Monday, July 16, 2012

I took Amtrak to Montreal last week. It wasn't pretty. For some reason, traveling by train brings out the worst in heterosexuals. With the lower-class crowd, you'll see lots of day-drinking, yelling, and carousing. With the upper-class, you'll see lots of writing notes in the margins of hard-cover books.

I hate it when a company has one good worker and all the rest are bums. That's definitely Amtrak. I got to the train station half an hour early, and the first employee I encountered raised my hopes. His uniform was freshly-pressed, and his manner all crisp and officious. "Boarding at nine prompt!" he barked. "Have your ticket out! Watch your baggage! Single-file line!"

Of course, you're still standing there at 9:15. "Sorry," says the next employee you run into. "We were in the back smoking weed."

Montreal residents are pretty much the opposite of New Yorkers. New Yorkers are never stopped by the countdown timers at crosswalks. They'll see those LED digits warning that there's just two seconds left before it goes red and they'll think, Man, I can handle eight lanes in like a second and a half. Folks in Montreal won't budge when the timer gets down to twenty. "Well," they think, "maybe I'll get across two lanes and my legs will cramp."

Montreal is the most innocent place in the world. Saint Catherine Street, the main gay drag, is mostly porn stores and street hustlers, but it's so safe and clean you'll see families blithely chatting with shirtless studs and guys who have salamis in their pants. In the hetero part of town, a street barker alerted us to some local entertainment. "Lesbian show!" he barked. "They really lick each other good!"

Yes, I thought, that can be a problem. At the last lesbian show I attended, I ended up leaping out of my seat and screaming, "That's barely lapping, you layabouts!"

Beer beckoned, so we went to the Winston Churchill, a quasi-English pub. All the heteros were doing shots, and the silly innocence made us bold. We invented our own version that, we said, everybody was doing in New York. It didn't seem all that far removed from the original but only two guys licked the salt out of my chest hair, not to mention the lime wedge in my crack.

No comments: