Six months are up: time to go back to Toronto see my thesis committee. Anxiety marked the days — maybe weeks — leading up to this trip. People asked me whether I was excited; I searched and searched within me, but no, that was not what I was feeling. Maybe preemptive exhaustion: I already felt tired just to think of the trip. Truth was, I didn’t really want to go.
I arrived in Toronto on an extradinarily windy Wednesday. The trip itself was uneventful (unlike the one six months before). The seven-minute walk from the subway station to the place where I am staying almost killed me. I wasn’t appropriately dressed, having left all of my winter clothes in Canada. Sure, I had a horrible blue jacket on, which, though extradinarily ugly, is extraodinarily warm (its ugliness struck me a couple of winters ago, when I decided to stop wearing. Honestly, I couldn’t believe that I had worn it for so many winters — I could scarcely believe why I bought it in the first place. Maybe because it was super warm, but still… I think my taste for clothing has changed in recent winters).
Beneath the warm’n’ugly blue jacket, a couple of layers which were definitely not warm enough. Sweaters were also stored in my friend’s garage. I didn’t think it would be so cold, and this wasn´t just me: everyone I met said that was the coldest day they had had in a while.
The 7-minute-walk took forever: I had to stop twice to hide from the cold wind, and give my body time to recover.
My face suffered the most: for three months I had been taking some acne medication, which removes all the oil from the skin. This is good in the sense that without the natural oil all the acne-producing bacteria die. But it is bad because without the natural oil the skin loses all its protection against the elements. In Brazil, I didn’t go anywhere without sunscreen. But this morning as I arrived in Canada after travelling for some twenty hours, I had forgotten it. And the tan produced by this seven-minute walk was quite remarkable.
After braving the wind, I got to my friend’s house. She left me the keys and a note she’d be home in the evening. As I took my clothes off to take a shower, I found out that my whole body — arms, legs, belly — were as red as if I had spent the whole day on a nude beach. Without sunscreen.
It’s 9am. I need to go buy good body lotion, and I need to go get my winter clothes from my friend’s house. And I need a nap.