Friday, March 14, 2008

How to live here

Walk home from work for The First Time. This is big. It’s a small island with roads of coral that go slick in rain. Drunk drivers are everywhere, sidewalks aren’t. When you walk on the white line (no shoulder), face the traffic, just in case.

Men will honk. Women will stop and ask, brows wrinkling, “Do you need a ride?”

And then the dogs. The many, many dogs. Descended from dingos. Lean and mean. When you walk down to the coffee shop from your house, pick up four coral stones in case you need to throw them.

To ignore the traffic, pick a plumeria and spin its stem until it the petals blur.

When you pass a house and five dogs bound out from behind it, freeze. Remember what you’re holding. Flower in one hand. Stones in the other.

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