Citrus flavored water. Luscious cream fabric strung from wooden rafters. Orb-shaped lights emitting a soft warm glow. Three DIY photo booths. A cadre of high school musicians paid to play my favorite classical tunes. Fried pork chunks served with plantains and pikliz, bruscetta and braciole representing both our cultures. This was the “perfect” engagement party I envisioned.
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We call the Kiosk, ‘the monster,’ but it is tamer than us, taller maybe, wider, inhumanly still, yes, but it doesn’t drink or yearn. My name is Takudzwa. My name tag says Ku. If someone asks and I am in a mood I’ll say, like the Klux. There is a girl at my work. I want to steal her from the monster, the work. I try to make her laugh with my inability to do my job, but it’s only funny to me.
I met Arthur at the light-rail station on a Saturday night. I was on my way home. It was raining, the weather was cold, and I had run out of cigarettes. I saw him smoking and asked him for one, and he gave me without looking at me as if I was vagrant or something. I stood by the lamppost, and started smoking. I was listening to Eartha Kit’s, C’est si bon, with my earpiece.