Thursday, October 21, 2010

After Lunch in Iraq

After lunch, in the kitchen at the office. Dirty dishes stacked in the sink waiting to be washed. Unread e-mails popping up one by one in my email box. The cleaner pulls me aside, points at my deep purple shirt (once was white – dyed with indigo by a friend’s mother in a village in The Gambia), points at her deep purple eye shadow. Next thing I know I’m tossed into a chair and my cheeks are being powdered and blushed – my lips are being stained red – my eyes are purplized. Our wonderful Somali colleague enters the kitchen to kneel and pray in the corner. After he prays, he tells me I look pretty.

Now I am back at my desk, reading my e-mails, and everything is the same. Except my lashes feels heavier with mascara, there’s lipstick marks on my coffee cup, and I’m smiling.

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