11 October 2005

the first time i cried in Réunion

I had made it two weeks into the endeavor

I knocked on his office and I already knew
it would be dire
Monsieur L’Intendant
(he had the kind of cheeks that melted into his chin)

I had spoken with him two days before and
he had been callous
his voice was like gravel, very hard to understand
and when I asked him to repeat himself he would

sigh hard
look at me with disgust
and repeat what he had said in exactly the same manner, covered in gravel

at this point in my day I had already visited an apartment
that would mean suicide to live in
dark, dank, dead apartment
(the creole woman letting it smiled crooked and said
you are so pretty for an American)
I had called others, many
always problems; I just want to sleep somewhere that’s mine

so I looked at him
and I asked if he had something for me
he looked at me –laughed- and said
we had a place for you yesterday but you didn’t come yesterday so we gave it to someone else

I paused and said
I called yesterday and the secretary said there was nothing for me
and he laughed again; he grumbled
you must have misunderstood her

and then it happened.
my French ran dry
he knew and I knew that I did not misunderstand her
and he was laughing and I was at the end

my head filled up with water and the pressure it caused was unbearable
I couldn’t stop it, it started seeping out through my eyes
right there in his stuffy little office with one window for escaping
right there in the grey school in centre ville
right there in his territory covered in gravel for snacks and Americans

and he laughed again.


Anonymous said...

nice website

Squid said...

when at home
i surf this information highway
becuase life alone
becomes more boring
the more i live alone

but i enjoy
comming here to read
what you write
and how you write your life
thank you
is what im trying to say i guess
i am impressed with
what you do here

Youssef Elmasri said...

Man! That guy sounds like the prince of darkness!