With a knot of French tourists, I watched a groundhog fest on grass clippings. It never strayed far from the nearby bushes and trees. Upon closer inspection, I could make out the negative space which to another more knowledgeable might mark out the entrance to its burrow.
I turned on my heel, made use of the museum’s publicly accessible facilities before pressing on to leave park and country behind. I took a last minute to consider the cross section of the structure’s aluminum shell, helices and triangles no thicker than my arm. Eventually, this could hold my attention no longer, so I took the last steps necessary to leave my mark upon the place.
Without knowing precisely why, I set about scattering through the park childhood knickknacks which had been foisted upon me by my traveling companion. These ranged in kind from a ribbon, with which I bound two saplings, to a badge which I affixed to a public bulletin board. I also left a number of books and leaflets to join the growing pile in the hostel common room. Of it all, there remained only a small pewter dinosaur, with which I have yet to part, perhaps from sentimentality or some other pathology.
My final hours in Montréal, in bus and plane, did not bear much worth mentioning, with perhaps the exception of one event for which I have been otherwise unable to account. For, at some point in those final twenty-four hours, there had appeared on my phone an image which I had no memory of taking and about which I speculated for no little time. Try as I might, I was unable to attribute a source to this image, that of a group of demonstrators marching beneath the carbon streetlights of a nighttime thoroughfare, as far as the eye could see.
If I assumed, in the end, that I had merely saved the image with an inadvertent finger as waking thoughts gave way to sleep, it still did not account for the state of mental agitation in which this image left me. This explanation in no way prepared me for the phantasm which it set me, to which it resigned me, bound me. I could not help but find in my fascination and extension of this image the whole of my trip, reduced to the movement of visual fancy.