Dub settled back, hands folded over his chest, concave ass hooked just one side of the rides white plastic seat and a shit eating grin plastered over his face; he let his neck hook backwards over the seat, rolled his eyes up and propped his long legs against the hand rail. The Israeli Air Force t-shirt hung loose around him, but where it rode up at the waist of his low-slung jeans, I could see he’d put on some weight. The patch of curled black hair running down from his navel reminds me not to look.
His body is a testament to the life thrown in his lap. Lying down he’s five eleven, but most days Dub Ravaana stand five nine. He has a head of curls like an oil slick, skin the color of Senka and green-gold eyes made permanently yellow by Hep A, and malaria maybe; his second incisor and all his molars are gold, and on his hands, you can still see the pinprick whorls of long-dead scabies. And his father’s Auschwitz arithmetic blue-blacked into the blackness of his left forearm. If anything, it makes him look more Indian.
The smell of burning shit and incense and curry, the sound of cats fucking in the alley like a toddler crying nothing-words, reminds me of the apartment in Bandara East, next to the local where we made love on a bare mattress.
When the shits were so bad that we lay on the floor and prayed the shma
over and over again, when those six words were bigger than the universe.
I could have been happy for the rest of my life in that Bombay apartment.
“Yeah, how’d you know?”
Saturday. I imagined him watching Nick Jr. cartoons in his shorts, eating carrot sweet with his fingers in the middle of someone else’s torn-up queen, and swallowed with that hot nauseous feeling of someone you have loved in the arms of someone else.
“Let me call you at the office then. Why not give me the number there?”
“Why d’ya think not, idiot?” In that moment, I really wanted to give him the number. I really really wanted to. But if he has my area-code he has my address—this I know from experience.
“Well, give me the last seven digits, and I’ll guess the first three.”
“That’s a dangerous game, brother.”
I could hear that shit eating grin on his face. “Afraid I’ll guess right?”
“Na,” the phone line crackled.
“So why don’t you call me then? I got a new cell. I’ll give you the number.”
“Better you didn’t.”
“What, are you scared?” He laughed, that guttural howl that makes my intestines burn. “Oh Ursula, I miss you so damn much sometimes I can’t breathe.”