Sunday, July 04, 2010

On the Streets of Quebec

I'm walking back to the hotel with my brother David. It's a very hot day.

A large hirsute man, wearing a sleeveless undershirt, scraggly black beard and a wild look in his eye, carrying a cane. stopped me by pointing his finger at me. While looking me in the eye he demanded in a French accent:

"Where are you from?!"

Nervously I stammer "Uh, um, New Jersey."

Looking me in the eye like a man who has been told by an archangel that he must stop the smaller of the two men walking toward the Palace Royale at 2:10 in the afternoon under threat of the darkness visible in unending purgatory.

"Did you know there are three free events tonight here in Quebec City?"

"Uh, yeah. I think. Uh. I was going to see Cirque um... tonight."

The mysterious man gesticulated forcefully, swinging his cane in the direction from which we'd come.

"Up the hill here there will be the Wall of Sound. It is only tonight and tomorrow night. How long are you staying in Quebec City?"

Seriously, the guy just walked up to me and started on me, like he was on a mission. Like he just fell off a horse or something.

"We're just here through tonight."

To him, this only meant one thing:

"Then you must see the Wall of Sound. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. There will be three hundred singers, a chorus from Holland*, projections on the scaffolding which will sometimes reveal the singers and sometimes hide them, and fireworks."

"We were going to see Cirque..."

"No, you must see the Wall of Sound."

Not till I assure the man we would be seeing the Wall of Sound would he let me pass.

My fear is that I will meet this man again, in a different city, where he will tell me more prophesies or warnings of dire nature. "Do not walk down MacDougal Street tonight, stay on 6th Avenue." Of course, I'll obey like I did with the Wall of Sound.

My sister saw the man later that day. She recognized him from my description. I turned around and yep, it was him. Keeping tabs on me, no doubt, or on his way to the next Task his deity had assigned him.

*He misunderstood his angel, they're Belgian, not Dutch.

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