jruit :: 24



The girl behind me in the taxi was bold. She was translating my straightforward English for the man I took to be her father. "And what will be the time of the trip?" she'd asked, received, and translated. I listened carefully as she threw her petulant emotions around in French, and after a while said, "You're from Marseilles or Paris?"

"Paris," she replied confidently. I began to tell her more details about the route we were taking, block by block, to the Target Store which had been their stated destination, and just before arriving, at 4th and Mission, said, "You're twelve years old?"

"Yes!" she said shortly, gazing directly at me in the mirror with wideset aristocratic eyes. She could see I wasn't exactly surprised by this. After an appropriate interval of time has passed after they'd set foot outside the taxicab, and I'd laid aside my waybill and sheathed my pen, she turned and gazed into the corner of my eye while I contemptuously stayed oblique of her glance. As if who on earth wouldn't have recognized a twelve-year-old girl from Paris?


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