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A Toronto Lonely

Writing by Sophie Rose // photograph by Rossana Battisti

It’s a very special

And very specific

Type of lonely

The loneliness of a city that has been

Shattered by swollen from soaked in heartbreak

(Mine)

Eight

Earth-stopping lung-shattering chasms

 

The first

In my bedroom

Koreatown

Halloween

My brand new orange comforter burned my eyes

The only thing I could look at

As I found out

Slowly
Quickly

Not sure how to measure time

(Violated

Physically, viscerally)

That the guy I liked was a rapist

 

Another

In a dingy cafe

Parkdale

Almost Christmas

With a suitcase of dirty clothes

En route to the laundromat

A recent ex, a beloved ex

In the middle of a long message

Admitted he “didn’t love me,” not really

The two and a half years i’d loved him

Flashed bright, too bright, and went grey somewhere between my heart and my mind

 

Again

On the 60 Bus in the July heat

Queen West

Getting a text from a man I’d slept with

The first one since the bad one

He had fallen asleep afterwards, in my arms, watching a movie

Tattoos, rings, bearded, cigarette smell and long dark lashes and suddenly he seemed gentle My heart had swelled

On the bus a ping

He had found someone else he

“was actually excited about”

I got off early and cried on a corner

It was 8:47am and I walked the rest of the way to work

My eyes were itchy

I sweat through my shirt

 

Boom, crack, crack, boom

In a different cafe, January

A nice one

Little India

Getting stood up by a guy I trusted

Working, working so hard to bring him to me

Because he was special
We were special together
I knew it, he knew it, he didn’t want it

Back in the same cafe

Months later

A voice note

“Don’t ever do something for me and expect anything in return”

Uncaring
Curt

Cursed cafe

 

Then

An itchy red couch

Corktown

My birthday cake in hand
March

Someone who looked at me like stars shone out of my eyes

Someone who leaned into me

Needed me

When he was grieving

Someone I adored

Told me he was falling in love with me

And could not, would not be in love with anyone right now

The whiplash

The breakup / the romantic moonlit makeout hangout / the drunk lovey texts from mexico / the ‘friend’ hangout / the hugs at work / the ‘you won’t lose me’s / the telling me you couldn’t come to my play / showing up to my play / glaring at me at my play / the radio silence / the giddy smiles seeing each other months later / the cold, robotic messages / the radio fucking silence

 

After that

Walking home from the gym in the dark

Riverside

September

Messages on messages on messages

Mean, the type of mean someone can only be if they don’t have to

Look someone in the face

From an actor I’d slept with, trusted, admired

An arrogant, talented asshole

Who hated being out of power

Who hated being called out
I called him out and he called me jealous, broken, unattractive

Who told me no one would love me as long as I was still healing

 

But the worst two weren’t men

 

One

Financial District

My closest Toronto friend

Told me in no uncertain terms

That she cared more about her pal having a bad boy toy

Than she did about my being raped

It’s not the same, she said

This boy toy wouldn’t break up with his girlfriend for her pal

Who was having an affair with him

Explained how garbage this boy was, how trash, how she wanted to kill him

In the next breath
Explained away my abuser’s behaviour, his actions, his intentions

Questioned mine

Because she knew him! He would never! Am I sure it happened the way I said? He just made a mistake, though. He’s a good guy.

As though these types of things never come from

“Good guys”

 

Two

Leslieville

A former roommate

A current soul sister

Sent me an email that I read on a patio

An explosion of emotion, a slew of accusations

How bad a person I am, how bad a friend I was

How we weren’t close, like I thought we were

How constantly I insulted and upset her

How I misjudged our relationship

How I disgust her now

How four years of best friendship

Mean nothing

 

A city that has been

(Yes, also swimming in love but)
Soaked in heartbreak

Can never fully be redeemed

Can never truly feel like home

Can it?

Sophie Rose

A girl trying to make her way in this crazy world (currently Toronto). Her heart is split amongst the lovely people who’ve allowed her into their lives. She’s writing a book about them, and this. If you want to be a part of it, email info@ramonamag.com about this piece and they’ll help get you in touch.

 

Rossana Battisti

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