waiting an hour before it all went down. It was cool, though. Two can play that game. I just a glance at my gold watch. Eight Thrity. Had I really just taken a half hour break? Once coming to the realization that I indeed, had, I self peddled my feet off the ground, onto the pedals of the EcoCab and cruised down the side of the road. Ellen Page was supposed to be at the Ryerson Theatre tonight at 11. And after her performance in Juno, there was no way I was missing that.

Smartie.

An excerpt from ASS: A Smart Story, Ch. 30: Back to the Books 

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