When you walk down the street with a tuba in Montreal, people stop you and ask you to be in their brass bands. When you walk down the street with a tuba in Montreal, people lean out of car windows and shout, "Je t'aime!"
A tuba. A tuba. Oh ticket to conversation, to friendship, to love, to rhythm, to community.
I've spent time in Montreal, but never with a tuba. Strolling down the Mont Royal, sousaphone on my shoulder, listening to french conversations I only half understand, on my way to play music in a studio just a short metro ride away, has to be about as close to total bliss as I have ever come.
The best thing about it is that here I feel seen and celebrated, but in the best possible company. In Montreal, I am not surprised when I look up and a double bass player is strolling my way, wheeling their own enormous, beautiful instrument towards me. Here, I am a tubist among metaphorical tubists, a wild artist among wild artists, at home in a crowd of creatives.