Monday, September 27, 2010

Nothing Next

I was into Tim Horton's last week and he comes in there just as skinny as he could be, skin and bones, a lost child we always said, well over six feet tall and pedaling all over town on a tiny little boy's bike, never wore a shirt if he could help it and more wild-eyed by the day --his poor mother-- and he always had a shiny silver mask from where they said he put the bag to his face and his hands were all coated with paint as well.

God help the boy, I'd think every time I'd see him, and when he was into Tim's that day I just wanted to buy him a donut or some Tim Bits but you didn't dare talk to him, you just didn't anymore, you never knew what you might be getting yourself into.

He would apparently sniff anything, he would smell anything if he felt it would get him wild-eyed and his mind rolling. He carried a dirty rag in his back pocket for just that purpose and any sort of paint or aerosol or mineral spirits he could get his hands on he would soak up in that rag and he was constantly pulling that rag from his pocket and putting it to his nose and breathing it like he was sobbing, it was like, almost like a man trying to pull his last breath.

He'd only come into Tim's to use the restroom and Tina who was the manager there said he was in and out every day looking for air fresheners or disinfectants, anything of that sort that he could add to his sniffing rag. They tried to hide things from him, but of course such things he could get his hands on all over town in one place or another.

He was living in Ray's motel, which is where the council kept a few rooms for the hard cases, his mother, poor woman, simply couldn't bear to have him under her roof anymore, and when they said in the paper he was missing we all knew of course that he was dead.


  1. Loved those Tim Bits when I was up in Niagara. Maybe we could start a franchise in the Twin Cities?

  2. they also put cream in your coffee in the drive-thru....genius!

  3. I just love that Tim's out there even when there's nothing else out there. In Serpent River, for instance. Or Blind River, where I was hypnotized (by the Blind River hypnotist) for the one and only time.

    A Tim Horton's in the Twin Cities makes perfect sense. Horton, after all, was a hockey legend who died young.