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2005 11 16
Montréal Walkups: No. 4
By Lance Blomgren

Image: Charles Chalmers

Apt. D’Amours (2)

Woke up late to the sound of my own breathing. In the trailing moments of my dream I lifted the toilet lid to discover a cockroach log-rolling for its life on a stray turd. I kept trying to flush them down, but the water pressure was so low they kept floating back to the surface. Through the window I could see a Hydro-Québec worker climbing an electrical pole to fiddle with the wires. In certain positions as he was working, the man’s shadow fell across my bed. At these moments I could see his face, see that he was whistling.

The biology graduate student upstairs had pulled the livingroom curtains so the daylight wouldn’t interfere with the fact that her power had been disconnected. Earlier I had found her note under my door: Blackout Brunch—Dress Warm, Jane, #308. But when I arrived there was no food and certainly no other guests. Thick warm air. Running along one wall of her livingroom was a massive gray metal table that looked like it might have come from an automobile assembly line. The surface was covered with textbooks, flasks and beakers, and dozens of jars filled with beautiful biological specimens. She showed me one of her favourites: a thin yellowish leaf with a remarkable likeness to an adult human hand. As I leaned over the table, I noticed her skin smelled like rubber bands. “So a horse walks into a bar…” she said. “What does he say?” I give the compulsory shrug. “Ouch.” Later, she asked me if I had any candles I could spare until the bank cleared her research grant cheque. When I returned with the candles, her door was closed and I could hear her moving around inside. I knocked a few times, waited, then left the candles outside her door. On the way back downstairs, for no particular reason, I suddenly thought of Charlie Gardner in Victoria, lying naked in his bathtub, a little pink facecloth barely covering his privates.
[email this story] Posted by David Ross on 11/16 at 06:06 AM

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