Apparently, a little eyeliner works wonders
G.O.D. here. I’ve been hearing from you a lot lately and – you’re welcome. It’s my pleasure to see you surrounded by the beautiful nature, kind people and little joys that I have tucked away for you to discover in Goa. It’s one of my favourite places, and – judging from the volume of prayers I hear from the Catholics there – I know I did the right thing, sending the Portuguese over like that.
Sunday it pleased me to see you on your bicycle and grinning with delight on the stretch of meadow between Guirim and Parra (the one with the scarecrow woman in a patch of garden – I’m glad you notice my subtle gestures), and Monday evening I felt your wonder after I put you in the company of Nobel and Booker prize luminaries and other great minds to inspire those books you said you’d write.
By the way, what’s taking so long? You’re here in Goa, exactly where you wanted to be, you’re exchanging bon mots with the region’s finest published writers, and you haven’t even drawn up an outline?
Honestly, Ulrike, what more do you need to fulfill your life’s destiny?
Oh, right, that. This afternoon, I heard that old prayer. You were cycling up the long hill from the Betim ferry jetty and a sadness that you’d been carrying all day pressed down on your heart and the pain blurred your eyes with tears. You felt betrayed because this sadness – the one that you thought you’d left behind in Canada – had found you today, here in Goa.
Ulrike, I’ve surrounded you with love. You have newfound aunts, uncles and cousins who have looked after you; neighbours who worry about you when you come home late; friends who share chai and musings; colleagues who encourage your voice; comrades who share your passion; strangers who gift you with smiles. I’ve even thrown in a storeful of tolerant clerks, five affectionate kittens and two lusting admirers, for heaven’s sake.
What? Sure, they’re married, but love is love. No – I’m not suggesting you sin – I’m just saying it’s better than nothing, right?
I don’t know how much longer it will be, Ulrike. Maybe if you just took a little more care with your outfits and wore some makeup…(joke)…what I meant to say is: yes, I know you’ve had a rough time of it. You’ve fallen in love with men who didn’t love you; who wanted to change you, who missed their mothers, who hated their marriages; and who returned to me after huffing the tailpipe of an idling Toyota.
I know that one really hurt, and I wish I could explain. I know you’re strong, and now – well – you’ve learned to be humble. Sorry about that, it was out of my hands. But hold faith, Ulrike, and trust me. Be kind and honest and keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. When it’s time, he’ll find you and you’ll find him. You want a sign? Sure, I’ll send something good, I promise.
No, he won’t be married. Yes, he’ll love, respect and accept you as you are…but a bit of eyeliner wouldn’t hurt.
Oh, lighten up Ulrike! Now get started on that book and let me worry about the details.