Wednesday, May 22, 2024

More Tim Hortons references - 2024 edition

I'm continually adding to my collection of literary references to Tim Hortons. You can find earlier collections here.

The Deluge by Stephen Markley


"Where you working these days?" you ask.
    "Over by the mall near Indian Ripple. It's a Tim Hortons. How 'bout you? You got a job, with all these collections people after you?"
     "Yeah, I got a job at a blood bank."
     "Blood bank? What you know about that?"
     You pretend you can't be bothered to explain.
--from Book 2. The Watch & the Blood Bank. 2025

     "My mom," you say to Andrade when you reach him. His eyes light up.
     "Such a pleasure," he says, taking your mother's hand in both of his and pumping it profusely. "I heard tell of you, but here you are in the flesh."
     "Least for now," says mom. "Day's not over yet."
     Most of your mother's comments these days are about dying. The reverend compliments your mother's outfit and asks if she'll be staying long.
     "Just until the evening. Got my shift at Hortons tomorrow morning.
--from Book 4. The Ghost and the Mask. 2036


'Endowed' by Terese Mason Pierre, in The Journey Prize Stories: The Best of Canada's New Black Writers, volume 33

Headlights turned the corner. Tre's beat-up Corolla swerved slightly as it headed toward Jerry. It jerked when it stopped. Jerry opened the passenger door and got in. "You're late."
    "There was a bomb ting by the Tim's, bro," Tre said as he turned onto Eglinton.
    Jerry rolled his eyes, but his lips twitched in a smile. Tre was his most loyal customer.


Becoming a Matriarch by Helen Knott 

    Her petite frame didn't seem capable of pulling the heavy words into the room. Her lack of confidence hit me in the stomach. I watched the doctor retreat into her body as she greeted Mama. And then she asked Mama a question: "Before coming here, what did you think your illness could be?"
    There would be no joyous car ride home, and no dark jokes of what could have been, as we went through the Tim Horton's drive-thru. No singing along to songs on the radio as we sipped our creamy, sugared, caffeinated liquids.
    The "C" word tumbled out of Mama's mouth and the doctor nodded slowly to confirm her suspicions.


Prairie Edge by Conor Kerr


  I had been crashing in my auntie's basement. A 1960s wood-panelled wannabe sex dungeon with mirrors in the weirdest places and blue-purple shag carpet. The carpet had stains that I didn't want to think about. My Auntie May had gotten clean in her early thirties. While doing that, she'd gone back to school and earned a nursing degree. And now, she worked with native kids who struggled with addiction. May put everything into the job. When she got home, usually late at night, she'd sit on the house's front steps for hours smoking cigarettes and drinking decaf double-doubles from Tim Hortons. Auntie always let me stay in her basement if I needed to.


A History of Burning by Janika Oza

    A few weeks later, Hari was working at the kitchen table when Sol called him to come play. The sunlight through the window warmed his forearms, drawing his attention away from his textbook and toward the jungle of vines out back, the leaves of the sugar maple just blushing orange, and Hari had no trouble ditching the report he was supposed to be writing. 
    They met at the Tim Hortons by the park, where Sol ordered two double-doubles and a donut, slapping his change down on the counter before Hari could pay. 
    They hunched over their creamy coffees at a table shared with another family, whose kids were losing their minds, standing on the chairs, the parents switching between English and Vietnamese, so that Hari caught only snatches: Enough! Quiet! Hey!
    "Honey cruller?" Hari poked at the cracked icing, trying to make Sol laugh. "You know it's Boston creme or bust for me."
    "Fine," Sol said distractedly, waving the donut at the screeching kid next to him who grabbed for it with both hands.
    Hari watched as the kid scraped the icing off the cruller with his fingernails before looking up at his mother. The way his eyes sought her out reminded Hari of the last time his parents had come over.


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