The New Arrival

They think it is impossible, she tells Patrick. But here is what you do: you pay a man to take your picture and make you a passport; you pay another man for stamping the passport book and yet another for a paper ticket, a sheaf of pages listing multiple destinations. You make friends with a white family. You carry their bags, discreetly hustle their little ones. You pray with them. You take a chance on a foreign god.

It will not be easy, Frances says, but it won’t be too difficult, either. Simply move as you were intended to move. Be as you were intended. Someone is waiting for you. Don’t doubt it. Pick up your own bag (just one, neat but inexpensive), and carry it aboard. Sleep. Eat. Practice the niceties of language: please, thank you, excuse me. You are neat. You don’t smell bad. You smell quite nice, actually. If you need to be attentive, be subtle. No googly eyes. Stay easy.

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