MiniSummer Is OverWhen you step outside you will notice summer is gone. The chill of the air will frisk you through your cotton t-shirt and jeans. Your exposed toes will be sort of cold and you will know then that summer has turned its porch light off. And it will feel like a North Carolina autumn evening, but it is August and you will be in Montreal.

You will walk down Laurier and notice the fullness of some of the bars even though it is a Tuesday night. There will be a table of four attractive men next to the opened garage windows and you will walk by and look only once. You will think the one with the glasses is the cutest. Note the name of the bar so you can remember to come back to it sometime.

You decide to dial a friend and chat as you walk. The bar beside the bus stop for the 80 will be nearly empty and you will wonder if people are listening to your conversation. You will wonder if those eavesdropping will think your conversation is interesting. When you look at the sign and it reads 23:03 you will realize you have a ten-minute wait. But you will not continue walking down Parc because you are tired and the eagerness to walk on unfrozen pavement that you felt in late April will no longer be with you. You will just be tired and want to wait.

Finally the 80 will come–two minutes late–and you will take a seat towards the back and turn on your iPod. There will be a slightly disconcerting young man sitting in the far right corner. His face will be all scrunched up and his eyes will look like flat slits. His arms will be horizontally stacked across his chest. The bus will stop on the corner where Parc meets Sherbrooke. The corner with the arts supply store–the store you always walk past and entertain for a few strides why you never paint anything but second-hand furniture anymore. You never will stop and go inside and gaze at the rows of paintbrushes. Tonight, you will think about getting off and peering into the window of arts supply store with all the items you never buy, but the bus will lurch forward before you can make your decision.

You will get off with most of the other passengers at the Place des Arts stop. When you are on the escalator that descends into the warmth of the metro station you will catch your reflection in something shiny. Adjust your stance. Shift your weight to one foot and then back to the other.

When you make it down to the platform your music, accompanied by the slight film of a late night, will be interrupted by a man–the same disconcerting man on the 80–who is waiting on the opposite side. His face is still scrunched up. He will bring his hands to his face in strange gesture that makes you wonder what he is thinking. He will move close to the edge, over the dotted orange line that reminds passengers to not get too close. He will be standing directly next to the tunnel where the train first emerges. He will scuttle closer and he will turn away with a sweeping movement, arms raised overhead. Next he will hinge forward at the waist and cover his eyes, nose, and mouth with his hands. His spine will be curled upwards toward the stretched ceiling. And you will wonder if he is thinking of jumping in front of the rushing train.

You will feel like you have to do something, so you walk down the platform, standing directly across from him. Stare at him. Try to make him notice you. Smile even, because you know if you don’t try something you might feel very bad later. As you are standing there, you will think about why you are living and will try to send these thoughts through the stuffy air to the disconcerting man. He will wobble in front of you. Suddenly the train will come and you will hold your breath.

He boards and takes a seat near the window. You will look at his profile as he bobs his head up and down to some melody.

Your train will come. You will step on and take a seat and notice all the men are reading. Summer must be over.

Kianoosh Hashemzadeh is a freelance writer living in Montreal. She will begin her MFA in Creative Writing at the New School this fall.

photo by Sarah Truckey