Gilby leaned over Kartiks’ Tibetan prayer beads he was thumbing, as he granted himself time to wonder whether or not his spirituality was worth the purchase. Gilby chimed, “oh nice, Japanese beads!” The store clerk tilted her head momentarily, purses her lips as if to say something but kept her hands busy instead to the folding and tidying of the ruffled up scarves displayed on the table with an array of Tibetan apparel. I cough up all the bills Gilby handed me, and she offered in return the golden Dali-esque necklace I wish desperately I was the owner of. I extend my arms to hand Gilby the necklace only he keeps his hands in his pocket as he leans in towards me, “it’s yours, honey”
We get to the car and Kartik laughs at the awkward silence earlier with Gilby mistakenly calling an item in a Tibetan store – Japanese. Katrik becomes animated as he states matter of factly through his laughter, “that poor old lady had nothing to say, but I’m sure she was thinking ‘damn white people!’ ” Gilby leans forward towards the passenger seat and joins us in our howling laughter as he says through his cigarette stained teeth, “I lost the game!” And our giggling became louder, filling the cool San Francisco air with our yapping howls. Tilting our necks back, near tears building in our happy eyes, my hands roughing up Gilby’s shoulders as if my yaps caused a disturbance in the stability of securing my bottom to the seat of our fast car – Gilby’s shoulders acting as my anchor.
Ben cries into the streets, “you lost the game Gilbs, you lost the game!” With $5 to my name I laughed away the guilt of having nothing to offer in return except my hysterical cackling.
© Photo by Sera Cocora