i was waiting for the nightbus around 1 am at papineau, one of the last (hopefully) cold nights. a couple behind me in the bus line started dancing, and this wouldn’t have been unusual. but they were practising increasingly complicated steps, with switches and twirls and curtseys, and everybody started smiling. then the bus came and the driver had the front window all made up with plastic flowers and plush toys, and a bowl of candy for the passengers. apparently it’s ‘la semaine de relache’ – school holiday? more and more colleges here are going on strike, so i’m completely out of the loop on who’s studying and who’s not.
in the same vein: yesterday on the 80 down on parc avenue, a lady in a swirly silver-sequined skirt and a gold-sequined beret started playing a small harmonica. a guy was standing opposite her – very normal looking, except his face was painted like a cat mask – nose and moustache. we saw him keep the rhythm, then approach her and start talking, then she played another song and he accompanied her on her tambourine. it just felt so reassuringly logical that these two people should have met and interacted.
i went to have a haircut and spent an incredibly long time (with melanie, haha) being styled by student-hairdressers who had to consult with their teacher before cutting any 2 hairs. now my hair is layered! and ‘texturized’, for whatever that means! and straightened! (i have pictures! the straight part will disappear in about 1.5 days, so.) anyway, while we were waiting to pay and leave, an arabic man comes in with his wife, and we somehow realize that he’d come with her for her haircut, in order to give instructions on how her hair should be cut.
i walked up saint-laurent to bernard/st viateur. i hadn’t been there for at least one season. something small has changed, disturbingly, i can’t really pinpoint what. the mounds of grey snow are melting into small lakes, there are sales on ugly dinosaur-like shoes in outlandish colors. every possible type of garment is almost plausibly affordable, or almost fitting, almost-almost necessary but not really. right after dark (18.10 pm) i had a twinge of fright that it was the anglo bookshop on st viateur that had closed, disappeared – but no, that one’s still there.