Monday, May 28, 2007

In the Fog

Shelley and I are at the cottage. At least, that's what it feels like. Truthfully, we're in an apartment in Montreal, but with the skylights and the no plans and the eating whenever we damn well please whenever we damn well please and the reading the paper and magazines and type type typing on my laptop, it feels more like we're on a relaxed cottage vacation than on the Plateau.

Just fine with me, since I have a migraine.

So I keep asking Shelley “What time are we picking Steve up?” and then saying “Oh right. 5:30.” And nothing I eat really tastes like anything. Except for the overwhelming raspberry of the new lip balm I had to buy because I forgot one of the 10 or so lip balms I have squirreled away around my apartment.

Come to think of it, I think maybe this migraine started yesterday. I got to Shelley and Steve's (now old) house and realized that I'd forgotten my water bottle, my reusable mug and lip balm. These are three things I rarely travel without. Me without lip balm is like. Well. I don't know. Something very anxious and prone to cold sores, at any rate.

We had a lovely slothful night last night. Shelley made a tasty stirfry, and I was very much in the mood for something noodley, so it hit the spot. Then we drank mint tea, ate chocolate and dried figs and Shelley read magazines, and I got decently into a book called “How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead.”

It contains some very good advice, but so far, what I've gotten out of it is that you should read a lot, you should write a lot and you should methodically send your stuff out and read it. It is ironic to be sitting reading a self-help book about how you should be reading fiction and writing.

Today has been nicely slothful too. Drinking coffee. Wandering down to look at a restaurant for our fancy dinner tonight. Brunoise is closed on Mondays, but I didn't find this out until I walked inside.

There was a man sitting at the counter with a white cup beside him, cappucino foam dried to the rim, and the paper spread out in front of him, almost finished. A woman had a laptop set up in the back corner table.

He noticed the movement out of the corner of his eye, turned to me. “Bonjour,” he said.

“Uh, hi.” I said back. Not confident enough to speak French – is reservation a real French word, or one of them there faux amis? - which makes me unsure of my English as well. “Should we make a reservation for dinner this evening?”

He smiled, a small laugh too. “We're closed today.” Waved his arm over the counter. “As you can see, I am just in to do some very difficult work on our day off.”

“Ah, I see. I do hope you get everything done you need to.” I laughed too, and left.

Shelley was very disappointed. In my laugh, I had forgotten that we were both very much looking forward to eating there.

It is hard to find a fancy place to eat on Monday in Montreal. Lots of stuff here is closed. By the time we had called the 4th restaurant on our list – Pinhxo – I made a reservation immediately because I think the answering machine said they were open, lundi a mecredi, from 18h. But they haven't called back, so who knows.

Since getting the food arrange, we've sat at the dining room table to read the paper. I tried to write my last NYC blog, but my brain is too misty to follow any kind of thread. I walked to St. Laurent to try to buy a new black cardigan, but the store I wanted to go to is closed. We've had lunch, a delicious risotto made by Shelley, that she said was very flavourful, but I thought tasted like fog.

The migraine seems to have broken my tastebuds. I had a Tim Horton's coffee on the way here, and it was fucking awful. I hate Tim Horton's coffee anyway, but it always tastes the same, and it always tastes like something. This coffee tasted like brown water. As did the coffee I had this morning. As did the coffee I had just after lunch.

Two things I do not like doing without are lip balm and the taste of delicious coffee. I think I'll avoid beer until my head gets better, because I would be very very sad if I had to add beer to the list of things that tasted like crap.

Shelley is sleeping now, and I'm about to stop tapping away to take an advil so that 1) when I drive to pick Steve up, I'm not trying to make sense of Montreal traffic in the fog, and 2) our fancy dinner will not taste like mist.

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