A migrant, like me

He is a slender man with skin the colour of roasted coffee beans.  In his late twenties, I estimate quickly.  His taxi is as clean as his simple blue shirt.  He settles into the driver’s seat and lowers sunglasses over long lashed eyes.  I know he has caught my gaze in the rearview mirror.  When he smiles he is a boy again.  His dimples are deep.  I like him immediately.

As I close my eyes and sink lower into the backseat, he turns on the air con and asks if I’m comfortable.  A thoughtful gesture that makes my eyes glisten in a world of competing demands.  I enjoy the solitude for a few seconds.  Unable to tolerate the silence he blurts out, “I remember you.  You are the lady who works very hard for her family.”  I try and minimise my lifestyle amid his insistent, “no, no, you travel a lot”.   He remembers our previous conversation in vivid detail.  He asks if I’m going to Broome again.  I now remember him, as among other things, we had talked about camels.  He is from the Middle East and as a child was a witness to the unspeakable terror of war.  I’m ashamed he has remembered more about me than I have of him.

He talks impulsively.  Recalling our previous conversation, he tells me he too has a bucket list now.  He wants to provide for his young children like I have done for mine.  It is possible in “this beautiful country” to achieve this, “if you work hard”.  I sense this is his daily mantra.

He has no other plans than to give his children a childhood they remember rather than one he tries hard to forget.

I knew I liked him the moment I met him.  This time I don’t want to forget him, so I offer him a home where I live, the space between the keyboard and screen.

And, perhaps, in your thoughts, when you meet or see someone like him.

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird

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