Monday, October 09, 2006

The Ryerson Adventure Part 4

Chapter 3: Conquering The Chinese – Part 2: Endurance

Tony, makes a quizzical face in my direction, but like him I have no idea what this scratching is. Well let me say ignorance is not bliss because not knowing is killing me. The sound is boring a hole in my head, and I’m dripping in the hot milk of suspense. Scratch…Scratch…Scratch Scratch…Scratch……Scratch…Scratch Scratch. Every fiber, every inch of my body aches to turn and investigate what this sound is. SCRATCH! I look at my phone displaying analog time on its digital screen, and chuckle at my sense of humor. SCRATCH! But this moment of enjoyment is cut short as my brain actually processes the time the phone is displaying. The second hand isn’t moving! They say time flies when your having fun, so my only hypothesis is that the immense amount of non-fun I’m having from listening to the scratching has altered time. It feels as if time is slowing down…I can feel the milliseconds being ripped away from the space time continuum and my body flows through this continuum by the nana-second. SCRATCH! I’m not going to last if this keeps up, I can sense it, two more scratches and I’m done for. I search for a solution: Building sound proof headphones from scratch? (I chuckle of the irony of this thought). No that won’t work, time is of the essence, so I focus all my energy on enduring this irritation. Scratch. Okay, that scratch wasn’t so bad, it’s working. Scratch. The last scratch was practically harmless. But keeping my mind in this state is taking a toll on me. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up. I check the time again, it’s been one minute since all this scratching has started. Hardly any time at all. I stumble as fear grips my heart in a chokehold of doom death and destruction. What if this continues for the next kilometer? I feel chilled as the answer appears as a wavy, 12 point Ariel font at the front of my cerebral cortex…I’ll perish. A voice jolts me away from my images of death. Tony’s looking at me, a concerned look on his face, apparently for other reasons however because he informs me we have yet to reach the first checkpoint of four on our map. It’s 3:45! We’ve been walking for 45 minutes and we’re not a quarter of the way there yet. I feel as if the world just crashed down on me, the china town smell is suffocating me. SCRATCH. My defenses are gone and I’m about to turn, but my legs won’t co-operate. What If it’s a ninja sharpening his sword? One does not berate sword sharpening ninjas. SCRATCH. My mouth is hot, I’m sweating, I’m…I’m….I’m… Silence. I can hear the scratches but only very faintly as if someone has turned down the volume. I decide I can risk looking now. Behind me and lightly to my right, what military strategists and fighter pilots would refer to as 5:00 rapidly becoming 3:00. In winter boots that an Inuit would call unnecessary is a 5 foot 3 Chinese man who has decided the energy required to actually lift his feet off the ground while walking is better saved for more strenuous activities, possibly racket-ball. I hear Tony laughing as he asks,
“Are you kidding me?”

The question defies response becoming useless in the very nature from which it originated.

“I know.”

The bootman walks off to my right as Tony looks at his map and announces that we have reached the first checkpoint. I take a whiff of the air and don’t smell fish. The road forks in two and we head right. China Town resides behind us. In and out. Not so bad.

(to be continued)