Sunday, October 15, 2006

You know you're becoming a Quebecer when...

I dreamt about Lucien Bouchard the other night. It was sexy. He was in a very tiny parade going past my house, looked in my office window, waved, and snuck out of the parade to lean against my windowsill and chat (flanked by an entourage of men in dark grey suits and oversized black sunglasses). I don't remember perfectly, but I think we just talked about everyday stuff - he asked how my work was going, I commented on his manifesto, offered him a homemade cookie (oatmeal raisin, he seemed to enjoy it), and we promised to keep in better touch. Then he paraded away. I've been suffering through a stretch of not remembering my dreams - I wake up assuming I've had some, but haven't been able to recollect anything until this past week. They're still just snippets, sensations, often triggered by moments in conversation when I start to say something and it hits me that I'm about to make reference to a dream and not waking life. I really enjoyed this one; Quebec has always been this magical place in my mental landscape, created through my parents' frequent trips here when I was younger and their enthusiastic stories. I had a conversation awhile ago with someone who insisted that to him places don't have a feel, but even on daytrips years ago Montreal has always somehow felt like home. Writing about place and identity, Gillian Rose talks about home as "a place in which you feel comfortable . . . because part of how you define yourself is symbolized by certain qualities of that place." Swapping baking tips with Bouchard on a sunny fall afternoon - how much more homey can you get?


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