Corner Shop


A guide told us to avoid the bank. He knew a guy who would exchange our currency at the going rate without the lines, the hassle of fees and the air-conditioning. Insert a middleman, cut out bureaucracy.

He would take us there, to a corner shop that sold machetes alongside Fanta in glass bottles on the shoulder of a little used highway. He wanted to play a disc on the speakers for me, but the system was broke, so he sang instead. I covered my ears with the palms of my hands, tried to memorize the sound of the engine and his voice. He speaks above the engine when his song lulls.

“Have you ever seen anything like this day?”

I look away, out the window. To answer him would make the moment belong to the real, so I write a reply in the pages of my book.

A dirt road, I can taste it.

A hot day, I can hear it still.

A broken glass bottle on the floor of the corner shop, I smell it late at night.

In the southern hemisphere everything turns.



- Jen Ferguson