Register Saturday | December 7 | 2019

The Homecoming

Writing from Quebec. Translated by Melissa Bull.

A bite of my favourite dessert distresses my taste buds. I get goosebumps all over my skin. My ears overheat. I can’t tell if I want to cry or if I’m having an allergic reaction. I glance around stealthily, but no one sees my agitation. My father, my sister, my mother and my uncle are absorbed by their own chewing and swallowing. Unthinking, I take a second spoonful, waiting to see what will happen, like a little seven-year-old boy allergic to cocoa who might choose, more or less consciously, to tempt fate by biting into a chocolate bar. I swallow the bite, convinced it won’t make me sick. I’ve never had any trouble with food in my thirty-six years. I’ve never had any allergies. My alcohol excesses never prompted my liver to rebel. And one of my life’s greatest pleasures is to stop in ...

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