I took this photograph two days before the shootings on the Danforth. When you exit our friend’s condo in Toronto, where we were visiting for the weekend, and look left, the CN Tower is there, tall and unmoving and slightly space-agey. We used the tower as a point of reference as we walked through the sidewalk patios of King Street and got turned around inside St. Lawrence Market with our St. Urbain bagel; for a few days in a big busy city, the CN Tower reassured me of a comfortable, barefoot dinner with my husband and our friend.
The shootings happened in the kind of Toronto neighborhood our friend made sure we saw, the kind of neighborhood we could have randomly chosen for its brunch spot or summer festival. But we didn’t, and fortunately for us, the shootings happened about thirty minutes after we landed in Vancouver, a distance of mountain ranges and time zones that is shorter this morning.
Somehow, I continue to believe that random shootings implies infrequency, implies another city or country, implies people I don’t know and places where I am not, when, in fact, as every shooting proves, randomness is today and at the store where we buy bananas and while I ask the husband if anything on the menu looks good. Randomness is close. Its odds are improving. At this moment, a tourist in town for a few days is standing at the corner of Yonge and Esplanade to take this picture of the CN Tower, and I wonder what they see.