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Sunday, May 15, 2005


Every now and then, not often enough, I like to see what I can write in an hour or less, with just the bare bones of an idea. A rough story, then:

You will adapt. This is what Jackson said. You will adapt, it's inevitable. Without adaptation there would be no life. Life maybe, but only microorganisms floating around in water.

She felt herself carried in the crowd of people. Carried past dangling chicken's heads, shit-stinking tofu, deep-fried chicken's feet, God knows what else. Carried slowly, wanting to escape. Men and women shouted short, harsh syllables. Music and light and there was no night to be seen. Adaptation will come.

Yesterday she saw an old woman riding a scooter, hit by a car. She landed on the street, her body bleeding and mangled. She died. That happens, Jackson said. I've seen three accidents. You get used to it. You adapt.

People looked at her all the time. Children, women, looking, staring at her breasts. Asian men, too, contemplating her height, her whiteness, her eyes and hair that weren't deep chocolate brown. They did not look at her sexually, though. Western men did not, either. They stared right through her, onto the petite Asian beyond. She had been here four months without. Jackson did not know this. Get used to it, Susan said. It's fact.

You will adapt. There will be things you don't like, of course, but you will adapt. She had eight months left of her contract. She escaped the crowd, into a narrow alley. A cockroach scuttled past. A dog barked, menacing. A woman with white hair and deep wrinkles sat in a doorway and stared at her. Distaste. Contracts can be broken she thought, forcing herself back into the crowd. Without adaptation, there is only escape.


Anonymous Natalia said...

It's great. It has rhythm, like poetry.

12:28 PM  

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