The Buddha Sat Right Here by Dena Moes

The Buddha Sat Right Here by Dena Moes

Author:Dena Moes
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: She Writes Press
Published: 2019-04-08T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 12

COQRG REGION, KARNATAKA

It usually happened like this. After weeks or months of harmonious married life, something triggered a conflict between Adam and me, which spiraled into a meltdown. Our disagreements were rare, and I had a strange amnesia about them, forgetting how miserable they were until the next one. When we fought, blinds over my heart snapped shut. With a twist of the wrist, dozens of slats that were open to let in light and goodness flipped closed leaving only darkness. Suddenly our entire history aligned to prove that we were absolutely wrong for each other.

This fight started on our journey to the Coorg region, in the mountains of the Western Ghats. The bus station was chaotic, the buses dilapidated and packed with people. It was hot. We found our bus and climbed aboard. Adam went to buy snacks and returned proud to share a strange assortment of sweet ball-things and giant spicy somethings. Bella made a snide remark about their inadequacy, and that Mom should have gotten the snacks. He turned away and took a seat far from me and the girls for the day-long bus trip. That choice made me seethe. He didn’t want to deal with his teen daughter’s attitude, which left me with both girls for this whole, hot trip. I started down the rabbit hole, my old story bubbling up with a fresh twist; I do more than my share for the family here, just like I did at home. Once I started down this path, my mind chugged like a runaway train. I made the plans, I found the buses, I studied the guidebooks, booked our rooms and trains, and provided structure and schedule to our wanderings. “Here we are, across the world,” I realized, “falling into the exact same pattern that I was trying to get away from.” I almost laughed out loud, thinking of that ridiculous cliché: wherever you go, there you are.

The bus wound its way down a twisting mountain road through tall green trees and explosions of flowering shrubs. I put Adam out of my mind and focused my attention on the eye-popping scenery. At one o’clock, in the thick of the jungle, the bus engine coughed to a stop. “Lunch stop!” the driver called out. Everyone got off and entered a thatch-roofed stall beside the road. Two old men served us heaps of rice with vegetables and dal on banana-leaf plates. The girls and I sat together in the roadside dhaba while Adam ate with two travelers he had been sitting near. I walked past him without speaking. When we were done, we flung our banana leaf plates onto the ground like the locals did, so dogs and goats could finish the meals.

We arrived in Madikeri, and my plan was to book a trek for the following day. I knew, via the guidebook, that the trekking office closed early. Because Adam had not talked to me for the entire day, he did not know the plan. I stepped into the bus station office with the girls to wait for him.



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