Maybe I was itching for a random, traveler experience. Or lazy. It was 2:30 pm, yet I feigned hurried actions to make it to the famous Basillica Notre Dame in Old Montreal when it clearly closed at 3 pm.
I conceded defeat, getting off at Metro Station St-Laurent. My sense of purpose drifted, creeping from me like a twig pushing downstream. A sliver of hush brought more confusion. Then, my ears perked. Thump. Thump-up-up-uping. A beat invaded, piercing my skull. Was I finally tumbling into insanity? Alone too much, too long. Jungle drums beckoning me to come.
Under a primitive spell, I bounded up the Metro exit stairs, wildly searching for the source of my potential madness…
I jumped in, swaying to the ancient rhythms, shaking under the tribal, savage dance, my limbs buckling to a will of their own. Suspended in fervent joy. Dour commuters dropped their bags and joined in, their worries fled, responsibilities replaced with spontaneity, An Argentian man to my left exclaimed he was supposed to be at a job interview.
Instead, he hooted to the group, undulating effortlessly against the music, his designer sweater growing sticky. I couldn’t get past how uplifted they all were, a random cross-section of humans probably wrestling with any number of stresses, allowing the mask to drop and LIVE the moment.
It was one giant travel party. For once, I wasn’t solo, but surrounded by a collective love of the unexpected.
I imagined rites of passage, an incantation uttered over maracas, passed to every dancer. Yeah, it rocked.
Even as a well-intentioned woman handed me a promo card explicitly stating Voulez-Vouz danser? was a 1 day event to promote a French version of So You Think You Can Dance, premeriing this Friday on ARTV – whatever, I didn’t give a damn.
I left an ordinary subway station soaked in sweat, magic, and smiles. Any excuse for a party, I say.