A place where water hangs in air

Summer has hit and Montreal is hot hot hot. People moving slowly slowly in the steamy air.

Summers like this take me back to Guyana days, and I remember in sharp detail the smells and sounds, the way tropic air lay heavy on the skin, the pace all living things took that was so different from the way they’d move if they were in Vancouver.

Let me take you there. Here is chapter 1 of The Water Here is Never Blue.


In Guyana the night is dark, true dark. In Guyana the night piles thick and velvet, Prussian blue from the ground beneath your feet to high above your head. It is all around you, not confined just to the sky, but laying too along the ground, at the side of the road, in the air above the canal water, and lurking among the grasses and the trees. Thick, so thick is the night that it comes in close and nudges you. It has a pelt that brushes cheeks, a weight that curls in the nape of your neck, and it fills your mouth with black and wet solidity. It is alive. Alive with sounds and smells, something you can almost hold in your palm. Night there is not like anything I had ever felt.

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