A taste of Clark Blaise’s The Meagre Tarmac

When I came back from visiting some of our facilities in South Asia, I was still of a mind to stay in California and enjoy my second first-marriage and the baby, and our new house, and perhaps fund a few interesting projects in India from long range. The customs agent flipped through my American passport, observed that I sure do a lot of travelling, to which I merely smiled, to which he reiterated, “A lot of South Asian travel,” to which I said, “Family, you know,” and he responded, “Family in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Malaysia and China?” and put a number on my declaration form. I’m scrupulous about keeping receipts and not exceeding the customs exemption.

This was at JFK. All I had to do was claim my bag and roll it to the domestic conveyor belt, none of it easy without a wheelchair, then move on to the domestic departures lounge. Nothing comes easily unless I’m met in SFO by my driver. But I didn’t make it to the conveyor belt. I was still waiting for my bag at the carousel when a uniformed office came up to me, specifically to me, no one else, and said, “Let me see some I.D.” (Read more here).

Clark Blaise will be reading at Concordia University Tuesday, November 19th at 4PM in the Henry F. Hall Building (H-767).

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