(June 2010) While waiting for a connecting flight between Montreal and Toronto, I decided to take my chances with the airport coffee counter and invest an unusually substantial amount of money for a predictably disappointing snack and a bland cup of coffee. As I left the snack line and turned back in the direction of the departing terminal, my line of vision was interrupted by a familiar face. Looking straight at me, he smiled and nodded politely without stopping as he passed. I returned the kind gesture wondering who I had just encountered. With a feeling like this was someone I should have immediately recognised like maybe an estranged uncle or former landlord, I looked back to see if he was waiting for a response but he had already dissolved into the crowd, swept away by the motion of the terminal.
Racking my brain in an attempt to place the face, my mind’s fading rolodex offered little help. Childhood neighbors, families from my old paper route, and the few middle school teachers I could remember from my first attempt at the seventh grade all came to mind. No match found.
As I made my way back to my not-so-comfortable seat it finally hit me. I had just come face to face with Brian Mulroney, our country’s 18th prime minister.