Un peu après 23h le camion s’est coincé dans un banc de neige. I had been doing this for about four hours now, it was getting late and I’d had a long day. When the truck got stuck, Jesse got out of the driver’s seat, pulled a shovel out of the bed and started ploughing the wheels. I stood there, useless – there was only one shovel.
Earlier that day I was in my very first math class in ten years. I’d gotten there 5 minutes early and had grabbed a seat at the side of the room, not too close to the front, not too far at the back. It was snowing outside, the roads were slippery. On my way to class, somebody had yelled at me «achète-toi un char ostie!» and it had made me grin- I don’t know why I grinned, I guess because biking in the snow is one of my favourite things.
Jesse sent me a text message sometime during my class and I secretly tried to answer it. « I need help tonight my co-worker bailed you’d get paid eleven per hour are you available at six? » « Yes! »
I was to be on the corner of Ste-Catherine and Berri at six and he would pick me up in his truck and we’d do his milk run. Jesse calls it that, but what I had to do was collect people’s compost and replace it with empty compostable bags tied to the bins. I was a garbage collector for one evening.
Four hours later the truck got stuck and all I could do was grin again, but this time it was because I was having a great time. My hands smelled like rotten bananas and coffee grounds. We got unstuck, shared a high five – « team work! » – and kept going. Collect the bag. Tie a knot. Leave an empty bag. Throw the whole thing in the truck. Get in the truck. Pick up the conversation where we left it, what was I saying again?
The streets were all ours, the truck kept slipping and we’d laugh. As we were driving up Bagg street (one way, East-West) the mountain suddenly appeared in front of us, the lit up cross standing proud at its peak. It was beautiful. I grinned.