Last Saturday was an exercise in letting go.
I was heading out on the town in Montreal with Adam and Josh, two friends of mine who scarcely seemed to know where we were going. It was Nuit Blanche, though why anybody would hold an all-night event in Montreal at the end of February is beyond me. The evening had us wander around much of the core, and get increasingly drunk, until such a point that I was convinced that if I somehow lost track of my friends that I would never be seen again. I almost referenced a short story that nobody else I know (except for possibly Elena) has read. Regardless, not knowing where I was, where I had been, or where I was about to be is a terrifying prospect for me. After I got over the fear, it became a strange species of exhilaration, hurtling through a city, snippets of strange spaces clinging to my memory for a moment like soggy newsprint on a windshield, then gone.
But boy, do I ever digress. What follows is something that lodged under a windshield wiper. (metaphor fail)
Nearing the end of the evening, we had worked up a healthy appetite by achieving various levels of stumbling, slurring, shit-talking drunkenness and decided to get some food. We headed (in some direction) to a nearby Belle Pro. Being a Montreal rookie, I didn’t realize that this was a chain restaurant, a fast-food one, and I definitely didn’t know that we were going to the club district location. Inside, we were greeted by a greasy, flourescent room rammed with hammed, unruly club-goers. Somewhere, cutting through the wet, bubbling din, it sounded like someone had successfully hybridized a cat with a chainsaw, and it was in heat. The line to order stretched across half of the restaurant to the door. People who had just recently gotten food (possibly the children of those who initially got in the line) pushed through the bolus of people still waiting to order, occasionally spilling drinks and french fries and poutine on the newcomers. A girl who looked about 14 went around asking people in extremely drunken french for rolling papers. I excused myself from the line to go and pee, only to discover that someone had vomited in the urinal.
Returning to the line, I discovered what that sporadic, growly yowling was; there was a short man, maybe in his mid fifties, working the sole cash register. People would spill out of the slowly seething mass of the line, order food from him, and he would translate it into some broken, incomprehensible syllables and spew them out. His seven or so grill-n’-fryer minions had apparently learned to parse these bits of speech and would prepare the appropriate food. I was giddy with anticipation to order my food, to see if I could learn a bit of this fast-food pidgin.
Sitting down and tearing into our rapidly-congealing meal, we noticed that the line was slowly diminishing, likely shouted into oblivion by this stocky, gravel-and-duck-voiced man.
More things probably happened but I’m surprised I remembered this much.