Three days before my 14th birthday, one day after Christmas, I felt shifty. My belly, both full and hungry, had me eating through the bowl of mixed nuts on the coffee table, crushing shells with the cheap, metal nutcracker whose weak joint made its jaws scissor along the walnut shells. The peanuts were stale. The licorice in the neighbouring bowl was the black kind with the salt taste of blood. The whole thing made me angry. They couldn’t even get the nuts right.