story #4: the postcard home
location: cafe replika, 252 rachel est
I have been alive, haven't I? Well then, surely a story must come up. I must have something to say, something to share of who I am now and how I've come to be. And yet, I can only think of the few scenes that piece not a person, but a city within a few days. Scenes akin to postcards, the type I would send home for the season's greeting that show more of this city's becoming than my own changing. And perhaps, it ought to be so, for these postcards say more of myself than I could attempt in words foreign to the last memory of me left back home. Perhaps, telling them through the city, that now is my home, will say more about me than writing about myself in profusion.
In other words: "I am living and I have grown, yet do not know how to say it," I say. "Well then, let me say it for you," says the city.
The streets have awakened in snow, and roofs carry the unexpected visitor as a comforter. Branches knit the white blanket rolling down the street for blocks ahead. Soon, the sun will unravel flakes into droplets, and balconies will shed layers laying sheets of ice on my front door steps.
The light poured purely into the café this morning, enough so to notice the abandoned flakes of snow collecting bootprints in the form of puddles. The prints had some of the men, the women, the dog and the children; mine lost somewhere someplace, but surely somewhere there.
I walked the street home, the one of merriment with whimsical balustrades of Avenue Laval, for its admiration is one of inevitability and my uplifting one of necessity. By chance, I passed a boy yelling to his father already a few houses down, "Where are you going, Dad?" to which the father replied, "For my haircut around the corner." The boy then asks for a candy if he passes by the Dépanneur on his way back. (The father asks for the request to be repeated, for the father is now many houses down and still the boy stands at his front door unwavering with the firm decision not to venture into the snow at all.)
If not at a café nor waking slowly at home, the people of this city (on such a day of such a season) will be found in the market. I imagine it to be humming with the weekly meetings and the season's greetings. What we found was sophisticated gluttony on our visit some mere mornings ago. Still, Marché Atwater is where I shall bring my sister currently looking out her train window, as she thinks of how different Christmas will be, this being the first spent without family. As her twin, I can only admit fraternal thoughts.
The cat purrs peacefully on the blanket that keeps me warm. I have her company on such days on my own. And so, if any scene of me in the city does not suffice, picture then me and my cat resting peacefully in a house. This is how I am as I write to you now.
I hope these postcards get to you on time, in health and with love for my missed absence this year. What is obvious, my long-awaited visit cancelled by the world's Event, I hope to dispel not in another 2 years, but in the comfort that in the meantime, I am in health and with love in my own home here.
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