Yo man. What’s the good word? “Sasquatch”? Yeah, that’s a pretty good word.
I am about to sit down to a joyless meal of bread crusts and gruel. I’m in Montreal. Still trying to figure out how I’m going to pay the rent if I decide to stick around this place. These are lean times.
I do have some skills but the city doesn’t want to know about them. It looks like I might be able to get a job stocking shelves at American Apparel. I might do it. Or I could probably go work in a call centre, phoning people up and trying to con them into joining pyramid schemes and paying for directory listings and whatnot (here’s a friendly warning for our southern neighbours: some of these people are making a concentrated effort to defraud as many Americans as possible). And that is a sample of the typical jobs available for Anglos in Montreal.
I didn’t move up here with much so I don’t have much to sell. I considered trying to sell my car. I drove the thing into town and then it just sat in the driveway for a month. You don’t really need to own a car in the city. It’s almost more of a liability than anything, especially in winter. But selling my car would be like selling the lifeboats on the Titanic. It’s my ace in hole–if things wind up getting super-shitty here, I can just get behind the wheel and head right straight back to Gaspereau Forks.
I also thought about selling my guitar, my Gibson SG. I’ve been playing electronic music for so long that guitars feel kind of quaint and anachronistic to me now. It’s been almost three years since Colour TV played a show and since then I’ve rarely picked it up. I’ve had this instrument for fifteen years so it would be weird to part with it. Although perhaps the guitar has been a bad-luck charm for me. These distorted chords have been the soundtrack to fifteen years of bad decisions.
Anyway, I’m not going to sell my guitar because it turns out I’m going to be playing with this band called The Counselors. My friend Sebastien has been teaching me the songs and we had our first loud practice a couple days ago. We’re playing in Toronto on Monday, March 24 at the Horseshoe Tavern.
I might as well throw this out there. There’s really nothing keeping me in Montreal right now. If you know of a decent job that might be suitable for someone like me, let me know, and I will move there. I’ll leave next week. Anywhere in Canada. Although if it’s Vancouver or Toronto you’ll probably have to pay me more.
Being a musician, travelling from town to town, playing for people every night… sure, that is my favourite way to live. But the whole starving musician thing can wear you down after a while. There are thousands of people out there who are more talented than I, and thousands who are better at gaming the system than I am. I have friends who seem like they can score a round of grant money for every time they leave the house.
I’ve never received a grant, never even applied for one. It’s because I have this morbid fear of filling out forms. My hands sweat and I feel like I’m going to hyperventilate… go ahead and laugh, anyway, that’s why I suck at being famous.
I think I could be perfectly happy to have a job where I sit by myself all day in some dimly-lit editing suite and move stuff around in Final Cut Pro. And after work I just go home and watch a movie and get drunk and go to bed like a normal person. Cash a cheque every couple weeks. That would be rad!
I miss my grandmother and my nieces and all my family and friends on the East Coast. I’d like to go see Dog Day tonight but I have this weird feeling… like I haven’t earned the privilege of having a good time.