Friday, November 14, 2008

It’s Freezing in This Future – Epilogue

I was accepted by both LSE and Dalhousie, and I put off making up my mind for as long as I could. In the end, it just wasn’t good timing for my Dalhousie professor: she’d be on sabbatical during my first year, and another school was trying to hire her away in the meantime. I said yes to LSE.

This closes the book on two long winters in Montreal. No more nightly walk home between close-set snowbanks, no more commuter cars that will need digging out in the morning, no more snow-trammelled sidewalks lodged with split recycling bins, or twin rows of streetlights bearing soft yellow globes. Above each of those, no more thin wooden staircases that twist up the fronts of brick buildings, where three stories of walk-up apartments twinkle at each other at midnight. And still above those, goodbye to the lattice of branches that suggests an arch over everything, and that catches the last drifts of airborne snow, which never loses its newness in the night-time lights—and up, up, to the blank Montreal sky.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like my envies are on hold. I’m in a good place with my studies, and hopefully the love and inspiration will follow. School will take me back to the sea.

This is my ecosystem, every winter I’m here: the salted street eats my boots; my boots eat my leg hair at mid-calf, chafing it away to two naked rings; and I eat the salted street. Although—no man ever claimed perfect harmony with the world around him. I’ve also eaten the friends who live on this street and on others nearby. And I eat you, too. I wouldn’t have survived all my damn-fool plans without you.

Much love,



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