Returning to Montreal

Sometime in the morning dark I awoke to the clanging of a level crossing bell. Out the window of my berth I saw snow falling and heard the pitch of bells decline as the train moved through the black winter. 

I had breakfast with an unpleasant Dutch woman in the dining car, and went back to my room to gaze at the places that only show themselves when you take the train. Old warehouses and stockpiles of lumber and gravel. Farmyards with geese. Sometimes there were stripper bars. 

There is something almost holy about coming back to Montreal by rail. Smoke comes up from the river when it is boiling cold. The car I travelled on had berths that faced west, but when we came across the Victoria bridge, everyone opened their doors and stood in the coulouir to watch the dark St. Lawrence churn away down east.

The train creaked and swayed. I wanted to get on my knees. It felt reverential, collective, and wonderful.