Tuesday, May 14, 2002

We sat at a table in the corner and she ordered a strawberry daiquiri and I ordered a scotch. I asked her if she had just ended a serious relationship and she acted a little surprised that I would ask, but she said yes, and we talked about that. The romance was gone, she said. They'd been together for nine years, almost since she'd come over, and they had done everything together. He was Indian too and he was practically her only friend in the States. She teased the frothy surface of the daiquiri with her straw and bent her head down when she went to drink.

"You've met other people though, right? At work?" I inquired hopefully.

"No. It is a very big problem with immigrants. They come over and they never fit in. They try to but they cannot. They stay with their own kind always."

We talked more about her ex, and about mine. She still lives with him, she said. He's a writer, he's trying to sell his novel but he hasn't and he's depressed. But she kept returning to this sad theme of being lost in the New World, of longing for what was all around but out of reach.

"What do you like to do for fun?" I asked, hoping this idiotic and banal question would lighten the mood.