Once upon a time I was truly happy. My memories of this time often seem vague and distant. In fact, they were far enough back that many companies and organizations which were started then have long since disappeared, but then again this was a long time ago.
I wanted to move away like my friends and relatives were, but my parents had steady jobs here. My Father even started his own company, which was then fairly new and thank the Lord, still exists.
Of course, I was likely feeling that way in part because one set of my grandparents had left Montreal for Florida and the other set were snowbirds. Even my parents had been talking about moving to Florida. We’d gone numerous times to visit my grandparents and check out the local scene. I was too young for school then, but I’m sure something could have been worked out.
Most of my friends and relatives, however, were moving to a strange new place they called “Toronto.” I was maybe two or three years old when my aunt moved there. I wrote my aunt in Toronto shortly afterwards and asked if she would ever come back to Canada.
As a three year old boy, I didn’t know the difference between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale, as to me at that tender age, they were both “Far Away” and we needed something like a train or airplane to get there. My how times change.
Thirty years later, I’m still on this godforsaken island, trying desperately to gasp in the polluted air. Still, I’m told that Montreal is a paradise compared to Poland, according to my ancestors who’d moved here to escape all manner of pogroms and persecutions.
My granfather told me about growing up in the Plateau neighbourhood during the 20s and 30s, describing the scene in great detail. He told me so much about it that I even got my own little apartment in that area about ten years ago. I only lived there a short while, as my roommate at the time had mental problems and was impossible to live with. Also, life cost a lot more than I had expected and I lost my job, so I had to leave that apartment.
That was ten years ago, after the first jobless recovery I moved to Verdun and got a job in the west island. The company I worked for no longer exists, (I have had many jobs since) and I still find myself struggling, having been forced to move back in with my parents at the age of 33 after having been on my own for ten years.
I felt that I had lost just about everything. The only material things I was able to keep were things that in my mind were borrowed and therefore could not be sold legally by me. I even had a full head of long, beautiful flowing hair that was cut right off of my head.
To console me and to help me expand my horizons, my parents helped me buy a car. Nothing special, a basic eight year old four-doored sedan. Now I can’t even afford to properly fuel it!
They realized the necessity when I got a job in Laval. As soon as we had signed the papers, my job in Laval fell through. My parents let me keep the car, partly because they realized that I needed it badly and losing it would likely be just enough to finally push me over the edge and that I might do something stupid and harmful to myself and others.
Maybe I’m just a drama queen.