by Brad Aaron Modlin
While the G7 met in Quebec debating money and weapons, I wore cheap sunglasses downtown, ordering poutine in English. Everyone spoke English in my town, and the G7, I suppose, did too. Because English is the lingua franca now, the term a laughable irony we often overlook. Like many of us, I lived in an Anglophone kilometer of the world. My Montreal-raised housemate let me practice French with him: Pourquoi est-ce que c’est trop difficile pour dire que vous pensez? And Passez le sel. When my housemate bought big, shareable bottles of beer—shandies and radlers— all our friends knew and appeared on our couches. For those who didn’t drink, I bought fancy
sipping vinegar. We said, Passez le vinaigre. We cooled our bare summer feet against the new wood floor. Zak brought up the G7 and precarious diplomacy. Sofia said Wars. When Becky said, Nuclear bomb, we all covered our ears. In the park, we took salsa lessons. At the market, we bought the foods that make you live long. In the poutine restaurant, I said, May I have a medium? Practicing, I commented that the word pays—nation—and paix—peace—sounded similar. “In French, maybe,” my housemate said and poured the beer bottles until they stopped.