Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Therapy Poutine?

I'm having mixed feelings about Montreal these days.

It's springtime, and I've got itchy feet. I'm looking to stretch my wings.

I also received a notice from the landlord that our rent is increasing by $20/month starting in July. Fucking shit! That's like taking my landlord out to dinner every month. Not just a sandwich either. We're talking someplace nice. Of course, my roommates Dill and Pickle and I plan on refusing the rental increase, with the assistance of the Villeray Renters' Association. The Villeray Renters' Association (ALV) has got the backs of poor people, so a big shout out to them for fighting the good fight.

I'm clutching the piece of registered mail from our landlord when I run into Cay on St-Denis. "I'm having an existential crisis," I say. She's lighting a smoke. I hold up the envelope: "Bad news." She exhales. "Our rent is going up by $20 a month." "Ours too," she says. "By the same amount. We're gonna refuse." I explain that I need a poutine. Therapy poutine. Poutine to convince me not to move out of my dreamy homestead to greener, cheaper rent pastures.

We chat briefly about a video shoot that our mutual friend is coordinating for May Day, and then I'm off. I head straight to Jonas.

Photo: http://maudetoby.blogspot.ca

I've been to Jonas a few times. It's a diner. It's near my home. They serve breakfast and make burgers and they have large booths--what's not to love?

I ordered, for the first time, a Boréale Rousse on tap. A glass. It tasted divine. I then ordered a poutine. They only have one size. My food arrived promptly. I was the only customer seated in the restaurant.

The poutine was good for the first few minutes. The cheese curds were still firm. I went for the shorter, crispier fries. The gravy was slightly spiced, not too dark, nice. Then I reached the mid-way point, and that's when it started to feel like soggy, gravy soup. I mean, it's hard to complain about poutine being a soggy mess of gravy, melted cheese, and potato, 'cause, by definition, that's what it is. Poutine is meant to be poutiney. Or poutine-esque.

I'm not sure I really experienced the Montreal Moment of Truth I was looking for. There was a hockey game on the teevee, and the announcers were narrating the game in French. I was eating poutine. I was looking at an envelope that spelled bad news and constant struggle: the increased payment of rent. I don't think there's ever a poutine that will relieve me of the shame, horror, and humiliation of paying for housing, no matter how gooey and soupy and cheesy it may be.

Therapy poutine fail.