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Travelogue F50

November 6, 2015

So, the last day came through the uncurtained dormitory windows to greet me. The night before, my last sight had been of a series of framed posters advertising the efficiency of making use of the service’s posters and placements. The effort by the advertiser to advertise advertising came to a head in this commercial mise en abyme. I guessed that its creator might not have been aware of this in the way that I now was.

My final day in Montréal found me crossing that same structure beneath which I had passed on the very first: le Pont Jacques Cartier. Spanning the Saint Lawrence, the bridge rattles with each truck crossing between the Île de Montréal and the eastern shore. The vibration continued through the frame to the walkway, which gave a considerable shudder. As a result, I often turned an eye to the nearest girder, should the whole collapse, and wondered how I might best land upright in the trees below. This reflex stood as still another testament to that thoroughgoing and lifelong pathology that I have cultivated with regards to structures and heights.

To distract myself from the shuddering, I made a concerted effort to recall every major river that I had crossed on foot. Among their number, I counted the Hudson, the Rhein, the Seine, the Loire, as well as the St. Lawrence in progress. I might have added to their number any number of known but lesser rivers, but something below caught my attention, and I paused for a moment to look more closely. Still on the cityside and above dry land, I stood directly above a dome housing a small garden, the structure a combination of wooden triangles and netting covering the negative space within the frame. Hidden beneath the bridge, though visible from it, the dome’s materials did little to obscure its contents from the onlooker. Although I could not ascertain whether it contained a collection of fragile plants or some still more secret garden, I decided to investigate no further, to leave the matter at that.

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