Things you see standing outside a pub

The weren’t old men. Nor were they particularly young. Middle-aged or just toeing middle-age, slight paunches under their button-down business shirts. No jackets, it was a warm day as they waited for the walk-signal on Yonge.

There was an amiable unfamiliarity between them. They were clearly strangers, or near strangers, who were acting like old friends for the sake of the project they were working on together.

The blonde one worked in the area, the dark one was in for a meeting but indicated he used to live or work in the vicinity by pointing to the franchise pub on the corner and saying, “It’s really changed around here. This used to be a…”

He stared up at the sign above the doors, brows knit, as if he were picturing the old establishment but unable to read its name. The blonde said, chuckling, “Yeah, yeah. A Shopsy’s. That was a long time ago. And before that it was a—”

The horn of a taxicab drowned out the name of the business. The other man was laughing and nodding  in agreement. His grin seemed to say: You and me, bud. We’re veterans of this town. We’ve survived it all. Businesses came and went, but we’re still here. Brothers in arms.

Then the light changed and the men crossed the street sharing memories they didn’t actually share.


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