I can't tell you how excited I am to discover that writer Kristian Gravenor -- longtime Montreal Mirror contributor, co-author of Montreal: The Unknown City, and self-proclaimed expert on Azerbaijan -- has started a blog. Gravenor is known for, among other things, his annual straight-faced round-up of the seediest and stupidest Quebec crime stories of the year. There's plenty of these "blood simple" tales on his blog, as well as theatre reviews and snippets of lost Montreal history...
Gravenor is also a contributor to Wikipedia and the entry he wrote on his father Colin -- who bought Nun's Island and campaigned against cow's milk -- is a good example the casual way he writes about the most eccentric stories.
Perusing his month-old blog, I was particular entralled by this post -- a transcription of an old Montreal Herald article from 1933 about the city's suicides: "One grim story after another lies hidden in the local morgue, one tragedy after another of life misspent, of disillusion, suffering, struggle and mental aberration leading to death."
Only once has the Montreal morgue received a suicide who in ending his own life wrote down his sensations while death was creeping upon him. It was the case of a young man on Park Avenue some months ago who turned on the gas in his room. He sat at a table and wrote notes at intervals of one or two minutes. Such phrases as a “pleasant feeling,” "seem to be floating very tired” and “sleeping” and “it wont be long now,” were used by the writer to describe his exit from this life. The last note was but an unreadable scribble which trailed off into nothingness, he was found pen in his hand resting on the note.This is from before newpapers stopped writing about suicides, of course.
In other news, I drank my first beer on the street tonight. I mean, my first legal beer on the street. Huzzah!