Today’s Lesson

Each morning the woman from Indonesia sits at an outside table, reading a Buddhist text, paperback or hardcover, poetry or prose. She is thin. She wears loose fitting jackets and flared slacks. She has tiny, oblong-lensed glasses. Her grey hair is swept up and pinned aback her head.

Goshkin mentioned he had read about upcoming elections in Indonesia a strict Islamic party was expected to win. The woman appeared unaware, then indifferent, expressed an opinion of pendulums swinging one way, then the other. “Every law imprisons someone,” she said.

“But what do you do?” Goshkin said.

“Stay in the middle.” She paused. “The only problem with the middle is it can become boring. So people climb mountains. Barefoot.” She laughed. “We’re all coming back anyway.”