Une Pelote De Laine

What is it about sleep deprivation that so drastically affects my eating habits?

I slept 3 hours last night and I blame my extreme state of exhaustion for my equally extreme appetite and incessant need for the chocolate I packed (and proceeded to finish 2 days too early. Remind me not to do that next time, it doesn’t help anything.)

Currently I find myself seated in a café in Montréal complete with Frenchy music, token hippie girl I smelled as I walked past on my right and a terrible croissant to keep my hips and my coffee company. My eyes droop in the humid and muggy air of the shop leaving them with a sting that I’ve yet to resolve is helping or hindering my state. Across from me an older, white bearded man has seated himself uncomfortably close, facing me (or maybe it’s the wall directly behind me he’s facing.) He taps at a quick pace on his keyboard adding a rhythmic quality to the evening. Down the street a cathedral is all lit up for Christmas, just as it was last January. The city seems still and quiet and only a few people have ventured out. On several occasions during my walk here I misjudged the mess just off the curb which appeared to be solid ice only to find my little ballet flats ankle deep in cold watery slush.

Tonight I feel suddenly aware of all the things I’d love to be doing but am not… I’d like to, again, be running my floral business, sending out soaps or planning some elaborate project. The sense of ownership of something. I’d like to feel the sense of wonder that I felt this time last year as I was passing through Montréal on my way toward my European adventure. My unrest seems relentless. I’ve been home 6 months and it never gives up never takes a day off.

Dear Canada, I love you… but… but you never have me feeling at home here. I long to walk into my little French village again and smell the bakeries, the flower markets, the fresh fruit and even the seafood being sold on the streets. I want to stare in the windows of the pastry shop filled with perfectly golden and flaky croissants and palmiers even if I choose not to buy one. I want to struggle as I learn to make the family recipes of friends and wake up to the sounds of the bustling streets or those birds that seemed to be screaming with all their might in the mornings or perhaps even the sheep and their bells heading out to pasture. I want friends to come visit me and take them around the thrilling winding roads of the south that kiss every corner and a scenery that takes your breath away if the smell of Jasmine didn’t do it already. I want to perfect the language I lost so much of after I invested so many years as a kid to learn it. I’d like to struggle to find my place in society and a little home to call my own. I want to adorn the house and its walls with things I find as I’m out exploring, of treasures left behind… I want to be able to call the family with stories to tell and a hope that runs deep. I keep asking myself why I moved back home, not aided by those who have asked me the same question. Why did I settle to move back when I didn’t want to be here? Why did I think I could trick myself with the otherness of Calgary assuming it might feel okay to have some secondary adventure? That attempt went miserably wrong… In fact leaving me with a feeling of further devastation. What does the process of moving toward France actually even look like? Where does one begin? How do you make that kind of leap and why have I not done the one thing I hoped to do upon my return to Canada… divorce. The word still falls flat on a page, on a screen. It’s an ugly word but it isn’t about how it looks but the feeling of freedom I hope for on the other side. When that day comes I might request a good glass of scotch and a cigarette. Why? No idea. But that’s what I want, it just rings, somehow, of a celebratory closure. Maybe I also just need to accomplish it so it doesn’t hang over my head to every place I venture out to.

I’m looking for sure things right now. I want solid ground beneath my feet. Walls to adorn, a kitchen of my own to break in with scents of fresh herbs, fresh bread and filled with the sound of clinking glasses, the clamour of forks, knives and conversations made up of broken French and broken English. I want the blended life. A hard life, I’m sure, but I seem to like the thrill of a challenge. I would venture to say, in fact, that is when I’m happiest. I want mixed culture and the marrying of their old tradition. I want to come alive and remember, again, the girl who is unafraid to explore the city alone, to find a favourite corner that I visit often and to walk past the point of sore feet, frozen fingers and toes and even beyond the aching back. In Canada I feel timid, self aware, disinterested and even, dare I say it, a little lost but one who doesn’t even desire to be found in it. I don’t love and long for the cities here in the same way and the streets don’t cry out of their history and beg to be read over there. I enjoy the celebration of art, of music, of religious holidays (even if, for some, they have become meaningless) and I like that the shops are meant to be closed one day a week. When we have dinner there is wine, there is conversation and there is no reason to hurry. In this place I feel concerned with stuff, with money, with being faster and busier and all of those things leave a taste in my mouth akin to that of metal. So what do I do?

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