At the tippy top of Montreal’s Mount Royal, there’s supposed to be a massive cross, quite possibly impressive enough to temporarily wipe the sneer off the most diehard non-believer’s face. I hazily recall marching up toward it when I was eight or nine years old, and I wanted to recreate that trek when I was back in town, as an adult, this past weekend.
Never did. Just walked around in circles for 90 minutes, following signs (about the cross always being a mere .8 km or 1.3 km away) that led to nowhere. I know it’s still there, because I saw it from the car, while driving around another part of the city.
The smug and dismissive security guards or park rangers, or whatever it’s politically correct to call them, vaguely pointed in the cross’s general direction. I was getting more riled up by the second. I told them that none of the signs and arrows made any sense.
“Ignore the signs and arrows,” they said. “They’re wrong.”
Wow, damn! Never heard that one before.
It felt like being in one of the dreams I sometimes get after having had a few too many glasses of red wine on an insufficiently full stomach. The hot pursuit of an illusion.
When I got back home last night, I called my dad and asked if he remembers approaching that cross on foot with the rest of our family in the late 1980s. He didn’t know what I was talking about. His chief memory of our time spent on that “mountain” is of getting pulled over and being ticketed after making an illegal left turn. And I didn’t know what he was talking about.