Della & I are drunk at the top of Mont-Royal. We have an open blue plastic thermos of red wine at our feet. It's the first day of spring & it's midnight & we've been peeling off layers of winter all day. We stand facing each other, as if to exchange vows, chests heaving from racing up & down the mountain to the sky. My face is hurting from smiling so much, aching at the edges of my words. She reaches out to hold my face in her hands, dirty palms form a bowl to rest my chin. I’m standing on a tree stump so we’re eye to eye. It’s hard to stay steady. I worry I may start to drool or laugh, I feel so unhinged from my body. It’s been one of those days I don’t want to end. Our goal was to shirk all responsibility merely to enjoy the lack of everyday obligations, to create fullness & purpose out of each other. Our knees are the colour of the ground-in grass. Our boots are caked in mud caskets. Under our nails is a mixture of minerals & organic matter, knuckles scraped by tree bark. We are the thaw embodied.
She says, You have changed me, Eve, you are the single most important person in my life. If you were to leave me, I would die.
At that moment, our breath circling from my lungs & into hers, I am changed. Perhaps before this I could describe our relationship as an experiment, a happy accident, but this was irrefutable. I was completely consumed & consuming. It was as though we created some sort of object between us that we could see & almost hold. I would risk everything I’ve ever known to know only this. I wanted to honour her in a way that was understandable to every part of me. It was as though I could distill the meaning of us into something I could pour into a porcelain cup. Our bodies on top of this city, rulers of love.
Originally, we were celebrating the fact that I got into Concordia’s visual arts program. But the congratulatory brunch she took me to at Café Santropol had turned into wine, which had turned into a day for declarations. I had a sense of spring in my body, that this season would meld into summer like a running-jump movie kiss. There would be days & days like this. XXXX gone away on a sojurn I didn’t care to note the details of, she simply ceased to be. Summer in Montreal in love is almost too much emotion to hold in an open mouth, it spills over, it causes me to not need any sleep. I don’t think I will ever feel as awake as I did in the summer of 1995.