Friday, October 05, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 4: Three Caged Species of Exotic Animal

Today's prompt was 'Strange Animals', and the mention of Gerald Durrell and his delightful book 'My Family and Other Animals' made me squee with joy. I love Durrell; his writing is wonderful and evocative and witty, and I felt sure I'd have a whale of a time (pun intentional) with the writing today.

Except I didn't. Because things, as always, took a left fork into the middle of Unexpected Territory, and the piece came out nothing like what I envisioned. I didn't want to write it, I swear, but one thing I've learned (resignedly) is that my brain will churn out what it churns out and I don't have a say in the matter.

Here goes nothing.

DAY 4: THREE SPECIES OF CAGED EXOTIC ANIMAL

1.
Filipino Maid in Kuala Lumpur

ma’am is in a bad mood tonight
she come home start shouting
CORA WHY YOU PUT MY BAG THERE
ARE YOU STUPID
at dinner she get mad again
throw the plate on the table
CORA THIS IS SO SALTY HOW TO EAT
HOW MANY TIMES I TOLD YOU
DON’T PUT SO MUCH SALT
YOU STUPID IS IT
GO CLEAN UP THE MESS
YOU AH SO USELESS ONE

i think of my children in manila
they ask nay when you coming home
i say i don’t know nak

ma’am has my passport
she say she keep so i cannot run away
she keep my money too

malaysia is very far from manila
i wish i could swim
so far

2.
Thai Bride in Belgium

She loved him. She wanted a better life.
Both these things are not mutually exclusive.
Dating website. Six months.
He said he loved her. That’s all she needed.

She loved him. She wore long sleeves and long skirts
To hide the marks he left after his jealous rages.
She told herself it’s ok, it’s ok as he
Checked her phone every night
For signs of infidelity. Vetted her emails.
Built her a locked cage called Marriage.

Five years and she could divorce him if she chose
But it’s only two this June.
They can deport her now if she leaves.
He says he loves her. She believes him still
Makes excuses for his abuse.
She can’t go back to Thailand. She won’t go back.
Everything has its price. She’ll pay hers
In  makeup carefully masking bruises and black eyes
Clothes that cover her skin
And silence.

3.
Exotic Dancer in Florida

Money for college.That’s what I think about.

Money, as I pluck this sequinned hell off my body
Money, as I flash my tits to dead-eyed dicks with beers in their hand and tents in their pants
Money, as I gyrate my hips and think of anything else but this damn claustrophobic club and these hideous lights and this bloody pole and this zoo of eyes watching like I’m some damn species of pussy in a cage

It’s ok on the best of days, downright degrading on the worst but hell –
It pays the bills.

Sure, there are other jobs. Better ones with less shitty bosses even.
They don’t pay half as well as one good night here though.
What a joke innit – being tied to a pole by debt.
I’d laugh but it’s true.
Anyway, Annie’s done  and I’m up next.

Time to go make money.

2 comments:

ms_lili said...

Objects of trafficking if there ever was; caged species. The visa system that allows humans to essentially be caged needs to be revamped! I appreciate your political awareness.

Richa Sharma said...

Wow, these actually shook me! Poignant and so real!