Sunday, August 26, 2012

lucky dogs

Good things come to those who wait and I have been waiting.  After one year and seven months my eldest boy is sitting on a bench in Rockford Illinois.  He has been gone from my sight and heart all these months and it is a long time for a mother to ponder what escapades he may be embroiled in.  My maternal mind is crazy good at conjuring up pictures of him withering away in a Thai prison or floating face down in the Genghis river.

When he left Iowa on that cold January day his plan was to explore mideastern Asia and he did all that.  Initially he said he would not visit China and this mother was glad he would not be inside those red, red borders. And then he changed his mind and I was scared when I heard the guards confiscated his travel book at the border because of the chapter on Tibet, poor enslaved Tibet.  They insisted it was "all wrong, this all wrong, not true!"  Yes it is true you crazy, communist cretins.  Luckily, Jason doesn't act like an American, that's his saving feature. There isn't a rude, spoiled, competitive bone in his body.  And he blends in easily with foreign landscapes and native populations. Small, darkly tanned, obviously intelligent and quietly curious, never drawing attention to himself.

What was India like, I ask. He avoided my inquiries during our phone calls and emails.  Crazy, was all I could get out of him. What kind of crazy, I pushed and he told the story of some local youngsters wanting to play football but lacking the necessary ball. They found a dead dog that served the purpose. You don't even want to think about that. And then there were the bodies barely covered with a scrap of clothing lying in the street covered with flies.  How does this happen, my orderly sanitized American brain wants to know. Too many people, he said, no government could keep up with the chaos, the monstrous conditions, glad my grandsons are on this side of the globe absent from the insanity of too much humanity and not enough sustenance and space.

We are lucky dogs, we Americans.

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