far too much writing, far too many photos

Last Wednesday: walking out of a building in a small Vermont town. Evening, around 8:30 — twilight, darkness gradually taking over from daylight. Directly ahead of me, a narrow one-lane road extended away, trees on either side. In the bit of open sky above the road, the moon rose slowly. Hanging low above distant hills, big and fat. Butter-colored, glowing brightly, the features on its face drawn so clearly right then, looking like illustrations of the man in the moon that I remember from children’s books growing up — smiling this night, angled to one side, gazing benignly down at this blue planet.

The next night: me returning to my squat late, darkness long fallen. Parked the car, stepped out to find the night air tangy with the faint smell of skunk. Faint but inescapable, present everywhere I went, both outdoors and in. Persistent enough that I could smell it on waking in the early hours. Next morning, finally, the odor had faded away. (Hallelujah.)

The following day, walking downtown in the morning, sunshine pouring down, a beautiful summer day taking shape. A short male approached from the opposite direction. Looking to be in his late ‘50’s, dressed in work clothes, wearing a baseball style cap, brim pulled down, face angled down and away from me. A cigarette held in one hand left a trail of smoke. As he pulled even with me, he burst into a thunderous smoker’s cough, a genuine window-rattler — the kind of explosive sound that could spill water from glasses resting quietly on a table. Left me glad my current life doesn’t include shared time in a living or work space with that kind of soundtrack.

Saturday evening, I pulled on work clothes, grabbed a broom, went out to tackle something I’ve been avoiding: sweeping out the the years’ worth of accumulated dirt, dust and debris from the old garage space that came with my current squat. Raised thick clouds of dust that filled the space and billowed out the door, forcing me to step outside for fresh air every now and then. Had to go through the process three times, concrete floor slowly emerging as layers of filth were swept away. When I’d finished, the hairs on my arms were blond with dust, my workboots filmed with it, wiping at clothes raised further clouds. Need to round up a shop-vac from somewhere and finish the process once my lungs have recovered.

Yesterday morning, I stuffed luggage and laptop into car, followed the highway north across the border, back to Montreal, where I’ve got a small but comfy studio flat rented for the next two months. Once again, up at the top of a high-rise, windows looking out to the west, the city stretching away. Not luxurious, but comfy.

Dragged luggage from car into building, into elevator, up 23 floors (well, 22 — the building has no 13th floor; superstitious gits) and into my temporary squat. Pulled on a change of clothes, threw myself into the Metro, made the ride out to meet a friend at a café. Ate good food, drank good high-test, relaxed, blabbed until the joint closed, employees cleaning up around us.

My idea of a good time.


Extremely funky used clothing boutique along Boul. Ste-Laurent, Montreal:

España, te echo de menos

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