Saturday, March 19, 2011


Downtown, Toronto, July 10, 2009

    In the morning the men would line up on the street at the entrance to the refugee camp. Employers would come and hire them for the day. The pay was fixed, five dollars for a day of hard work. The men would send the money home to their families. One day's pay was equal to a month's pay in their country far away.
    Mark’s eyes were deep, dark and feverish when he talked to me. He had been offered a job, a single day of work at a nearby nuclear plant. The pay was one-hundred-fifty dollars; the job was disposal of radioactive waste in a quarry.
    Mark was twenty-seven then and he had just learned that his girlfriend had taken her life back in his small home town. He decided to take the job as a punishment for having left her.

The Horseshoe

Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, "Infinitum"

    It is three o’clock in the morning and there are very few people at the airport. I am very sleepy and the young border officer who is scanning my luggage is also very sleepy. ‘You have a horseshoe in your suitcase,’ he is looking at me with a spark of curiosity in his eye. ‘Has it brought you good luck?’ How can I tell him what I am looking for? How can I tell him who I am looking for? How can I tell him my story? I am very tired. I am very tired with my hopeless search.
    I tell him about the horseshoe I found on top of a pile of garbage in the communal gardens. I scrubbed it clean and I tied a piece of red ribbon on it. When my mother’s friend saw the horseshoe, he examined it very thoroughly. ‘A lame horse was wearing it,' was his verdict.