by Elwin Cotman
Halfway through breakfast at the Mexican restaurant, Kalonji was delighted to find the restroom could talk. A husky female voice coming from somewhere around the air vents said, “Lávase las manos. Wash your hands. La cuenta, por favor. Check, please.” A robot Spanish teacher.
Especially impressive considering Kim had taken them to a normal restaurant, nothing gentrified, a fifteen-minute walk from her Bushwick apartment. A normal restroom made of grimy surfaces and soggy toilet paper rolls. In the stall he listened carefully to the words, testing his dormant Spanish, at the same time peeling the Band-Aid on the back of his right calf. Last night he’d injured himself hauling his suitcase around Penn Station. The wound was cherry-red and ringed with black scabbing.