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  • With my hand on the knob, I looked around the room one last time before shutting the door. My gaze fell on a book by the bed and I sighed. I wanted to take it, to lie in a hammock and read it by the beach, but I had many, many miles to cross before I swung in the breeze and it wasn't mine. It looked too crisp and clean to pack.

    In my mind, I saw another book, another trip, bits of paper, edges and corners whipped through the air as I lost myself in the words that disappeared as I read.

    A woman stood in the aisle. Many women stood in aisle. One in particular, though, caught my eye. She held a baby in disfigured arms. I wanted to give her - them - my seat but it wasn't right. It wasn't how things were down in a country that showed skin bleaching ads before the films with music and dance and fairy tale endings. She had booked that seat that wasn't a seat, a place to stand on a bus for an eight-hour ride.

    And my paper swirled around them. Crumbling pages. Meaningless words in the dusty air.

    Quietly I closed the door. I left the borrowed book next to bed. It would be there when I got back with new words and new stories, new images in my mind.
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