far too much writing, far too many photos

Have been in Montreal now… (pause to count fingers) …six days. Six days of eating well, staying up far too late, sometimes sleeping in, sometimes not.

Vacation. (Such a lovely word.)

Found a gym a short five minute walk from here, went on Tuesday for a session of virtuous suffering. The facility’s in an underground shopping mall, has no windows, no view of the outside world. When I stepped indoors, I left behind a beautiful August afternoon. When I re-emerged an hour and a half later, a near monsoon was underway, skies low and dark, rain slashing down. The wildness subsided quickly, I walked back here, gym bag in hand, streets wet, moisture spritzing from clouds giving way to blue sky.

I made stepped into the crosswalk that’s right near the entrance to this building just as a taxi approached. It slowed, then as I crossed in front of it, it surged ahead, the driver’s foot on the gas pedal, moving suddenly at me — the bumper may even have touched me, I’m not sure. All I know is my body took over, trying to throw itself back and out of the way, feet slipping on the wet pavement, my back landing on asphalt, a loud profanity-laced protest coming out of my mouth through it all. (Not sure I ever imagined myself spewing something censorable in a moment like that.) I thought I was going to be run over, but the car jerked to a halt, the wheel resting against my legs. Brain adjusted to the change in scenario, body hauled itself to standing position, hands brushed moisture and dirt off jeans, heart slamming against the walls of my chest through it all. The driver mumbled a sincere apology as I moved toward his open window, not looking me in the eye, looking nearly as shaken as I was by the turn of events. I thanked him for that and let it go.

I have to say, I appreciate the guy responding like he did, taking responsibility, apologizing, giving a damn. Last time I was in a sitch remotely like this one was in New York City. On my motorcycle in traffic that had come to a dead stop, waiting for things to get moving again. One moment I’m there waiting, looking around, next thing I know my motorcycle and I leap up into the air then hit the pavement. The foot of the cabbie behind me had slipped off his brake pedal, his car had surged forward, slamming into my bike, making us briefly airborne before that hard landing. I lay there for a moment collecting what passes for my wits — the cabbie’s response: nothing. No sign of concern, no indication anything out of the ordinary had just happened, expression blank. I had to get to my feet, stand the bike up, go over to the knucklehead’s window — traffic beginning to move around us — and instruct him to pull over once we’d gotten off the bridge. Then I had to follow him, make him slow down and park‘cause it appeared that he was thinking of trying to bolt instead of giving me his insurance info.

This time around? Much better. In every way.

And then life moved on, skies clearing, sunlight filtering down through tree-lined Montreal streets. Back to the regular scheduled broadcast after a small shot of excitement.


Alley doorways — Montreal:

España, te echo de menos

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