There is a giant tiger head on the dining room table. It is so casual just sitting there, it is comical. Oddly enough, I just finished rereading my favorite book about Mabel Stark, world renowned tiger trainer from the 1920's circus scene. I was born the Year of the Tiger. I also like stripes. Therefore, therefore nothing.
The light is low, so low I know my Dad would be concerned if he were to enter JJ's living room right now, but I like it. JJ is snoring in bed, Richard is tucked in across the hall and with sleep having escaped me, I am curled in the white and wood living room typing and thinking about a million things. One of those things being tigers and the circus and photography and how good the Mount Eerie/Julie Doiron collaboration is. Tomorrow's To Do's include stocking up on bagels before I go and clocking an hour or two with Lo's French-from-France artist beau Remi at his work table (who is nothing short of a genius with ink and expensive cardstock oh oh oh), maybe visiting the Belgo and Le Cagibi one last time even though it makes me sad and ashamed of a certain phone booth heartbreak when I walk through the door. But the coffee is the best there so I have no choice but to muscle through the initial regret and find my table in the front window and settle into the fading paisley arm chair (that I have fallen in love with and claimed as my own) with Mabel Stark and an allonge in hand; sans regrets.
My time in La Belle province has been so warm and so warranted and so good for me thanks to the people that I am surrounded by. The company of Richard and JJ and Loco is a constant reminder that home is something we carry inside of ourselves. But on the note of home, I miss mine and am looking forward to going home to a home, not just to a bed in someone's something. I want to stay up late with Devendra and Timbre Timbre and put my new saddle on my Surly and go for a long night ride so long as the snow has left town. If the snow is there when I return, I will still lovingly change over the old saddle for the new and hang up both bikes for the winter season.
Good, I am looking forward to being in my home.
Yesterday I ate my Sunday Thanksgiving dinner alone in a Pho noodle house in pretend Vietnam, Montreal. There were so many long tables laden with eight hundred kinds of food for so many three to four generational Vietnamese families (oblivious to Canadian Thanksgiving) that I was caught off guard when my chest heaved from missing my own family. It was a good lesson Mother, a lesson on the importance of attendance that rooted itself in the depths of my body. I won't be going anywhere for a while. I sat there, head bowed slightly, my pens and drawing pad speckled with chicken stock and gave thanks for my own family and friends and the Vietnamese food in front of me and the city that has been such a pleasure to explore alone. Montreal, I am giving thanks. Thanks for being unreal. (Photographic evidence to come, refer back).
I am thankful for you, and you, and you.
Why do I love Vietnamese food so much? I guess I am a Vietnamese tiger at heart.