Vapor over Mt. Royal

Montreal, October 2015. I did a week long walkabout, camera in tow. In hindsight, it was an idlers holiday… a flaneur gallivant in a different neighborhood, each day.

Montreal is a fine city for a brief sojourn. Metro public transportation, modeled on Paris’, is amenable to leisure, if not actively encouraging it. Nonetheless, most residents or workday occupants briskly walk to their next destination. Few ramble.

Among those who do take their time, vaping was common. A familiar sight it was, to see plumes floating overhead a horde of pedestrians. Unfortunately, I did not see many idlers. Sad is the thought that Montreal, like most cities, has gone in for laws against “loitering”, or mastery of your own time. Perhaps the local puff-giver is simply another commuter who longs for a daydream, and vaping slows down time, at least perceptibly, or offers soothing relief, if only temporary, from the anxieties of urban toil.

Anyway, it was common, and so “while in Rome”, I partook. There was a reassuring essence in it, but nerve prickly, too, as if the rebellious act of a single exhale was paradoxically street survival tool and risked unwanted attention. Benefits of the former must outweigh the cons of the latter, or I doubt it would’ve caught on. To me, it was a means to be idle, while in motion.

I miss smoking. Not tobacco, which would be an unwise choice for me now. And not vape, as I did not care for it. But cannabis, yes, I do miss it. Particularly during its underground days, when etiquette mattered. Social circles, interacting with social purpose, was its underlying culture. Civil disobedience and petty outlaws, was the romance.

Mostly, I miss the art of the smoke. Rolling my own, usually poorly, to choosing an artisan pipe and then toking my time. Being with friends old and new, having a good laugh, and watching smoke drift into unpredictable patterns. Music, food. Art. Conversation. No wonder industrial-capitalists and their agents disapprove, unless taxed, of course, and “productive”.


jazz club and record albums morioka japan

Johnny’s Jazz Cafe. Morioka, Iwate, Japan. ジャズカフェ, 盛岡市, 日本.

Hoard jazz records.

Because cooperation and improvisation is a good evolved skill to have, and then make available to others. That’s if we’re applying intelligent Darwinism, within its proper sphere.

Once this storm passes, and it will, survivors  – odds are you will be one of them – may see exclusion based on lifestyle, area code, or politics as an absurd anarchronism. Instead, it may simply base on who is cooperative or not? Reputation will matter, again.

By the way, these records will have more value than TP before long, which can be subbed with a bidet, anyway (or a shower). For paper towells the smart money substitutes with Sham Wow’s, which are reusable.

Get bent, savage imbeciles.


coffee vendor sits in his van waiting for customers

Coffee vendor waits for customers. Morioka-shi, Iwate, Japan. Nikon FE2 and Silberra 50 Orta black and white film. November 2019.

Devotion to craft and service. Making a lot out of small spaces. Do one or a few simple things right. There is much to learn from how small business makes its way in Japan.