Girija Tropp

Where I Am Going

I want to become a better person of the instant variety, a grand oaken spiral with alcoves for one night stands; somebody could give me a lot of money and say how they wished they were me. Unlikely. And it would only work if I admired the people who wished to be me, otherwise creepy.

When I was about to die, age six, my mother took the rooster down to the local parish and sacrificed it for chicken soup. The rooster had yaw disease and it was done for; my mother wasn't into waste. The cure wasn't instant but a miracle over 12 months. The priest smoked a cigar while he blessed me. He was English. A few years later there was another coup d'etat and I got a waterborne disease that left me with a weak digestion. This time my mother didn't bother with the fowls of the earth; she and dad packed up and went back to fur coats and barley soups and less sun and serotonin.

Actually, I'm afraid of being a better person because of the immense responsibility. Nothing happens. Except that John calls me up to say I am a blemish on his life. He doesn't use that word but I know what he means. Also, I make some absolutely delicious apple cake. It has three kilos of apples in it. And a gap-toothed man stops me in the street and says hi, where're you going? Hey, he calls after me, I know where you're from.

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