The original tranfusion came from a spontaneous cigarette exchange. You can read about it here.
Ok, so the stranger wishes me good luck and I continue south and sort of east. I walk past the Forum-former home of the Montreal Canadians hockey team. The building is now a movie complex/shopping mall. It has its treasures, but for another day. The Atwater library is further down hill. I’ve been there before, but not after receiving an electromagnetic transfusion from Quebec’s greatest ball hockey player.
Inside it’s all wood, white paint, and horse shoe arches. The people are old with white hair. It feels heavy, but it’s probably just the humidity. The conversations at newspaper tables and the check out counter sound light and friendly.
There is no air conditioning, just beads of sweat. I can already feel them rerouting back into my pores. It feels good like almost outside my mind good.
The card catalogue is still in use and looks like it always did, like a mausoleum, but the the drawers are filled with information, not death.
796.357 is on the second floor, but it’s actually the first floor because there is an angled airplane ladder leading up to a second stack of books. It’s like boarding a plane without the tramway. The runway lacks the wind and sky all over the place, but human flight still seems possible.I climb.
The floor is plexiglass and I’m not sure if it’s sturdy, but the fall wouldn’t be that bad anyway. Some books are old, some new, and a few I’ve never seen before like “Le Grande Orange des Expos,” a kid’s book about one of the most popular Montreal Expos. A red head from Louisiana who took to Quebec and its language and people like no other ballplayer.
I jot down the title and the names of a few others, “Slugging it out in Japan”, “The Gashouse Gang,” and start feeling greedy so I walk outside and leaves are falling beside the train tracks in premature autumn. It’s only August.
I have a lot more to discover, but I’m in no hurry so I stash the day’s magnet beside St. Stephen’s Church.
I will happen by in some unknown future, maybe after the city suffers its first winter face lift and I will feel like a fur trapper with Hochelaga legends in mind; a 500-year series showing no signs of slowing down.