Saint Lawrence Boulevard or boulevard Saint-Laurent (its official name, in French) is a major street in Montreal, Quebec. It is nicknamed The Main. It attracted artists. Novelists Mordecai Richler, Michel Tremblay and poets Irving Layton, A.M Klien and Leonard Cohen were all influenced by this area.
I was about twenty-two years old, living in a super-cool apartment near the Main.
My roommate was invited to a Halloween costume party and was encouraged to bring her girlfriends. It was a loft party on the Main, which meant the hipsters of the day - writers, dancers, painters, filmmakers and musicians would be there. And we would be noticed and perhaps find boyfriends.
I had never been keen about Halloween costumes.
Mostly, I lacked imagination and never knew what to be or wear. But for this Halloween – on the Main – at a loft – with a cool crowd, I decided to dress-up. I found a pair of green hospital scrubs. I was going as a nurse. I cuted up my look with pigtails and extra freckles.
My friends and I walked into the sounds of good music and the feel of a happening party.
It was a matter of minutes when I spotted at the end of the loft a handsome man in a white suit. It was Leonard Cohen. My older brother had turned me on to Cohen years back and I loved his music. I knew Susanne off by heart. Who didn’t?
Circling him were beautiful women a few years older than me, sophisticated in a way I wasn’t.
Tall and slinky, in high heels, tight dresses, cut out backs, slits up the side of their dress and perfect make-up and hair. And there I was in a shapeless and oversized pair of green scrubs, with pigtails, fake freckles and running shoes.
My mind worked quickly. In what I feel now was sweet naivety, then, was plain old- fashioned cluelessness.
I thought to sing the song Suzanne for him. I believed if he knew, I knew, the words to his song, he would see me as worthy. At least worthier than the slinksters. I moved closer to where he was. I started to hum quietly the words under my breath. I imagined only I knew the words. And then, in a flash I realized this would be the most humiliating event of my life if I cranked up the volume and sang aloud Suzanne.
Something clued me back in.
I left the party immediately, vowing never ever to wear a Halloween costume. I kept this promise to myself until last night, when I dressed up as the Tango Fairy or Witch, as the case may be, and danced the night away.
The moral of this story, make that morals:
p.s. Not a Halloween passes that I don't think about Leonard Cohen - please re-post if you are his Facebook friend
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.