The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 31

those who do. Usually they think our construction is to keep the water out. It is not. Our elevated homes allow the sea to breathe. The sea’s salty spit will flow under us and keep us cool. Normally, though, visitors stop only to see the cultural center’s dance and then continue on their rented mopeds, staying on the pavement.

Before I descend down the jungle path, I pass the cement hospital. It proudly sits on the corner of the paved and the dirt, of the smooth and the rough.

“Goodnight, Lusa,” my brother yells from the back of Rel’s motorcycle as it zips by the crossroads.

“Deti, come back! Please!”

Deti turns around with an enormous grin. “I’ve got plans. Big plans.” His eyes are sparkly, his smile stretching his skin away from his teeth.

“You will miss the ceremony. They will take someone from us. Deti!” I yell, but my voice will never overpower that machine. Deti does not look back.

More frequently, Deti ventures into West Side with the young mainlanders to hang out at the tourist bars. Most of the mainlanders have motorcycles now that they live on the island and use the cruise ship passengers for work. I have never ridden on one, but I do like to go to West Side via my father’s canoe to watch the dancing. I spy from the shore. I never get too close.

We gather on the eastern side of our village. It is where Whitman chooses to sleep. He says the sunrise deserves more admirers. During the ceremony, the one that will drive the angry spirits out of my mother’s dreams, he sits next to the dinner preparation area with his notebook open, watching and writing.