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  •   Montreal



    We had raced for it, sometimes like bandits, but sometimes stopping at the rest stops 

    in the green hills of Vermont until we finally reached the border.


    Nous avons retenu une chambre, I said to the man at the desk at the hotel on St. Denis,

    when we finally arrived.  I had no idea what his reply meant.


    I did that through the entire trip, in fact, only spoke French unless I absolutely had to

    speak English.  This drove you crazy, as I wasn’t able to understand their accent at all,

    and I never let you watch TV in English the whole time we were there.


    J’ai un mal a la tete, I told the man at the pharmacy; and he sold us some codeine pills,

    Canadian Vitamins, we called them, I ate fifteen or sixteen a day, which made you

    nervous, but you had a couple every so often anyways.  We couldn’t shit for days.


    You always had a thing for cats, and for some reason, the shops in Montreal are

    loaded with carved wooden cats, probably made in China by kids who work twelve

    hours a day for almost nothing, but that wasn’t important right then, even though

    it usually was.


    I bought you one, which you lost on the bus.  You seemed so sad, as though it were

    a real cat you had only known briefly after spending all that time picking him out

    at the pound, so I bought you another,


    and all the walking, walking, walking, we walked everywhere, stopped for drinks,

    stopped for food and more drinks, we were drunk all day long, and we laughed

    at how badly the pizza sucked in Montreal.


    We walked and we drank, and the sex, we fucked constantly, two or three times a day,

     in the shower, or on the bed, or on the dresser, or up against the wall, we fucked and

    we ate and we walked and we drank, we laughed, and the shitty pizza and the codeine

    and the cat on the bus.


    The only thing you really wanted was fondue, you loved the stuff, and there’s

    not much in Boston, and you were never really much for all the crap the tourists

    flocked to anyways, and neither was I.  It took us days to find some.


    Pouvon-nous avoir le fondue et une bouteille de vin rouge, s’il vous plait?


    I had learned how to order fondue and wine in French, and finally we found some

    in the Old Quarter, a bright restaurant facing south, facing the river, facing the border

    and back the way we had come, and neither of us knew that that was the last time

    I’d ever order fondue in French again.


    About The Author

    J. Richard McLaughlin

    J. Richard lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is a writer, semi-professional musician, amateur trapeze artist, and jack-of-all-trades. His work has appeared in The Santa Clara Review, Prism, and The Chaffey Review, among others.