It was less a revered holiday filled with family, food and the limbo that unfolds thanks to tryptophan and alcohol, and more a Tuesday.
Or maybe Thursday.
It was just another day of the week. I had to work, Stan had to work.
Thanksgiving is for Americans. Canadians claim to have one, too, but…
The evening shift was slow and steady, like most nights—a couple of regulars at the end of the bar living off the dole and drinking Harveys amidst a cloud of hand-rolled smoke, the strange old man in the trench coat that drank alone staring longingly (and creepily) at the male members of the bar staff waiting for someone to fall into the unfortunate trappings of conversation. The blowhard who lost all credibility when he ordered a shandy—a line of Guinness with “Fuck You” spelled out in the heads of the stout, poured for the rowdy rugby enthusiasts that thankfully couldn’t read very well…
I pulled some pints, Stan changed a cask.
We spent our cigarette breaks racing over to the pub across the green to see who could drink a pint and be back the quickest. Stan edged me out with a time of 6:02.
Just another day.
When our shift ended, we walked over to the Kebob Kid on Fulham for some felafels, lamb sharawamas and chips drenched in vinegar and salt. We ate this nearly every night.
Walking back, already tearing into our meals, cucumber and onion dripping down our hands, Stan looked over at me.
“Happy Thanksgiving, buddy.”
I had forgotten it even was Thanksgiving until that moment, our dinners suddenly transforming into a holiday feast.