So I got to thinking. Never a good sign. In this era of renewed nationalism, I too would reclaim my roots. No, I had never lived in Côte Saint-Luc, but my father moved there after my mother died. So off I went to the Cavendish Mall. I felt that I could avail myself of the Right of Return or at least the right of exchange for that shirt I bought there at Ralph’s the Haberdasher years ago, which never fit right. Driving there, I got myself all worked up. I thought of the Bavarians who never even accepted the Deutche Mark, only to have the Euro thrust on them. Stopped at a red light on the corner of CSL and Cavendish, I had time to think. Never a good sign. No, I wasn’t a real Montrealer, after all. I was a Shmallois for God’s Sakes. I would lie in wait for the recrudescence of separatism, claim my inalienable right as a Shmallois to partition, and spearhead a movement to separate the Shmall from the rest of Quebec.

I pulled up into the lot. Parked. The place was almost unrecognizable. Condo developments and generational shift had done their work. Reduced to la portion congrue, it was no longer even called the Cavendish Mall. It was now the Cavendish Quarter. And somewhere in the bible it says: ask no quarter, give no quarter.

Howard Greenfield


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