Wednesday, March 3

White ceremony

We have a beautiful winter.

Patrick Lagacé
Patrick Lagacé

Not too snowy, not too cold. I don’t know about you, but it’s not the snow that is slowly killing me, personally, it’s the cold. The great cold, the – 27 Montrealer wet that pierces your femur, 514-sur-Oïmiakon …

Saturday, at sunrise, it was already magnificent, the big snowflakes – I am not talking about the new logo of our soccer club – were falling lazily and I guessed, through the window, that the snow would be heavy. I went to shovel, and indeed, it was heavy, heavy but not too much, slightly waterlogged snow.


“Saturday, when we got up, it was already magnificent, the big snowflakes – I am not talking about the new logo of our soccer club – were falling lazily and I guessed, through the window, that the snow would be heavy”, writes our columnist.

After five minutes, I had a puncture, I took off the polar fleece. I made a path from the parking lot to the door. The crabapple seemed to have been covered with cotton. Carrying away the snow, my toque brushed against the branches of the serviceberry bending under the weight of the snow.

In the alley, the noise of children running behind their parents. In the alley, the world greeting each other. It seems to me that humans greet each other more during snowstorms and the alley is no exception …

I had errands to do, I was following a snow plow on Saint-Grégoire. I called my friend, let’s call him the Dude. To my left, the park was full: runners, skiers, walkers with dogs, walkers with children in the sled, I was even told of a snowman competition …

“How beautiful are you around?” asked me the Dude

– So much.

– The tree branches must bend under the snow?

– Put some on. I brushed the branches of the serviceberry with my toque earlier.

– I went for a walk earlier, it was beautiful… ”

I was looking for a bottle of wine that I can’t find anywhere anymore and which, according to my research – I had done my research, I was doing my own research before it was fashionable -, was perhaps being on the shelves of a restaurant on rue Saint-Zotique Est…

If you didn’t know, a new drug appeared in Montreal, I would say around last May. This is plain unfiltered wine: addicts are up for all kinds of antics to get hold of it, like rolling through blizzards for a simple bottle. The pandemic took these wines out of restaurants, the SAQ sells very little, the law allows restaurants to sell them, a nice valve for importers …

So I parked in a snowbank on Saint-Zotique in front of the restaurant, drugged in search of his dose, in search of a bottle of Il Rozzo, still conversing with the Dude (we had reached the point NFL agenda).

“The last LDT match, it went badly, he has something to prove …

– Wait, Dude, wait… ”

I was walking in the snow, looking for the restaurant, I only had the address.

A restaurant… I didn’t recognize the alphabet… Sri Lankan?

Still, when I pushed open the Pumpui door, I immediately saw the bottles on the shelves…

But not Il Rozzo.

An employee pointed out to me another section full of plain wines, but still no Il Rozzo, much to my disappointment. So I took each bottle to study the liquid in the light of day, looking for the perfect nectar while the Dude continued talking (he had reached the Hospital Triage Protocol in times of COVID-19 …) .

I chose another Italian, the Belloti Rosso, with a cap like the Coke bottles, or, should I rather say, like the bottles of Pinard et Filles, the Everest of Quebec natural wines …

I was hungry. I didn’t recognize anything on the menu – it was a Thai restaurant – what do I eat, madam? She recommended the gaeng kie ow wan to me, a green curry, wait, wait, Dude, I have to pay …

I returned to the magnificent winter, a snow plow let me cross Saint-Zotique. It was still going so slowly, I passed a winter cyclist who was cycling in the snow, unlike me who rides in the dry in Winter. A real one (him, not me).

And I saw a woman getting on the bus with her cross-country skis: Montreal, winter, in one image …

My alley had been cleared of snow. As I got out of the float, I thought to myself that I had just bought an Italian wine in a Thai restaurant in the middle of a Montreal winter postcard and I remembered Vigneault’s words:

In the white ceremony
Where the snow in the wind blends
In this land of blowing snow
My father built a house
And I’m going to be faithful
In his own way, in his model
The guest room will be such
That we will come from other seasons
To be built next to her

The path that I had cleared to get to mine, my house, was now unrecognizable, a snowbank. I had to bend down and walk like a little man under the branches of the serviceberry, the bottle of wine in one hand, the bag of gaeng kie ow wan in the other …

Snow fell on my neck.

The curry tasted of heaven, I ate it while watching the snow fall.

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