Originally posted to Metroblogging Montreal, Oct. 5, 2005.
It was an incongruous day. I emerged from my apartment to find the staircase covered in dry, yellow leaves, yet the temperature stood at nearly thirty degrees. As I ran the day's errands I felt impossibly sad, knowing that this is well and truly the last gasp of summer. There is no turning back now.
It is, as every Montrealer knows, harder to be alone in winter. The whole city retreats indoors, leaving the streets and parks to the snow. Warmth becomes a precious substance, one that is forever leaking out through the cracks in things, which are, suddenly, everywhere. Baseboard heaters struggle audibly, clicking and clanking without discernible effect. On certain days, even the Café is too cold to bear.
In winter, the smallest gestures of physical intimacy are survival techniques: the feet that share warmth under a blanket, the torsos that draw closer in sleep. As the warmest part of the body, the belly is transformed into a fetish object beneath its scratchy layers of wool. Extremities don't stand a chance.
In sex, we become as modest as Victorians, finding our passions only under a mountain of bedclothes. If we are clever, we arrange ourselves in such a way as to create a hothouse, which recycles the heat of our breath until orgasm or oxygen depletion overcomes. There is simply no other way, as bodily fluids will freeze upon contact with air.
In the absence of sex, a Montreal bed is as cold as a grave. There is no love in this city in winter, only the will to live.
These are the thoughts that were with me today, until I met K. on our favourite terrasse. Defiantly, I drank a glass of sangria, which tasted as sweet to me as honey.