O Canada

It’s February, 2004. I’ve lived in Canada for thirty two days.

I’m bundled up, trudging down Bloor, when suddenly a big chunkhead fratboy goes rushing past me. He’s hollering something – I can’t tell what at first – at a man in his eighties who is shuffling down the sidewalk in front of me.

I brace myself to help the old man, but I suddenly realize what the chunkhead is saying.

“SIR!” he says, panting, as he catches up to the old man. “Sir, you dropped this!”

He holds out a five dollar bill, and the old man reaches out a shaky hand to take it. He thanks the chunkhead, who ducks his head and mumbles something, and turns and runs back to his friends.

O Canada. O lovely lovely Canada.

Photo DeShaun Craddock