Friday, May 13, 2011

In Memoriam

I am mumbling and muttering. The things I say might be construed as charming and intelligent if she could make them out through the molasses slur. But she’s cringing and edging toward the fat guy in the red sweater vest on the opposite side of her. Earlier, when light still poured through the porthole windows of Reggie’s and the booze was more conservative, she had told me he wasn’t attractive and that he had a weird smell coming off of him. Now she clings to him; anything but me.

“Warren G. Harding was the most corrupt president. Fuck Nixon,” I try to say. If she didn’t turn her attention from me, I would explain that Harding was chock-full of whores, opium and booze.
I plan to finish my story, but Kyle slaps my back and puts his arm around me.

“Wanna get out of here?”

I nod. “This place sucks.”

“Before we go…” Kyle says and slaps a pack of matches in my right palm.

I don’t say goodbye to the girl, whose name I either never heard or forgot, as I head to the men’s room. Behind the matches is a small plastic bag half-filled with Columbian nose powder. In the stall, I take a small pile on the edge of my house key and inhale through my left nostril, then my right.
I am elated. I am beaming. I am headed to the next club to find a less judgmental woman. Kyle and I step out on the snowy side street - arm in arm - singing Beach Boys tunes.

“Plan?” I ask.

“I have something special lined up.”

I follow him outside, both of us sipping from a mickey of Troika Vodka Kyle keeps in his messenger bag. We stumble down Peel toward St. Jacques and into an abandoned construction site in between the old O’Keefe’s brewery and a police station. It is a half-finished, six-story building with only a skeleton exterior.
There is an alley on the left. We find a fire escape that leads to the roof. Without speaking, we climb it. We are confronted with a bitter chill that burns out cheeks into a rosy mess. The Montreal skyline hovers. The buildings slide down the side of the island like collapsing tombstones. We sit with our legs dangling off the Northeast corner of the roof, waiting for it all to come down. We trade swigs.

“Good to be done. Fuckin‘ semester,” Kyle says.

I come clean. “I‘m not done.”


“My last final was two hours ago, I didn’t show up.”

We laugh in sync at nothing at all, until the pedestrians and traffic below are drowned out in boozy giggles and guffaws. And when it subsides, I search for another break in silence.
To my left is a pile of car tires and unused bricks. I stand, stumble, but recompose myself and grab a tire.
I lob the first one off; it probably lands in the alley. The next heads into St. Jacques.

“What the fuck?!?” Kyle screams.

I turn around, expecting to see someone else; someone lovely. Then I remember she’s gone. She was lovely and now she’s gone.

A brick I throw lands in the police yard. Glass shattering. The echo of a car alarm.

We run. Down, down down.

We run until we’re on the street. We run until I slip and land hard on a snowy plain.

I wake up hours later, half-drowning in the rain water falling from above. My cheeks sting and my head aches. Dried blood crusts over my upper lip.

I am in a park filled with industrial sculptures somewhere off Rene Levesque, alone.

I climb over the park wall and sit atop it, watching the morning traffic rise and fall out of view on the 720.
Last call ended hours ago, but I know a little place. Sun is rising now. Where are we headed for breakfast? Someplace close, I hope. Darling, I’m just too damn exhausted.


  • Adam says:
    June 6, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Kenny, you are a ridiculous person sometimes (that's probably being conservative). I can't find a way to say this without being insulting, but here goes: I miss you, but I can't say I miss the hassle of your (sometimes prolonged) moments of insanity, as exemplified in tires and bricks above. Having said that, I think we should hang out again eventually, and I enjoyed the story.

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