Among the three single people in the Montreal apartment, I draw the short straw and sleep in the small room with the twin bed. However, as last chooser, I win a second, unoccupied small room immediately below mine, also with a twin bed. I install in the second room an orange dodecahedron with white spikes.
Tom diagnoses my stomach ailment and administers pills to fix the plumbing. I feel less drained. In Montreal I sleep through the night for the first time in weeks. Perhaps the mouse in me favors hotel garrets.
I wake at a respectable nine o’clock before the rest of the house to make coffee, toast bread, and type. Montreal bakes infamous hard rounds called bagels. Yesterday, I trudged through the morning damp to bring back a dozen St. Viateur sesame bagels. I could not find cream cheese so I substituted Camembert.
For this trip, we are a group of five: myself, Eve from Boston, John and Tom flying in from San Francisco, and David coming from New York City. All of us are seasoned Mutek veterans that speak some French. We provision on apartment larder with two hundred dollars of beer, wine, and groceries. We cook up a feast of salmon with dill, couscous, and steamed asparagus. At our dining room table, we eat leisurely and smugly. I traveled to Montreal more for this wonderful company than for the music.
The one bit of music I do hear Monday night proves a profound piece from Quebec’s Tim Hecker. Just before eleven pm, we file into a small, dark and foggy auditorium. Lacking furniture, we lay on the carpet. For one hour, Tim Hecker sonically assaults with powerful rumbles, cycling arpeggios, and sonic tornados. I am transported to the eye of Jupiter. I witness nebulae, the slow collision of Star Destroyers, the miasma of birthing planets and their subsequent annihilation. I am inspired that this extraterrestrial epic could spring from a man. Earplugs are mandatory.
After midnight, we tour the outdoor public art of Montreal. The busy city throws off winter and prepares for summer. Parks sprout new sculptures of little waterfalls, faux-hedge mazes, and seasonal murals.