I’m sorry, I stole your tapenade and rushed away as you approached, anticipating that you would move this admixture of cultures from one refrigerator to the next. There are now more McDonalds in China than there are in the world. We live within the perimeter of the Opium Wars, in walking cities without two hundred million cars. Our mothers were born five days before the Atomic Age, condemned to the reconcentrados, like the Tibetan community now in exile and the gypsies who also break stemware at weddings. It was a dark and stormy night, and the captain said to the mate, mate, tell us a story, and so the mate began.
Emily Stone is a New Yorker who has lived in Antigua, Guatemala; Melbourne, Australia; Guangzhou, China; and even Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her nonfiction pieces have appeared in journals such as Tin House and Fourth Genre, and her poems are forthcoming in the South Dakota Review. She teaches literature and creative writing in English at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, and she can be found online at www.chocolateincontext.com.
“I am currently engrossed in a cat and mouse game with a rodent that is perhaps larger than a mouse which I haven’t ever seen but which leaves unpleasant indicators of its presence on my small patio here in muggy south China. When I am not battling animals, oppressive heat, or drying laundry on my patio, I like to spend time out there with my wicker Ikea lounge chair and a good book.”