The trip's MacGuffin — the whole reason I booked a day off work, booked a car and a room at l'Université de Laval, and bought a pass to the Festival d'été de Québec</a> was to see Neil Young. All else was going to be gravy on that ageless rocker's poutine.
So I'm sure you can imagine that moment when ...
... I was three quarters through Montréal, bombing along the Met at maybe 25 kilometres per hour (and two hours from Ottawa, should I have decided to turn around), when I realized I had forgotten my god damned festival pass on my desk back in at home in Ottawa.
I was running on about four hours' sleep, my stomach was already rumbling, and I was halfway to my destination. Sure, I could go back, but the whole point of leaving a day early was to not be a fucking zombie come show-time on Friday. (And, secondarily, to have some time to get to know Quebec City a little bit before-hand, as well as after.)
So, I slowly worked through my options, as I navigated a crumbling, 50-year old highway build for a city half the size of the one it now serves.
- I could turn around and go back home to pick up the pass;
- I could just write it off and spend more time exploring one of North America's most fantastic historical cities;
- Or I could see if it was possible to get the damned thing shipped to me.
Needless to say, once it occurred to me, Option 3 seemed like the best plan by a country mile.
I waited until I was off the island and pulled off at an exit that promised a burger as well as time to use my phone. First thought: Purolator. Well, they could do it, all right. Pick up and deliver, all for the entirely reasonable fee of, er, $450. That's right, four hundred and fifty dollars.
Well, I love Neil and all, but not that much.
Thank fuck I remembered BPX — bus parcel express. I made a quick call and was told they could get me the package, bus station to bus station, for about 25 bucks.
I called Raven, my sweetie (and now wife, my god), and she was willing to make the walk from home to the bus station (granted, only about six blocks from our humble abode) after she got home from work, and despite the humid, 34C afternoon weather.
I know I'm tempting fate by typing this all ahead of time, but I think it's a pretty good bet I'll be sing my show tomorrow — and maybe some other music, Friday and Saturday.
So, after That Moment when I realized I'd fucked up, came That Moment, when I realized my sweetie could make it all better.
You might be wondering why I am here in Quebec City on my own (well, with my son, of course), and Raven is keeping the home fires burning.
The simple answer is, what I consider music, Raven often defines as "noise". She has no interest in seeing/hearing Neil Young work his distortion magic on Ol' Black.
And it occurred (and occurs) to me just how lucky I am.
It's not every partner who not only "allows", but encourages, their other half to run off to another city to paint that town the proverbial crimson.
I don't suppose it's all that rare, now I think of it, but I still feel lucky to have someone in my life who will encourage me to go out and engage in pleasures she not only isn't interested in, but which she doesn't even understand.
God bless you, my love.
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