I fell asleep last night fueled by too many beers and with bits of coconut icing decorating my shirt and fingertips. Salvation came at the end of a phone as a friend let me howl and wail in decibels and words I'd forgotton I could reach. A precious and fragile long distance connection had broken yesterday and with a buzzing phone held in my hands I didn't know if there were trains being boarded, stained duffels being hoisted, men and boys who shared common ancestral blood piling on to protect someones ideal, someones homeland, someones spot within a larger country. Last thing he may have heard was me yelling " Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and he doesn't get a vacation!"
I yowled and drank beer and slammed cake pans into ovens and temper tantrumed by myself and over the phone with Stephany. I lost my vocabulary and wailed about things not being fair, never fair, that this beautiful beautiful person who'd held my hand and blown on my forehead when I had hiccups, who led me barefoot over hot stone steps into a temple flanked by bulls and garlands and coconuts, could possibly be lost to me forever. That this tenuous connection would snap and for all the bullshit about the world being connected, this western girl with her cell phone and computers and this Ghorka boy with a number memorized in his head would never be able to reconnect.
He said he would carry me in his heart and I told him to take his mystical Indian bullshit and shove it up his a**. I am American, I said. If you go away carrying my love and my memory with you I will scream as loud as I can until you hear it and my magic is stronger than yours. You knew it was trouble to love a Western girl and you yourself have said that I can embody part of Kali and the only way to stop my furies is to throw yourself in front of me. I said that is not Kali, that is a woman. And you said all women embody all of the Devi. And the phone crackled out.
Last night instead of severed human heads I smashed and separated eggs for my fathers birthday cake, wondering if my tears and fury would change the taste. Stephany called and told me "just cry" and instead of licking blood from my face with a forked Kali tongue I licked bits of coconut icing, and my cake stuck in the pans and I pried them out with a spatula instead of tearing someone limb from limb with my fear and fury. I am helpless in this fight, I can love one person but I cannot change blood or culture or family or religion.
This morning he called, and I lifted my sugar sticky face from the pillow and listened to him say he was not going to the hills, and his quiet tender voice slipped into Hindi as he talked about the last year, the months of work, the boss who left with the salaries, the father and uncles on the streets who'd shamed and shunned him and told him to at least be true to his blood and his land and restore the name to the family by doing something that had honor, that had money.
We will travel the hills when I come, but not those hills. We will see Everest from a distance and walk through mountain valleys and make our way through the desert and to the valley at the base of the Aravalli mountains where my Indian family and my kidlets are. And after that, I don't know.