Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Night Man


The man I love pulls at my hand, leading me to the garage across the street from where he works. It is late, and we have returned from eating out. "There is someone I want you to meet." He calls into the dark garage.

A silhouette nears us.

"Hey, man, this is my wife."

The tall, thin man nods toward me, a greeting, and I nod back. "Where are you from?"

"I am from Africa."

"Where?"

"You know Africa? I am from Côte Ivoire. Ivory Coast."

"Where in Côte Ivoire?"

"You know my country? Vous parlez français?"

"No, no, I know it only from the map."

"Abidjan."

My beloved stirs. "What are you doing, man, working so late?"

"This is my job."

"Yeah, but so late, man."

"How many people you send money to?"

"My mother. My children."

"I work another job, as a cleaner, before coming here. After I leave here, sometimes I find a few more hours at another garage."

We stand looking at each other through the chain link fence that separate us.

"You working so hard, man."

The man on the other side nods. "That's because I support a village."

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