Night Ride Home

Cycling home on a crisp May night.

I’ve just left improv class where, among other things, I created the character of Roberta, an aging skateboarder with six children named Doug and an inadequate grasp of mathematics. We were a small group tonight, just three of us. On occasion it’s nice to have a small group, and tonight we gelled well.

The temperature for the ride home was just warm enough that I didn’t have to stick my hands in my pockets. The high from improv, combined with the freedom afforded by deserted streets, made cycling feel like ballet.

One of us three was new, moved here from Toronto just last month. I’ve asked her if she’d met Leo Cheverie yet. She hadn’t. But she’d already met Lobie Daughton, so she’s circling in more quickly than most.

My other character was an 80 year old actor with a gravelly voice and a soft spot for Frank, Sammy, and Dean. I loved her; she’d had quite a life.

To be successful at improv you need to believe. In the teacup you’re holding. In your skateboarding defeat at the 1972 Olympics. That the beer coaster you’re holding really is a leg razor. Or a makeup mirror. Or a mystery novel.

Riding home up Dorchester Street in the 9:45 p.m. stillness, thinking back to my day spent raking leaves, talking about the summer, having a Zoom call with the team in India, solving a problem with the Moon, visiting St. Peters Harbour, getting a hug, and another, having gifted lentil soup for supper, making silly, I am happy.

That too requires belief.

The laundry is done. The dishwasher is running. Olivia is asleep. It’s 11:33 p.m. and I’m about to turn off the light.


Thelma's picture
Thelma on May 3, 2022 - 07:45 Permalink

Beautiful, Peter. I thought the Moon looked a little better last night!

June's picture
June on May 3, 2022 - 07:55 Permalink

What a beautifully written impression of a day. You have a gift for improv and a gift for words.

Cindy Hanson's picture
Cindy Hanson on May 3, 2022 - 10:18 Permalink

What a lovely blog Peter. You reminded me of my days in Charlottetown. For a short period (I think it was on Saturdays) I joined an improv/theatre group. We met, I believe, at the old YMCA/Karen's(??Can't remember names). I haven't done theatre in years -- maybe it's time to come back. Thanks