From the archives: October 19, 2005.
Lemon-yellow, white almond-eyes: pointed leaves slick the dark sidewalks and pattern the windshields of the parked cars. We walk up the street, my arm in yours, past the lace-curtained doorways, the night glow of late suppers, readers, bedtime stories. The car wash is buttoned up, the grey concrete rinsed and swept, hoses hung in wide arcs on the wall. A doorway; hunched knees of a long-haired girl smoking a joint, and here, past the seminary-now-condos, a grey kitten interrupts our stride with sharp cries for affection. Autumn vines twist on wrought iron; a mother descends, the child stops, coughs.
After the dark, tree-lined side-streets, lights glare on Mont-Royal. In the Jean-Coutu, the smocked cosmetic-girls head for the back exit, leaving a window of plastic pumpkins leering beneath oversize, flying masks. A blonde girl in pink sateen walks a black dog. Lunettes sleep in their glass cases; rattan baskets hang empty beneath white-lettered chalkboards: “asperges”, “champignons”. In a café, a final patron cradles his coffee, the stools already on their backs for the evening, legs in the air.
Back onto a side street: the dull red of overgrown begonias cascading from a windowbox, a tree encircled by a knee-high forest of nasturtiums. On a third floor, a girl bends forward, straightens up against warm beige walls, making a bed. We look down the empty alley, past the chainlink fence and its sign: terrain privé.
Your hip sways against mine, our walk a familiar dance, a little slower tonight. No need to speak; we see the same things.