SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME
I had been in Douglas Psychiatric Center for several weeks, and it was during the October crisis in 1970. My friend Alex Duarte had gotten a day pass to take me out for a walk. It was a few weeks after the actual crisis and Alex took me out that morning to see all the Canadian soldiers occupying the city. The sky was gray, there was a cold breeze, and no one on the streets. We went near Montreal city hall, and there were troops stationed with machine guns all around the building. They were in uniform, wearing battle gear but there was no battle. It was what Trudeau called an ‘‘apprehended insurrection,’’ and the province of Quebec was under arrest, under the War Measures Act. At every government building, there were soldiers standing erect, at attention position.
It was a Sunday morning, and behind city hall, near the metro station, we were walking around thinking over what had transpired. I was all screwed up on largactyl, on a massive dose of neuroleptic medication, when we bumped into a few comrades of mine from the Front de libération du Québec, girls and guys, maybe four or five of them, whom I had met that fall while going to demonstrations and riots and attending cell meetings. They were perhaps twenty years old. I was twenty-one, and when they saw how frozen I looked from the shoulders on up, one of the ladies said to me, ‘‘Y t’ont pas manqué, hein?’’ which would translate as ‘‘they really nailed you to a cross, eh?’’ I was telling them that I was a patient in the College and was out on a day pass. I could barely talk. Society was brainwashing me. If the doctors couldn’t give me a lobotomy, they reached the same effect of total compliance by injecting me with massive doses of medication. There was no apprehended insurrection in sight, only soldiers paranoid as hell and expecting a jack-in-the-box to spring out of the sidewalks.