Thursday, January 27, 2011

And then…

…and then after my hope to see poverty as not so bad there comes a girl, her voice hoarser and deeper than any girl her age should have, dressed in rags, her hair gnarled, a cut across her forehead. She comes and tugs at my arm and makes motions that she is hungry and looks at my purse and my well-dressed self and begs for money and all the existential questions come back…threaten to overwhelm…why was I born in the circumstances that I was while she will live a life of deprivation, ignorance, and poor health?

I tell her no, accept that there is misery in the world, and walk on. She returns to the gutter where she came from, and I close my mind to life’s injustices, because if I think about her hauntingly big brown eyes too much I’ll lose faith. And I’ll hate that I’m wealthy, and that everyone I know is wealthy, and every single person I am friends with is living a life beyond this girl’s wildest dreams.

The people in India, however, as in Ghana, are so generally friendly, pleasant, and happy, that they make living on the streets seem like a genuinely not-so-bad lifestyle…until someone like this girl comes along and makes my throat feel funny and my eyes start to burn.

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