“Vous êtes arrogante, Madame,” the stranger snarled as I turned my back to him.
Until 90 seconds earlier I’d been enjoying the frail March sunshine. Perfect weather to taste the promise of spring, replenish my unacceptably low stores of coffee, and walk off some of the winter fluffiness accumulating around my midsection.
Next in line for the café, I’d breathed in the almost-spring air and let my mind bounce around my to-do list for later that day.
“Are you going in?” a male voice had asked in French.
I turned around and smiled. “Not yet,” I responded in the same…
I heard my husband chuckle as he hung up the phone. He’d been talking to his best friend and, as usual, she was contemplating leaving her marriage. She had a long list of complaints about her husband, some minor, some definitely divorce-worthy.
“He’s trying his best,” she’d said, “it’s just that his best isn’t good enough.”
When my husband shared this line with me, we both burst out laughing: “What happens when your best just isn’t good enough?” That line stuck with us for years.
Ironic, considering we are now almost divorced while I’m pretty sure his friend is still…
It started with the hunger. All of a sudden I was hungry all of the time. And not the wholesome kind of hunger I experience after a workout or when I’m overdue for my next meal. It was that gnawing, ever-present hunger that distracts me and intrudes on my thoughts. The kind of hunger that is only (temporarily) sated with a combination of carbs, salt, and dairy — a combo that I try to avoid on most days. But these cravings couldn’t be denied and I found myself polishing off my daughter’s leftover pasta… and my son’s. …
One sleepy winter morning, on the last exhale of 1999, my roommate angrily clattered about the apartment. My excitement at living with her had fizzled a few months before: our different understandings about money, space, and noise had tainted our living arrangement real quick. She was always annoyed and there were no Friends-like plotlines, cute purple walls, or late-night Monica-Rachel girly chats to rebalance the energy.
“Jeez,” I muttered to my boyfriend over her clatterings, “when our lease is up I’m gonna have to find a place of my own again.”
“Yeah. Well…,” my boyfriend hesitantly responded, “…um… we’ve been…
My social media feeds are filled with the Thanksgiving preparations of my American friends. Turkey recipes, strategies for dealing with difficulty families, and plans for Black Friday abound. I am Canadian — Québécoise to boot — and like in most things compared to our Southern neighbour (yes, there is a “u”), our Thanksgiving traditions are a little more subdued, a little less anchored, and a little less demanding.
A few weeks ago at our Canadian Thanksgiving, we didn’t have any obligations. I spent the rainy day inside with my two small children. …
Hello, he said. Who are you?
Hello, I said. I am This.
Hello! he responded. This is very interesting. I like This.
I think, he added after a long pause, you might also be That.
Oh, I answered, if you think so. I don’t know how to tell if I am That. I know I am This.
This is great, he said.
Hey, I said, Did I show you This and This?
Um, what? he asked. Are you offering me That?
This and This, I repeated. Do you want to see?
Sure, he said.
I missed you, I said.
I was partway through writing a story about rainbows, ghosts, and experiencing Montreal through this pandemic, when my thoughts kept drifting to George Floyd’s murder.
I found myself wondering if I should work these thoughts into my story.
The answer was clearly no. A resounding, absolute no. A what-was-I-thinking no.
There is a fine line between honouring and appropriating.
I am a forty-ish Canadian white woman from Montreal. When it comes to the public mourning happening across the US right now, I am a fifth cousin, twice-removed who nobody expects to show up at the funeral. No one assumes I…
I’ve always joked that I’m the person you want in a crisis. I’ve been through a lot in my personal life so there isn’t much that can shock or destabilize me. I was primed for interpersonal crisis from a young age so, well, things being crazy just feels kind of normal to me. It’s the boring everyday stuff I tend to struggle with.
As the spread of Coronavirus intensified over the last few weeks, it was becoming increasingly clear that we were heading towards either a public health crisis and/or far-reaching preventative measures. …
By the time I collapsed into his arms, my heart was already in shards. He volunteered to help me pick up the pieces.
“I will hold you while you mend,” he whispered.
“The shards are sharp,” I warned. “I don’t want you cutting yourself on a fragment of my heart.”
“I’m a grown man,” he reassured me. “I can make my own decisions. And I choose to hold you. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.”
I would put my head on his chest and inhale his scent. He would wrap his arms around me and rest his head on…
“Look!” Anaïs said, thrusting her phone into my hands.
I set the phone gently on the table and looked at my friend.
“Can you tell me about this first?” I asked, “It feels a little strange just reading your texts.”
She took a deep breath.
“OK,” Anaïs exhaled, “So last weekend I was with this guy I’m seeing. It’s been going so well. I woke up absurdly early Sunday morning — I couldn’t sleep any longer. I reached over to look at the time on my phone. As I’m staring blankly at the screen a message comes in. A text…
Pursuer of truth, beauty, and grace. Names have been changed, withheld, or forgotten.