Coolly competent and in synch, that's how they thought her (like mother like daughter).

There was some truth to it. Ontario left you cool if you survived its impoverished spirit. (God to be French! she thought, the men gaily pissing along the shoulders of the QEW; Quebecoise women always half bare somewhere, in short sleeves or stockingless, snorting like thoroughbred horses through ripe, noble noses. It was an Anglo stereotype, she knew, but she believed their lives more carefree, more sexual.)

Retroviruses also kept one cool. There was an art in restraint, in patience. She looked at life through a blue glass, looking down into its watery, wonderful depths, holding her breath.

Abandon wasn't in her heritage, she had had to grow into it.

She couldn't stand the feeling of anything covering her legs, it was like she couldn't breath. Sometimes in winter, however, she wore knit wool socks thick as pillows. Everyone has her own peculiarity.