Walk to the Black Rock

I lower my head and pretend to pray. The sun is scorching the back of my neck and my pale, Irish-stock skin is pinking rapidly. Around me, the crowd has stopped all talk of cousins promoted, uncles dead, or aunts shifted to care facilities. The chatting is done for now, and we’re getting down to the business of worship. The padre, wearing a somber black suit slashed by a kelly green sash, is reciting the Lord’s Prayer over a hand-held microphone. His voice carries traces of a brogue; his hair is white and fluffy, his eyes a snappy blue.

Behind him, a 30-ton chunk of black granite sits inside a wrought-iron fence that’s worked into a shamrock pattern. Today the fence is festooned with orange, green and white fabric—the colours of the Irish flag. The rock and the padre are in the middle of four lanes of busy traffic leading onto the Victoria Bridge in Point Saint Charles, Montréal. Behind the rock, looming over the Padre’s right shoulder, I see a billboard for Fujitsu. It reads, Du pas de sexe de l’été. It is the only French I see or hear.

Read the rest of this essay, originally published in the Walrus, here:

Walk to the Black Rock


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s