When I was eight, I came to America, land of the unlimited condiments. A precocious brush with history prepared me for Ponce de León’s springs of water, but none of my books had prepared me for America’s ketchup spouts. And yet, there they were, like mythical fountains of eternal wealth, on fast food countertops spread with bins of sugar packets and cups of red plastic sticks, in a land where burglars and kings battled for America’s hearts and stomachs.Continue reading “Ketchup Tastes Like Freedom”
The Place Where Time Can’t Find You
Everyone needs a place where time can’t find you, where the landscape swallows time the way the water gulps up the shoreline every second of the day. This corner of the world is detached from time, wholly present, endlessly still, yet always in motion. The water sees to that.
It’s good to disappear sometimes.
I Came to America After the Tanks Rolled in: Remembering the Former Yugoslavia
I came to America after the tanks rolled in, just barely before they took Sarajevo. After the helicopter shadows moved across of the fields of buttercups and horseradish and daisies and wisteria, but before the mortars fell. I came to this country when the shelves started to empty of bread, of meat, of corn flakes. I came to this country after the money had already begun to crash, after sunken stacks of rubbery, hollow-eyed gas masks stared back at me at the check-out, but before pensioners had to stand in line to trade bag after bag of devalued coins for stale bread. I came here when the skies had already begun to darken, when the fear had started to slink down the quiet gravel streets.
Continue reading “I Came to America After the Tanks Rolled in: Remembering the Former Yugoslavia”