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May 31, 2007

just a few.

She is checking her cell phone. We are roaring down a road so packed and polluted with people and smog that the street corner a block away is invisible. Her little scooter weaves in and out of traffic; she doesn’t even seem to be guiding it, preoccupied with her latest text message. I am clenching her shoulders, a little scared but also entertained at the ridiculous places I seem to end up and the possibility of such an absurd death; if this is how my life is to end I expect a full campaign insisting on the end of scooter texting.


My $150 purse is touching the bathroom floor. I am touching the floor. There is a cockroach watching me. I feel guilty for owning $150 purse. The majority of India could live on this for half a year. I am a bad person. Using this toilet is my penance.


“What time is dinner?” I ask them. Neeru translates for Jogi and Jogi answers back. They keep talking. Jogi shakes her head and Neeru’s language suddenly boosts a few decibels. Jogi’s eyebrows raise, their voices both lower. They keep talking. They stop, shaking their heads.

“So what did you guys talk about?” I ask.

“Nothing,” she says. There is silence.
I still don’t know what time dinner is.

Posted by tvanderm at May 31, 2007 10:38 PM


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