This is a rare bird of a month. I’m not usually in Canada. The last time I was here was for Ching Chong Song shows in Montreal. Halloween 2008 or something like that. Goodness. One time before that, Murderizer played a bike messenger show also in Montreal. The boys behaved so badly, I drove us straight home. My bands have gotten more fun since then.
I will work backwards. I just said goodbye to this lovely man:
He is a sweetheart whose name I feel insecure pronouncing. It’s Alain, but you don’t pronounce the “n.” The “n” is a felt, understood but unspoken thing. What a subtle thing to think a letter but not have it come out your mouth. If Chinese is a tonal language, then French is a subliminal one — filled with intentions that aren’t necessarily acted upon. I suck at French. My intentions are flung willy nilly.
But I’m loving hearing the language and the mix of French and English that is everywhere in this city. Alain is studying landscape architecture. His home is full of growing things–little plant cuttings in water. A small tree. Happy little beaded succulents. Alain is also a performance artist and dancer. Well of course he is, he comes from Rouyn-Noranda. He grew up with Genevieve there. This small mining town 8 hours north of Montreal is an unlikely artist haven. I’m not sure what’s in the water there. Alain says it’s pretty toxic actually. But whatever it is, it must breed artists. Genevieve and Matthieu, a couple who is also a rock duo as well as visual artists, have created a community there and a bi-annual performance art festival that attracts international theater and performance artists to L’Ecart, their performance art and studio space for a week-long celebration and communion of the out-there, the creative, the brave, the true(ish) expression. Good lord.
Here are some revelers after our performance on Friday night. They were inspired by the toning we did at the top of our set. We ended up toning all night with the help of some apple brandy/whiskey thing that was delicious.
Julie made this world out of cardboard and paints for our performance.
Julie spent a couple days in the basement in her sweatshirt and underwear listening to hip hop, happily creating the pieces of this world. She was so content there making these things. I’m more visually challenged, so I marveled at the pleasure she got from letting her imagination have at it with cardboard and paint and old clothes.
Leslie, Julie and I had words on cardboard that we tied to our waists and dragged around for part of the show. It reminded me of the handicaps that people dragged around in Kurt Vonnegut stories. Mine was “baby.” Just dragging around that inner child.
THis is the vaginal nest we made for our last number. They actually supplied the kiddie pool we requested in our rider, so we made a nest for Julie’s vagina, which of course symbolized Every Vagina.
Alain made the food for the festival. Oh my goodness. A feat of deliciousness.
He also said we could use his apartment in Montreal while he was gone. He said we could have sex in his room. Now that is hospitality. I smell like Alain now from the blanket he let us use on his futon. It’s not a bad smell at all. I smell like an adorable man whose name I can barely pronounce.
I bought jeans yesterday, probably because I don’t know how to give myself a break, and I’m wearing these jeans with the same hesitancy that I say Alain’s name. Is this how you do it? Is this okay? Surely, this can’t be right.
This is my third week away from Brooklyn. So so strange. Most things feel strange, and I make myself nauseous over doing it (chocolate, apple cider vinegar, alcohol, you name it). A few things remain consistently right– singing (it’s always better to sing than not to sing) and Alain’s laugh. He has this cackle, high-pitched glee and pure joyful bubbling noise that flies out easily and sincerely. It’s not a tortured, long-awaited thing that is coaxed out. It’s this easy sound that sails and catches the air with the slightest movement. It’s really something. I’ll try and get a recording.
Alain and Carolina. They are jokes and good times. Alain says French is an unserious language compared to English. I think he may be right. But British people are culturally hilarious too. There’s that. I’ll continue this argument myself, don’t you think on it too much.