A Portrait of a Woman Having Tea

I wrote this in the spring of 2009 while I was living and working in Kolkata, India, a few months before leaving for Peace Corps. I reread it recently and wanted to share it here. ______________________________ On a muggy, still, Tuesday morning, Mangal and I walked through a Kolkata slum called Boro Ghati. We met a woman; her image is still with me. She sat in a chai stall off the side of the road. The little hut was all woven and collected. Its structure was a tight bunch of crude tethers and brittle strips of bamboo. The dinted tin…

cold

This will not be the happiest of updates.  Last night, still sick, I actually stabbed my journal while writing because I couldn’t get all my angst to quietly come out on the page.  Then I scribbled a big “F—!” on the bottom of the page and called it a night. I’m sick.  I’m worried.  I’m cold.  And I’m emotional.  Oy.  But let’s just take stock of what’s going on today: I can be positive, see: The snow is dancing in flurries.  Huge white snow bits are swirling outside the glass and laying themselves down on the ground, quiet and unassuming. …

backing up to the island

      I happened upon a saved document yesterday, a bit about impressions after a week on Isla Taboga, an island off the coast of Panama City.  I had gone with my friend Travis, and for a couple of weeks it was just the two of us waiting for our other two friends to arrive on the ferry.  It was supposed to end up on my blog exactly two years ago, but because of lack of internet on the island it stayed on my hard drive.  It’s a bit heady, but it took me back to some of those…

i saw it twice

[NPR’s All Things Considered is doing this brilliant flash fiction bit, asking writers to send in stories that can be read in under three minutes and which are based on a given prompt.  Round Three’s stories were inspired by a photo.  I entered Round Four with the story below which was really fun to write.  I’m hoping they keep these little competitions up.  The requirement for Round Four stories: they must include the words ‘plant’, ‘fly’, ‘trick’ and ‘button’.  Read NPR’s winner here.  Or just read my bit below.  I swear it will take you no more than three minutes.]…