We lose each other in Kandy’s narrow streets, panic rising like vomit. You are gone in a second. How can you lose a tall white person in this town with so few foreigners? I wait. I go to the corner and look up the main street, I don’t see you. How is this possible? You never move that fast. In the blink of an eye you have evaporated. Of course there are things to do – I can wait some more. I can go to the lake, that’s where we were heading after all, where we met yesterday, eventually I could make my way back to the hotel, assuming you will do the same. But what if you don’t? What if I go and you’re not there? What if you wait longer than me? I go to the lake and back. You are not there. The streets are not designed to walk around with a bike. I am hot and bothered, my shirt soaked with sweat. I buy a bottle of water holding on to my bike because you have the only lock. I return again to the cool waterside and wander from yesterday’s bench to the temple. And then I see you. I shout your name, wave, you see me. There are not the recriminations there could have been. We say it is nobody’s fault. We make contingency plans, though of course we will never now allow it to happen again. I promise to always carry my mobile phone. The phone I despise because how can you be truly lost anywhere with this modern shackle in your pocket? How soon this becomes a funny story, how soon trauma becomes amusing anecdote.

1 thought on “

  1. All the posts so far are beautiful and I like how they are slowly forming a picture of your time there. More, please. Long, languid pieces. Have you read Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family? Your fragments are reminding me of his book.

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