(james benedict brown) on the road

Now we are three…

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 1 April, 2006

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With Spring comes more change to the apartment. As some of the plants begin to take brief sojourns in the mild spring sunshine outside on the balcony, Ryan and I have been cleaning and moving furniture around to make room for a new lodger. In the game of apartment-musical-chairs, Ulli is now living here once more. The move more than halves her rent, and means that our recently arrived friend Mélisse will not be thrown out onto the street when Anna returns to the du Buillon apartment. Confused? Don’t worry, it makes sense to us.

On Friday evening I got off the métro a few stops early at Beaudry station (which might one day be re-named Beaudry-Village, it seems) and walked from the bustling strip of St. Catherine up onto the plateau. I skipped three stations and a frenzied rush hour change of trains at Berri-UQAM in exchange for a refreshing thirty minute walk through some of Montréal’s prettiest neighbourhoods. I’ve done this on two evenings now, and plan to do it much more to maintain a healthy balance between commuting by métro, bus and foot. The early warm weather has banished Montréal’s sizeable community of winter coats the dusty cupboards for the next six months, and in the gay village, everyone was out, about, and seeming much more beautiful than when wrapped up in winter gear. For Montréal’s unattached population of beautiful young men, cruising on the streets of Montréal involves much less guessing of what might be under all those layers.

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I zig-zagged through the side streets between Ontario, Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke, and then walked along the edge of Parc la Fontaine towards avenue du Mont Royal. The months of litter, grit and detritus concealed by layers of (now melted) snow and ice remain, and while it is fairly scummy, I don’t mind a bit of urban grime. When I came home I found the apartment in a state of frenzied cleaning: furniture had been displaced, the windows were all open and the cats were perched on stable vantage points wondering what the hell was going on.

Today our apartment’s (human) population has grown to three. The back room beside the kitchen has been converted from single purpose television room into Ulli’s nest. The existing futon now has her new mattress on it (you should have seen us getting that one off the 97 bus) and her table has been re-assembled by the window. The television has moved to the studio, but I suspect we will soon be moving it to a dark corner. The shelves above the kitchen sink are heaving with exotic teas (how does she expect to drink them all before she leaves us on 28 June…? *snf* so soon…)

When the time came for a short break, we unfolded the balcony chairs and moved onto the flat roof. Eleven months ago, when I came to this apartment for the first time, Ryan, Kenton and I had sat out here in the same situation: a beautifully warm sunny spring evening, with a bottle of beer each and an amazing few of the blue sky turning pink. The smell from the roof top ventilation shafts (from the restaurant below us) brought back sensory memories of last May, and the sounds of people in the streets and ruelles below washed back from the past. Spring has begun, and many changes are a foot. It’s good to have three of us here.

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