Bocce (The Band) and Montreal

Bocce- Again Again Again Again

(continuing with the Canada theme)

We all took a trip to Montreal for the weekend. Two cars full of excited people took 87 North through the Adirondacks pushing our way into new territory. It was this past fall that we went. We got there in the early evening, opened our doors, put on sweaters, smelled the Quebec air. 

We stayed in an apartment. The tenant was a classmate of Ben's friend and had recently moved out after his apartment was broken into by crack addicts several times (we found out that there was a Crack den that shared a wall with the room we slept in).
We smoked cigarettes indoors, slept on the floor, ate when we could, and didn't bathe for three days.

That night, after a Lebanese dinner we walked around, taking in the city. It had a European feel, but in a way that seemed developed out of heritage. Sleek stores and warm, kitschy bars lined the streets. We passed a club called Tokyo. We walked around, going from pub to pub. I felt welcome and that I had blended into to the Montreal culture, wearing my WNBA jersey and purple cardigan. We all drank Boreal Beer by the pitcher and bought wine and tall boys at the corner store. 

We were sitting/standing in a bar full of Americans. This wasn't the place for us. Mack, Charlie, and I looked at each other. It was so obvious what we had to do. We walked out into the street- we would meet up with everyone later. The three of us walked back the way we came. We stood outside a closed storefront, listening to the party in the apartment above. And then we walked down a hallway. There was a jamaican food stand at the end, but we turned and went up the corrugated stairs. We turned left and found a tattooed woman with a fish bowl asking for donations to go inside. We smelled floral marijuana, we smelled refreshing beer, we heard an excited band, we heard people laughing, and we heard people dancing- so we donated. 

We entered a loft apartment filled with people swaying and flowing, waves of hands above them. We watched guys with keyboards and basses and drums playing music in their underwear. They told us- they were telling everyone- what Canada could feel like. And it really felt like that to us- An echoey, cold expanse, but we were all inside an apartment, inside a district, inside a city. What a simple reflection! Yet it dug into us and pervaded around us, and we knew it to be true.  We danced and enjoyed. We were in another country and felt truly a part of it; inconspicuous and kind-hearted.

We left to meet our friends. We, the whole gang now, went again from bar to bar.

At the end of the night, Charlie and I went around the corner to have a drink and some conversation- we were feeling overwhelmed and needed a change of pace. We met a kind and pretty waitress named Hailey. She grew up in Toronto but  then moved to live and work and go to school in Montreal. She told us anecdotes from her life as we drank our beers on the patio on the side of the street. We felt a sense of compassion from her, each part of her life's history that she shared with us was told like she was speaking to long-time friends.We told her about our town, she told us about hers. We traded childhood experiences from each of our hometowns. 

Hailey's boss told her to go break down the tables and chairs as the pub closed. On our walk back in the dark, cool, early morning, Charlie and I agreed that she was the kind of girl you want to write post cards to.

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