by Jan Ryan
J's friend from the Post Office would soon be nosing around in J's business.
Marie was a Mormon, was raised Mormon, and was firmly entrenched in being Mormon, had 5 grown children, plus one still at home. They had an uneasy work alliance.
They agreed on issues like Domestic Violence and completely disagreed on issues like Abortion. Marie was in town with her extended family who were volunteer Missionaries.
J had met some of them around the town they all worked in. This was the first time J and Marie had been in the same foreign country at the same time.
Marie would assume that every guy at the hostel had their tongues hanging down to their knees over either of the beautiful women so why would the women talk to J?
The answer would be either a backhanded insult or a backhanded compliment.
J would have known if she had thought about it but J was somewhat oblivious to the women's relationship until she pictured Marie getting an eyeful of them.
Why shouldn't they talk to J? Ava and Fei would suspect that Marie and J were colluding on some spy mission (during a World Wide pandemic. Uh huh).
J's life, start to finish, was a lot of work that added up to nothing.
So until COVID19 backed her into a corner in Taiwan, language classes she had signed up for cancelled,
she was relatively unhassled moving from continent to continent forming casual friendships with whoever was around, then moving on.
J couldn't see any reason why she was still alive. She had no family (her sister had children. Her mother in Florida had a boyfriend.
Her father died at age 50 because he was careless while working with Uranium). She was falling apart physically.
Like most people, barely getting by money-wise, and had to think up little purposes,
like how much she loved the day with elephants in Chiang Mai or how happy the first field of zebras she drove by in Tanzania made her feel,
or harvesting berries and chestnuts with an Indigenous family in Chile or statues on Easter Island or getting by speaking a little Russian in all those satellite countries.
She didn't Work for The Man any more. It wasn't laziness. God simply decided that The Man had exploited her enough.
She believed in God (she was getting Help from somewhere) so she had Faith that there had to be some reason she was alive but the best she could come up with (aside from taking a run
almost every day of her adult life) was that God was perfectly willing to Help her to see the Planet if that is what she wanted since that kept her completely dependent on His Guidance,
Protection and Mercy. God had much better travel ideas than she had. Travel forced her to follow the nudges in her own little internal endless journey.
But she clearly had not been chosen by God to go Home.
Ava and Fei were important. They lived the exciting lives she wished she lived but realistically J didn't have the courage or something. J wasn't important at all. Oh the relief.
J didn't get to go on a shootout rampage in response to not being able to get home or Home.
She couldn't get hold of a gun, get rich, get vindication, get even, get high, get famous, get laid, get redemption or get to go to language school. All of that was for the Somebodies.
J's nephew's wife who couldn't seem to pump out a live baby was pregnant again. They didn't like J but that was the obvious opening if she had to stay in her family line.
J wasn't "Good" or "Bad." She was a dork from a dorky family.
Because she wasn't willing to do what it took J was life's big loser and she would probably soon be reincarnating into another round of the same goody-two-shoes kind of life until she figured
If she were still in Veranasi she could walk down to the $5 Crematorium and die there