I step onto the streetcar last night, black clouds again threatening downtown. I sit, and watch a man sit in the seat ahead and across from mine.
He was immaculately dressed. He wore a grey flannel pinstripe suit, brown oxfords and grey socks, with a white shirt and pale blue tie with orange diagonal stripes. He was deeply tanned, and looked as though he had just had his hair cut, and I suspected that he looked this way every day.
He carried a small brown briefcase made of calfskin, and from it he pulled paper from it talking about opening an account.
Then the real fun began - what did he do? Was he a banker? Seemed a little north for that...a bureaucrat? Maybe, sometimes political staffers dress this way, but there was something just not quite right about that, an ease with which he carried himself that made me suspect that he didn't spend his days being barked at by the former real estate agent from wherever who is now the Minister of Whatever.
It occured to me that he might work selling clothes, at Holt Renfrew or Harry Rosen, but there is often an undertone to people who work there, the scent of people who spend all their time catering to the rich, and indeed are outfitted like the rich, and yet none of it is theirs. He lacked this quality.
So imagine my surprise when I find myself at the Royal Ontario Museum, having lunch with my mom and my son, and this very man walks past me, in the same suit, and walks back into "employees only" part of the cafeteria at the ROM, which they call the Food Studio, as I suppose it allows them to charge more for juice boxes.
He works at a museum, in food services...the mind strains, maybe he's a curator I wonder, even though any ROM curators I've met so far would have trouble tying a clip-on, let alone master the sartorial depths of this gentleman.
No, let's just let this one play out. He works in a big, beautiful museum, running the food services department (food services - could there be a less gustatory term for providing people with nourishment?).
Never in a million years would I have imagined that.