Register Saturday | July 4 | 2020

Fifty Degrees Celsius

Writing from Quebec. Translated by Melissa Bull.

Friday night in July, 28 degrees Celsius. Thirty-five with the humidity factor—that’s what they said on the radio. Avenue Mont-Royal, arms full of bags. Useful things, indispensable things, quotidian things scrape the ground: coffee, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper. People walk dogs, eat ice-cream cones, laugh loudly on terrasses.

I’m not on a terrasse. I’m just passing through; I’m between one place and another. Not so long ago, just one quick call and I’d meet up with my boyfriend. It’s so nice out, let’s take advantage of it, who cares about the pasta, let’s have a drink, laugh in a crowd, peacock around.

Sweat runs from my temples and down my neck. Drop after drop. The rings spread beneath my arms, soaking my camisole, leaving my breasts dry, untouched. 

Plastic handles slice into the hollows of hands. Are the bags melting in ...

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