Blood Sacrifice

A week ago, I took a plane from Naples, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois. I spent a grand total of 24 hours in Chicago, and the only reason I was there was to eat a $350 dinner at a restaurant called Next. The highlight of the meal was the part where we were served a canard à la presse tableside. The idea is French and this: a smothered cooked duck is hacked to pieces; what remains is packed into a press, and the blood runs out of the press and is made into a sauce. The technique has been considered “the height of elegance.” Watching the blood flow, it felt kind of obscene.

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Two Lumps, Two Medical Experiences

Each day was a “rage against the dying of the light” of my upcoming senior year of college, until one evening when I’d gotten into bed and felt something: A lump in my breast the size of a shooter marble.