There will come a day when I don’t make the walk up to the Sunday Market at the Memorial Centre. It’s inevitable. The knees will give out, or the mind. Conceivably we move into another neighbourhood (once the kids have left home), or out beside a quietly muscular river north of the city. All good things come to an end, you realise. Think of the restaurants you go to every week for years and then all of a sudden don’t visit any more. TV shows that were essential viewing and then are suddenly dead to you. I know how the world works.
But for now, we make the walk. And an hour later we make our way back home. A tub of pierogies for Lucian when he wakes up (around noon on Sundays). A tote bag full of Will Freeman’s ridiculous radishes and a loaf of seedy white; if there’s room or money maybe even a quart of Loon kombucha or a cider.
They’re making pizzas up there now. Hip-looking family with an oven not much bigger than the pie itself. About three minutes start to finish. I don’t know how they do it. Some abducted alien technology, I suppose. A blistered crisp crust not much thicker than a papadum. A salty, sweet sauce so fresh images of the fields the tomatoes grew in bloom in your head as you walk away, the box held carefully aloft, as if it might contain the crown jewels. Rounds of fresh mozzarella blurring at the edges under all that heat. Fresh basil torn once. The same ingredients are involved everywhere you go, pretty much, but this is the best I’ve had. And we’re having it at 10 am on Sunday mornings now. I mean, Jesus. That can’t be good for the figure.
There were about fifty people writhing slowly on the grass there today. It looked like someone had stolen their shoes and they’d fallen in unison to the ground. A woman stepping among them telling them how exactly they should wriggle into their mats and save themselves. Someone claimed it was a yoga class, but come on, get serious. I mean, I’ve seen yoga. This was much weirder, a performance art of some sort. Or maybe an audition for that artist who had everyone lay around naked on the steps of some Paris museum a couple of years back. People looking for a moment’s fame, then.
Willa watched them with her slice of pizza and I pretended I didn’t want any of it. There was a kid riding a dog, which isn’t smart, and another kid going around so damn fast on some ropey spinning top in the playground that she was horizontal. I waited for the worst to happen and watched as her grip loosened, but then her dad stepped in saved her. Twenty minutes later I saw him still massaging his shoulder. “That there was centrifugal force in action,” announced some professorial type. I’ve had plenty of teachers like that. Had to fight the urge to laugh at them then, and still do now. Point being, I suppose, that some things never change and others change all the time. Which is why you go up to the market every weekend - just in case