Stalked by an Ex

I should have known. Top had never taken “no” for an answer before. I should have known that he would treat the breakup as a challenge rather than a fact. How? My therapist Sarah demanded, almost ten years later, when I told her this part of the story. I blinked at her. How could you haveContinue reading “Stalked by an Ex”

Thailand

Top had booked his first visit home in three years, and I went with him. I had learned so much living above the Thai restaurant. And yet I had learned nothing at all. Thailand, I thought. Asia.  More than 9,000 miles away.  I expected freedom. I expected healing. For my relationship with Top. For myself.Continue reading “Thailand”

PiMam

About five months after I moved in, another woman joined us upstairs. PiMam*. She was another relative of the owner, and she too hoped to make a name for herself and earn a profit. The family voted to grant her an equal share in the restaurant’s ownership, and she was given a room towards theContinue reading “PiMam”

The Thai Women

I was crap at waiting tables. I was even crap at bussing them. I spilled water on cell phones and purses. I stumbled into my coworkers. Eddie, one of Top’s cousins, shouted at me regularly. Look where you’re going, girl. I could not, for the life of me, memorize the menu, even though I ate fluffyContinue reading “The Thai Women”

When Did Gentle Become Weak?

Dave Eggers’ 2006 novel, What Is the What, opens with a violent robbery for which the narrator, a Sudanese refugee, blames himself. Earlier that day, he came across his attackers in his neighborhood, and smiled at them. Now held at gunpoint, the refugee asks himself, “Why did I smile at this woman? I smile reflexively and itContinue reading “When Did Gentle Become Weak?”