A Wedding in Uluwatu
by Gauraa Shekhar
Look, I’m not going to lie. I was twenty-four—actually just two weeks shy of my twenty-fifth birthday—and I was living in the waxy basement of a Russian painter’s house. Her being Russian has nothing to do with the story but, you know, these types of details seem to matter to the people back home. And while I’m at it, I might as well clarify that this was Bed-Stuy, and Bed-Stuy in 2010, before the fucking art school kids moved in, before Yasmine’s Hair Braiding had given way to Gnostic Yoga and Tattoo. Before there were ‘coffee bars’ where the impoverished elite left their tabs open for five-dollar lattes. Around this time, I used to get mugged at knife-point, which was funny in a pathetic little way, because all I had on me was a bag from the dollar-store which sold off-brand Pop Tarts—Toast ‘Em Pop Ups, I believe they were called—and a bunch of bananas. It was all I could afford back then, so I thought twice before handing over the black plastic bag. Can you believe that? I was willing to risk death for Toast ‘Em Pop Ups!