My city is a supermarket cashier who says "Bonjour-Hi" to her customers in a bored, raspy voice as she types in prices with red lacquered nails. She wears rhinestone earrings and tucks her pink-streaked hair under a cement-gray polyester cap. She scans mangoes, ramen, basmati rice, sauerkraut and prepackaged poutine. She has to step outside to smoke, shielding her cigarette lighter from the falling snow with her cupped hand and picking her way through piles of slush in fluffy boots. She curses the potholes and the spots on her face with sacred profanity, but never does anything about them. Off work, she would rather watch a hockey game than an election debate any day. She buys her bread at the dépanneur, but will shell out a hundred loonies for designer shoes. She wants to dance in those shoes all night under flickering strobe lights and waving glowsticks. She keeps fighting with her dad and threatening to get her own apartment, but never does. She's waiting to be asked.