Write Every Day

Taking Flight


A WestJet flight descends from above and disappears into a concrete jungle. With it, recessing any solipsistic remoteness the city nurtured during day time.

Laying on a pool chair on my patio, washed in the evening hues, I was an audience to the view. Andrea nursed her sixth glass of Cabernet.

“Feeling fucking nostalgic,” I said.

She tilted her head towards me, lowered her chin and nodded. Without trying, she recoiled in one of her typical perched-on-a-Bauhaus-table-seducing-a-leather-bag poses. A handbag worth a year’s rent — a downtown apartment with parking and British neighbours.

Modelling for high-end fashion labels was everything Andrea didn’t want. A realisation she had early on in her short-lived career in fashion. And without ever speaking a word, we had come to an agreement — living out of a bag is impractical. Where’s the pretentious painting you bought at last year’s auction going to hang?

On a flight to Bali, Jean told me how our struggle was similar. A decade ago, we had moved to this city, not known a soul and pieced together our life like a Boeing’s engineer. One wing at a time.

We also learned the meticulous nuances of flight. From take off to roughing it out in turbulence, mastering the nimble art of kissing the tarmac. Landing at our destination was inevitable.

“I think it was a thousand rejection letters,” Andrea reminiscing her days living out of a loft. She shared it with 9 people and two dogs, meant for a family of 4.

Andrea had moved here with her then longtime boyfriend whom she left for an American guy. She was looking to score her first modelling gig. I brought only the essentials. A wireless Harmon Kardon speaker set, my MacBook and one thousand dollars. The path to becoming a writer seemed long and entertaining.

Unfettered by rejection, we kept moving forward. But people in Toronto were looking for very specific things. Doing our share of odd jobs we promised ourselves to not quit no matter the circumstances.

“Andrea is a resilient tank. I admire that about her.” Jean said taking a shot of whisky as he reclined in his first-class seat, all thanks to ‘clients’.

“Did Jean tell you about the time I got an offer for doing porn?” Andrea asked with eyes larger than usual.

By Paul Syng

PSD is a multi-disciplinary design practice based in Toronto. The studio focuses on a problem-solving approach that can take any form or function.