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Melinda Josie

Melinda Josie is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Toronto. Her clients include the New York Times, the Atlantic, Time Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveler. Her work on Le géranium (Bourgeon, 2009) was awarded the TD Children’s Literature Award and nominated for the shortlist of the Governor General’s Award in Canada. 


Illustration by Melinda Josie

Calculated Risks

Winter 2018 | Essays

After chatting about his child’s food allergies for ten minutes, that distinctive ache has stirred at the back of my throat. Yet I say nothing. The restaurant manager has been kind. He prides himself on taking care of customers like me. Because a reaction often begins with swallowing—repeated, reflexive—I drain a glass of water and finish my wine. Vegan cuisine conveniently avoids dairy and egg, beef and shrimp, but steers me smack into the path of cucumbers, mango, tofu, tree nuts. The sauce I thought was tahini might be cashew butter. I put the wrap down and take a Benadryl. I take another Benadryl a minute later. I leave most of the second sauvignon blanc on the table and tip big.