A photo I took when my back problem was at its worst. Over the course of a month my work made me fly economy to Bali, Houston, NYC and Montreal. At a time when I could barely walk and couldn’t manage the upright position. I was completely broken… How the fuck did I survive those trips, I wonder? Anyway anyway good times but what’s prompting this very lame reminiscencing of mine is re-reading stories I posted on cowbird.com a few years ago. That Montreal snapshot is still very vivid in my mind. Along with the back pain.
Man, was I grateful to Alexandre and his sons that day. I had been limping my way through Montreal in search of a place to rest — and when I say “limping” I mean “crawling on all fours”. My sciatica was killing me and by the time I reached Alexandre’s brasserie I was bent in half, on the verge of (not-so-manly) tears.
As soon as I got in, I knew I had stricken gold. The place was inviting, cozy and was buzzing with just enough hustle and bustle to give it a great vibe. Most of the patrons were Suits On Their Lunch Break — they all looked like they were holding on to their jobs just so they could continue to hang at Alexandre’s.
The food was great-value-for-money — your classic no-frills brasserie fare — and the Chablis (a lot of it) made the back pain go away. I was happy.
But what made that lunch so memorable was what was happening at the table next to mine: it was occupied by a woman and a man in their late 40s, fresh out of a board meeting I bet, both looking sleek and attractive, and they were in what looked like a serious conversation… Except they were discussing the merits of Buffy and Battlestar Galactica. That’s right. I could not believe what I was hearing. I was awestruck. At that moment I thought the Canadians were the coolest people on earth and that Montreal was the hottest place to be.
That Montreal trip was the last straw that broke this camel’s back. I went back to London and lived completely horizontal for a couple of months until I had surgery.
Alexandre et fils
1454 rue Peel,
Montréal (Québec) H3A 1S8
Tel. : (514) 288-5105