We had ourselves a mission. Or, least, I had assigned everyone one. The goal was to make the seven-mile return trek to New Victoria Fish in Montreal. We’d all applied sunscreen, filled water bottles, had cash in our pockets. Peter had his sports sandals velcroed, my mom had her sneaks on, William was sporting his Ferrari cap. It was game time.
We’d had the salmon lox they sell at this fish store one summer before. Peter, who is a master at ferreting out the most character-filled places, had heard about it from a friend, and he and William had checked it out. I had been out doing something, either running or stuffing my face, the two things I do best in Montreal, and missed the errand. But I’d heard about it ever since:
“You walk in and two old men are standing there. They say nothing to you. You tell them what you want and one starts hand slicing the fish. They continue to say nothing. Until one holds out a long knife, the blade as long as your arm, reaches over the counter with it, and offers you a huge sample of the salmon.”