As I board the streetcar, I glance around, to see that the only other passenger is a TTC officer, dressed in full grey and maroon regalia. There is a protective white wrapper over his hat -- probably for the rain earlier in the day. He looks at me with clear, light eyes; they stand out against a tan incongruous with a cool April evening. Voices crackle from his radio.
I sit down and try to open the window. It sticks. I put both hands to work, tugging, grunting, and muttering "frack" but the window stays resolutely unmoved.
He notices. "Stuck?"
"Stuck," I agree resignedly, thinking he wants to share some cynicism about the organization's disrepair.
"No problem." He puts down his notebook, gets to his feet, and hoists a crowbar up off its brackets by the doors. It's usually used to nudge tracks straight, especially where they split off into turns.
He braces the tip against the window; when I lean back, he says, "I won't hit you." He forces it open with a shove.
He's returning the crowbar to its place. "Service with a smile."
I'm undoing my jacket front when he says, "Hasn't been open all winter."
I smile and nod, unable to think of something clever to reply, but later, I realize, Neither have I.
Spring can't be here sooner.