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Location: Montreal

Thursday, May 11, 2006

it was young and we were summer

the only reason i remember it was summer is because i was wearing shorts, which i rarely wore outside of the June-to-August stretch. and it wasn't just any summer, it was "one of those summers". those rare beasts where you're old enough to have discovered drugs and booze and tits and rock and roll but you're still young enough to get away with not having a job. at the time i assumed this was the norm, your standard do-nothing-unless-it-pleases-me summer. looking back now i realize it was the Sacred Flying Unicorn of all summers, and i'll probably never see anything quite like it again.

but it wasn't all Majesty and Bottle Tokes and Endless Makeout Parties In The Woods By The Highway. even this summer had it's dry spells, and they usually occurred around mid-afternoon on weekdays.

so, right around lunchtime on what was probably a Tuesday, Matt and Chris and i found ourselves listless. listless and bored. luckily we were savvy enough to know that smoking hash could cure both of these ailments, if only temporarily. luckier still, we happened to have some hash. so we jauntily made our way down to The Place By The Tracks. {which was exactly what it sounds like, a nice little nook of secluded shrubbage just downslope from our local train tracks. later to be known as The Place Where That Homeless Guy Hid That Lumber, The Place Where Dave Freaked Out and The Place Where I Hid After Setting Those Fires.}

after much mid-afternoon mirth making at The Place, we re-emerged onto the train tracks. we were young, we were smiling like idiots and we were hungry. but not go home to where my parents live hungry. we were the opposite of that. we needed laughter and excitement. and the only place to find that sort of thing on a Tuesday afternoon was down the tracks, across the bridge and into the ever entertaing Cape Breton Shopping Plaza.
Wal-Mart!
A Pharmacy!
A Lamp Store!
and, naturally, a Tim Hortons.
Tim Hortons!
so, being unwealthy hash smoking middle-teens, we entered Tim Hortons.

at this point we were no strangers to the Act Sensibly When Stoned In Public manual, so we stepped to the counter and wooed the attendant with our "may i's" and our "pleases" and our "yes, that's wonderful, thank you's". {note to stoned teenagers: talking like a super-polite douchebag when you are obviously a long-haired stoned teenager is embarrasing and a waste of time. they know. trust me. who do you think you're kidding? look at you.}

we gathered our food/beverages and planted ourselves at a small table near the door. a quick scan of the room told us we were the only people under the age of 39 on the premesis. this meant nothing. the second we sat down with food and cold, refreshing, replenshing, cold, delicious soft drinks our facade of sensible politeness devolved into a swirling tempest of loud noises, off color comments, and laughing with our mouths hanging open while still containing moderately chewed amounts food. because we were sitting at a four seat table and there were three of us, i was the odd man out. i sat facing Matt and Chris while they faced everyone else in the restaurant. i preferred seats that faced out the window and into the street. i still do. i always will.

anyway, our endlessly charming youthful shenanigans continued for some time. we were getting to the point of flicking bits of uneaten food stuff at eachother when it happened. it happened without warning and it carried right over my shoulder and into my ear.
cold and piercing.
i heard a robot speak.
in a threatening, futuristic robot voice.
i heard it loud and clear.
i couldn't make out exactly what it had said, but i know what a fucking robot from the future/some parallel Tim Hortons sounds like.
i'm a goddamned sci-fi enthusiast!
so, i freaked. i freaked and i shouted.
"holy shit!! did you guys just hear a ROBOT!!"

you know how in a movie, when someone says something shocking in public, there's always a big pregnant silence, and then, from the back somewhere, you hear someone drop a spoon, probably in disbelief? Chris and Matt were frozen in Carbonite until that spoon hit. and i forget which one of them it was, but once the spoon had finished it's brief clattering, one of them raised a finger, very slowly, and pointed behind me. just over my shoulder. "you. idiot.", he spat under his breath.

i shouldn't have turned around at all.
then i wouldn't have had to face the old man with throat cancer who had to use one of those vocoder voicebox machines to communicate with people, strangers and loved ones alike, trying his best to overcome his disability and not be ridiculed or made the subject of robot-themed mockery.
i wouldn't have had to face his middle aged son {or lover, who knows} who glared poisonous, molten-hot daggers of loathing and disgust into my slack jawed, hash-addled face.
i wouldn't have had to face the entire population of the restaurant, staff and patron alike, doing the exact same thing.
but i did.
i met each and every set of hate-filled eyes with my own.
i opened my mouth to speak, to apologize, to explain, but my brain must have read the synapses wrong because my legs jumped up and ran me out the door in a quarter of a second.
i ran out the door and behind the building.
i sat and i smoked and i rehearsed what i would tell Satan about today when i met him in hell, because that's where i was going now.
after what seemed like a decade Matt and Chris found me out back.
and they berated me.
they couldn't believe what i had done.
"what's wrong with you?!"
"you asshole!!"
"blah blah fucking blah dumbass!!"
they were so ashamed that tears of laughter were streaming down their faces.
god, i hope they forgive me.

3 Comments:

Blogger iaingillis said...

The Cape Breton Shopping Plaza (WOOLCO, BITCHES!) is probably the the only shopping centre lamer to hang out at than the Sydney Shopping Centre (AKA The Grub/Skid/Dirt Mall). Christ, on any given day you could probably find half of the Sydney Academy and Holy angels student body down there. At least there was an arcade (STREET FIGHTER 2, BITCHES!) and a food court, of sorts (UNCLE CHOW'S, BITCHES!).

Oh, how I long for the days when getting your one friend with the car to take you out to the Mayflower Mall seemed like an exciting proposition. Sigh.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Sir Thomas said...

just to let u know...I would school you at street fighter 2, and mike that was hilarious

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Jason D. (mailboxhead) said...

Gillis (Mike, not the other one), I am pissed at you. I was randomly clicking links tonight and wound up at your blog... now it's 1 AM, I didn't go to bed last night either, and I have to get up for work in the morning. I hate you for being so damn hilarious and entertaining. No, wait. Replace "hate" with "respect, yo".

1:04 AM  

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