my saturn is in the house of comfort.
i saw a guy wearing a huge t-shirt and baggy jeans. he had
a mobile phone held up to his ear and he was talking
quietly. i was washed over with this feeling of happiness
and sadness when i saw him. he was a total stranger.
there is a strange sense of comfort in being home. i am
back in the world of normality as i know it, of people
trying to sound like they're from a different country, of
young children walking alone in the heat with their clothes
torn and one of their shoes missing.
i saw the poor. i watched. i saw a man with a pot belly,
sitting alone, staring off into space, holding a broom in
one hand. i saw him take out a cigarette from a box, light
it, and exhale smoke that quickly disappeared. and i
wondered, 'how many years will it take before you die of
lung cancer...or of a disease that will rob you of your
money when you are rushed to the hospital?'
saturn is in the house of death.
i saw a woman selling fried bananas, eating rice from a
bowl with her hand while someone else tried to swat the
flies away. i saw a man on the road, carrying a box filled
with mineral water, trying to entice the drivers in the
terrible traffic to buy at least a bottle from him. nobody
and i saw two old women moving from one car to another,
begging for money. one was blind, the other could see. they
were both old, both tired.
'ma'am please give me money. i have not had breakfast, nor
lunch, nor dinner. please give me money. even if it's just
a peso or two. please...'
a child came up to me, looked me in the eye and said those
words. i took out my wallet and gave him ten pesos. i was
scolded for giving out such a 'large' amount. the child
might use it to buy drugs, or alcohol, or he might hand it
over to the gangster who controlled him and beat him up. i
only prayed that he used it for food...and that nobody
would beat him up.
someone said, 'god must love the poor. he made so many of
dad said, 'in this country, people abuse you when you are
nice. you have to be tough, you have to be mean, you have
to show them who's boss. you have to show them that there
is a difference in your position and their position.'
mom said, 'your hair is too black. why didn't you just have
it colored brown? or blonde?'
and jabez said, 'bless me indeed and enlarge my territory,
that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me
from evil, that i may not cause pain.'
27 days to go and i will be flying back to melbourne where
everything is organized, where everybody is safe, where
nobody begs for money, where you see blonde and brown hair
everywhere, and where you can be nice because nobody will
my 7 year old brother said, 'i want to live in australia
forever and ever.'
my mom silently thinks the same thing.
australia is an escape from things that we already know.
my saturn is in the house of sympathy.