Montreal: Like a Grown Child Behind a Hydrant

The winter nearly killed me. That and the half piece of bacon I thought I’d try to begin the process of bringing swine back into my life. I threw up three days of food into the snow beside the church and moved on the Biosphere. “I’ll come back in the summer,” I said.

Canada oh Canada, I can hear Jonie Mitchell and James Blake blowing. And I waited too long to write this because I can no longer tell what made the trip most amazing. The four people who’d never vacationed together, the surprising events around each corner that had nothing to do with the Jazz Fest I’ve been dying to see since childhood, the psilocybin that turned me into Jesus in the middle of a park or the raccoons and their pretty eyes and small hands, taking nuts from mine. This trip was amazing.

The “learn French” line on my list of goals is slowly being scratched through, and my Sockless Summer list is proving to not be a clump of bullshit I threw together in a moment of inspiration. This is all real. I could live there. I could love there, even in the winter. Sitting on a floor with the heat blasting and ice wine and bourbon not far from reach. This could happen.

There were pancakes and tea each morning for breakfast with Oscar from Germany and 20-somethings who put money on Argentina. There was laughs with Molly and Jean, both from Montreal, and both giving us new thoughts of things we’ve come to know. This was Montreal. Maple syrup hidden in lemon gelato like a grown child hiding behind a hydrant. This was amazing.

A completely blue sky at 4:11am and new close friends who needed to be alone to reconsider what life before this trip was about. That was worth sharing a room with 14 others, and a potentially going broke. “Life has to change,” Montreal said.

And I could live there. An amazing summer in the early autumn of this life. I’ll go back soon.

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.