Peter Behrens in an underground
parking garage, rue Mackay,
Montreal, October 1999
Peter was on the road. He seemed
always to be on the road; it was his
home as much as anywhere. His first
published book was titled Night Driving.
When he worked as a Hollywood
scriptwriter, I saw him step out of his car
on a visit to Montreal wearing a white
duster and stride along the sidewalk like
a character from Walter Hill's movie The
Long Riders. We met this day in a
Czech coffee shop to talk and, over
apricot kolaches, I learned about his
wife's new documentary film, his work on
an indie Canadian film, the recent
projects of his old friend and mentor, the
writer Clark Blaise, and his plans for a
novel about Irish immigrants to Canada.
That novel became The Law of Dreams
and won the Governor General's Award
several years later. Peter once wrote,
"The law of dreams is, keep moving."
Even sitting face to face with Peter and
photographing him, it was always hard to
escape the feeling that he was
distracted, engaged elsewhere,
endlessly travelling in his thoughts.