Gum tin


As I leave the city that has been my home for thirteen years (a noncontinuous period disrupted by a stint in the suburbs, four years of university, and a jaunt on The Continent), it seems appropriate to dust off one of my first adult memories of Toronto.

It was my very first Big Boy job interview. A freshly-graduated (and freshly-shaven) me rode the GO Train into Toronto wearing a brand new suit (thank you Sears) and clutching a leather portfolio. I looked, to use the parlance of the time, legit. The opening was for a copywriting position at an investment company and seemed like a fruitful way to exploit my economics background and my proclivity for B.S.. I was excited. 

The interview went OK, but after stepping out of that short gold-coloured building, and into the bustling and indifferent crowds on Bay street, I knew immediately that I wouldn’t get the job. I pulled out a Nokia cellular (this was the mid-naughts) and called a friend, dejected.

Fortunately, by the time I got the rejection letter I had landed another gig and eventually wormed my way downtown. I spent five years sinking deeper and deeper into the Hogtown quicksand and Toronto became my Home. Two weeks ago, I left for San Francisco. I finally got a writing job in a short building in the financial district, but in a city far away. I’m starting from scratch and looking somewhat legit.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Right before the interview, I hit up Starbucks and realised I desperately needed some gum. This was the tin it came in. It would later serve to hold detritus, i.e., jazz cigarettes. It did not make the trip.