Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday Night Blues

Everyone knows that Saturday night is for couples – dining out, dancing or ignoring each other on the living room couch. Like so many other singles I find myself alone. Instead of dozing in front of the TV set, I get dressed and head for “the Main.” In Montreal this is a busy boulevard (St. Laurent) that runs north to south in the center of the city. Crammed with shops, restaurants and cafés, it’s also a multicultural street. As I approach a well-lit area, I see people of all ethnicities, many of European stock such as Hungarian, Greek or Portuguese.

The outdoor terraces overflow with patrons eating or sipping wine. I smell moussaka and fried squid. From further down the street come the strains of a live band, a bluesy sound that could have been from New Orleans.

I enter my favourite café and order bottled water and a bite to eat. Then I sit, watching people and cars stream by. At this corner there are pedestrians of all ages - families, friends, lovers or singles like me. Some walk briskly, on their way somewhere; others step in tune with each other, chatting as they go. Several of them are leashed to Irish wolfhounds, poodles or Pekinese, the dogs as diverse as their owners. A middle-aged man strides by with two bouquets of flowers wrapped in cellophane. I wonder if he's booked two dates in case one doesn't work out.

I sink my teeth into the strawberry scone. It’s doughy and satisfying, not too sweet. Reminds me of the desserts my mother used to bake; recipes she has long forgotten.

The street is half-closed due to construction. Cars now edge past my café window, bumper to bumper. Everyone wants to be somewhere else.

For me it’s enough to be here, my senses absorbing what’s around me. I am at peace with the world, even on a busy Saturday night.

No comments: