Dispatches

November 19th, 2014 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Lorne Covant

You are that boy. The boy I met in Switzerland while herding my siblings up the long, steep hill to the closest school cafeteria for our free lunch.

It took me exactly two hours. Two hours for most Swiss children to go home to a hot lunch and a motherly kiss. Two hours for non-Swiss me to make my way across town, pick up my brother and sisters at their school and coax them all up that hill, to get them fed, then back down to drop them off and then catch a city bus to my own school, and my breath, if I have money that day.


You are that Swiss boy, the sandy-haired, blue-eyed boy herding his own brother, who asked me one day: “You’re going to the Bellevaux cafeteria?” Though of course you asked it in French. You were walking up that same hill, on my left and slightly behind me, so that I had to turn my head to look at you from under my bangs, which needed to be cut. 

...