…outside of the blogosphere, in Montreal at the end of May. You’re in town for the week—we’d catch up over coffee. Friday late morning could work, after I drop my daughter at the daycare. I could meet you at Kokkino Café—I’m in the mood for a cinnamon bun. Let’s say 11-ish.
The place isn’t crowded, you’ll find me among the regulars, sitting outside with my laptop, wearing a fedora hat, and a checkered grey and white blazer. I’m jittery, not because I’m nervous, which I am—we haven’t met yet and I don’t want to disappoint—but I fidget, with my coffee, my laptop, my hat, the back of my head. I like to see myself as the strong and silent type, a stoic character played by Ryan Gosling. What I am is a Woody Allen character, buoyantly clumsy and loud, tripping on the shadow of my laptop, even when I am sitting down.
I stare at the passerby, and I imagine them all to be you: that pale mid-twenties woman coming out of Saving Grace Tattoo, with a cellophane-wrapped calf covering her permanent trip to Montreal memento, or that mother and daughter duo with a bag from Melons & Clementines looking my way, and smiling as I smile back before she crosses Sherbrooke Street towards her car, or that handsome bald man with designer glasses who reminds me of Steven Page, holding a pocket book.
How will we break the ice? Did you know that my high school is only a few streets west? Ben’s place was our hangout, just a block away on Regent Street. His folks didn’t mind the loud music—we would sing over Paradise City past midnight, and carry out heated arguments over the meaning of David Bowie’s Five Years. It was at Ben’s place that we got drunk on Jack Daniel’s. We were badass. I should ask about you… Is this your first time in Montreal?
I have a thing for blue candies, you know, the mysterious blue flavour some brand will call blue raspberry? We should get you some blue whales before you leave; I enjoy sweets in the morning myself. I’m talking again, I’m sorry. It’s a French Quebecker thing… Can you understand my English? Can you hear the French accent? Am I speaking too fast?
Let’s go inside and order you something. Coffee? Tea? Juice? How do you drink your coffee? Tell me something about you…