Our washstone in Goa, India.

I always questioned the existence of things, because they were different, and also because I was growing up in a world that was meant to be questioned. ~ Me

There were times I would walk around the back of my house, talk to my dogs and the trees, sit on big slabs of rock, or old barks of trees that had been cut to preserve the views of our vegetable garden, and observe everything that surrounded me. This included the grunts of the pigs, the clucking of the hens, the footsteps of the chickens, their feathers swimming in the air around them, the voices of my neighbors calling out to their pigs trying to feed them constantly, calling at them “gae, yoh-yoh-yoh” which meant, “take, come-come-come.” And for moments, when I was deep in thought, I knew that things would never change. Everything stayed the same, and even when the wind blew, when it stopped, the air that surrounded us would put things back, to where they came from.

“Kaygirl, what are you doing back there, come in.” Mama would interrupt my thoughts as she was possessively looking for me throughout our house. The big blue and white house in the village, which we inherited from my grandparents, and which we extended to make it even bigger, and more modern, looked like two different homes attached together by a smaller cottage.

“Nothing” I said, my usual response to people who interrupted my thoughts.

I took one last glance of the back of my house, before I went back in the house. Once I was inside, mama looked at me with a familiar look. A look a barber gives his customer before going in with a scissor to a head. A look that evaluated how lengthy my hair was, and since she was my barber, until I was of age to go to a salon, she would always like to give me a boy cut, her reasoning was that my hair grew quickly.

“your hair is getting so long, let’s cut it” She said as if she did not make this decision on the spur of the moment, but perhaps it was marinating for a long time in her mind. I was eight, and I certainly did not have a choice, if it weren’t for her cuts, I would have probably never gotten a haircut until I turned 18.

As she grabbed her scissors, cape, and comb, she walked toward the back door, and I was back in the back of the house once again, using our washing stone as a salon chair. On numerous occasions when I would sit in my thoughts in the back of the house, I would see my maid thrusting wet clothes on this stone, as she vigorously washed our clothes with washing soap. As I watched her carefully and forcefully, swing fabric across her shoulder, as if she was using an axe to slice wood, my thoughts always reeled. As a child, I never had dreams beyond this house, the back of it, and everything this big blue and white house encompassed. I did, however, exercise my imagination a lot, some days I acted out scenes from mama’s favorite soap opera, using my parents’ bed as a stage, but certainly would not be able to play actress with this boy-cut that I was about to get.

“chii, what have you done to her hair love?” my papa would renounce shaking his head with a look of disgust.

I would have subtle tears in my eyes every time I would see that look in his face. He is my forever world.

“What, I cut it myself!” mama would snap back at him. I always felt as if I was never in the room when they would have conversations, which sometimes led to arguments.

“chii, I don’t like it” he would say, the words every young daddy’s girl longs to hear. I heard him say this every time she would cut my hair, which was a lot, and I suppose his feedback never mattered to her, because she continued giving me a boy-cut every time, according to her, my hair was too long.

I would hear this very same conversation twice every month, every time my hair grew long, and mama would cut my hair. After the first few times, my thoughts always drifted away, into another world, a world that fascinated me in the little box we called our television. Perhaps, one day, my thoughts would become a sitcom for all the girls around the world to see, and imagine a world outside the compounds of their homes, and confines of their village.

“I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien.” I write. Poetry is life. I host a podcast. I’m constantly healing. Above all, I’m kind to mankind.

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