Paloma, the homesick
“Montreal is for soul mates,” Paloma used to say, as we’d walk the avenues of Mile End and the Plateau. I’d look her in the eyes and struggle to keep my half-smirk from stretching to a full- blown grin. My grandmother used to say you have to be in love to fall in love. Well if that’s true, we both fell in love with our adopted city and then fell in love with each other.
Paloma was a fine art photographer, daylighting as a bartender. We shared a cab from the airport to the Plateau during the dead of winter. I was coming back from a trip to London, too tired to pay attention to this cute, flighty girl ramble on about the vampire convention she was coming back from in New Orleans. She must have jabbered on for ten minutes before I straightened up and asked her, “Wait a second. Are you fucking with me?”
She’d been in Montreal a year longer then I had and always wanted to show me weird cultural oddities far outside the city center. Our relationship was bound to urban exploration, so when I found out I was being transferred to a department in Los Angeles, I figured we could keep it together simply by carrying the same tactic over to a new locale. We’d been together two years at that point, and were as in love as ever.
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