Bush Country

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It was late, probably too late, but I love the beach at night. Somehow not being able to see the horizon makes it so much more infinite. I walked down the steep broken steps on the cliff in Varkala and made my way across the sand and sat myself down.

I’d been practicing meditation with little success and thought such a peaceful spot might help me along. Surveying the beach, I saw it was empty from me to the pitch blackness that sat beyond the edge of a giant spotlight’s beam. I closed my eyes and thought that with the sound of the waves, I might not hear someone coming, but I then remembered reading when meditating one should actually be more conscious of what’s going on around them.

That would have been nice if I could actually meditate. I opened my eyes thinking I heard someone in the distance and saw a single line of fresh footprints passing inches in front of me. I followed them and found a young kid walking away. He looked back past me. Turning that way I saw his three friends walking towards me. They approached looking, but talking only to each other. On the giant empty beach, they passed close by me.

“What are you doing?” one asked.

“Actually, nothing” I said.


They stopped and the four came over to me. I was taller than all of them. The one that talked was the leader. He was small and stood with his weight shifted to one leg, his arms folded and an imposing attitude.

“What’s that in your pocket, a camera?” he asked wacking at my leg with the back of his hand.

“Hah, no. It’s cookies.” I said. They were chocolate chip in fact, they were the first I’d had in months.

“What?” He didn’t understand me, so I took the package out to show him.

He grabbed it from my hands and quickly opened it searching for free food. Finding nothing, he tossed it onto the ground. I thought the way he threw it could be taken as meaning “I’m in an aggressive state and I’m crazy and I’ll litter to get my point across”, but then I remembered almost everyone litters in India. It actually meant nothing but “this is empty and neither of us need it, so I’ll throw it on the beach”, which bothered me since I’d been carrying it around all day waiting to hopefully, somehow, maybe find a trash can.

The other kids stood around while their leader talked with me.

“Where you come from?” was his next question.

“America,” I said.

“Ahhh…you come from Bush Country?!?!”

“Hah, I guess so!”

“You like Bush?” one of the others asked sharply.

“Not really,” I said honestly.

I started asking them trivial questions. They asked me to come to a party and I declined. If there’s one thing I’ve found a lot of in India besides poop, it’s friendly. And these kids weren’t friendly. They started to leave and I offered a handshake. They took it lightly and we went separate ways.

At no point did I actually feel threatened, but I don’t know exactly what was going on in their heads. I could tell they didn’t like America, but I wasn’t sure if that meant they didn’t like me. In any case, I didn’t like the sound of Bush Country.

One Thought on “Bush Country”

  1. UT Says:

    Good thing your black belt mojo travels well. Did you use the Jedi mind trick on them to make them leave?

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