I’ve never inhaled

A friend called this week. She said, “Is that a new kid in the background?” We hadn’t spoken for about 5 years. Yet we picked up where we’d left off. We laughed and talked about life and, well, stuff. We used to do this two nights/week at Cedar’s in Charlottetown, a little lebanese place just up from Province House in PEI. Back then on Fridays and Saturdays I’d get off work at Maclean’s grocery smelling like leaded gas ($3/hour pumping and packing in a one-cashier country store) and drive to town to meet Tara. We’d drink coffee and smoke Benson and Hedges menthol and eat pita sandwiches with orange cheese, bright yellow mustard and thick-cut wedge fries.

One weekend we spent an entire night speculating about where we’d be “far into the future” in the year 2000. This was 1984. We hadn’t tried the shish taouk by then. Seems a shame now. Garlic butter rocks. The management was surprisingly lenient back then; we sat there nibbling $4 sandwiches with fries and slamming back the bottomless cuppa for hours. They’d kick us out at close at 1 and we’d cruise around with the windows open yelling at people and speeding off.

Twenty seven years later, amid all the madness and rush it’s nice to be reminded of simpler times pre-internet, pre-Porchlight… Cedar’s is still there. It’s an institution; I’d start a Facebook Group, but it just doesn’t feel right somehow. It’s almost unchanged. They serve coffee in the same indestructible mugs, and there’s nowhere else I’ll smoke a menthol.

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