Valentine's Special Edition

Eric knows me as an anomalous American skydiver who loves Africa, teaching self-defense, studying kung fu, talking about politics, and interviewing arms dealers in remote corners of the continent. After living with me for a year, he is also in possession of important personal intelligence, like the fact that I panic when we run out of hot sauce and will rearrange my entire schedule to see old episodes of Law and Order on one of our four local TV stations. He has been my best friend during the most transformative episode of my life, but until December he had never met my parents, seen the school photos from my “awkward years,” or walked around the city where I grew up.

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Kliptown in Crisis

Pam got up, quickly handing off the bowl of vegetables to her daughter. I followed her towards the gate. A missing child’s body had been found by the train tracks nearby and she said we needed to go and find out what was going on. We were among the first to arrive at a short footpath through long grass from the tracks to the shacks below. Pam and another, older woman spoke briefly, and then they told me to go and look to see if it was a body in the grass. I walked a few steps towards a clump of high weeds, and saw a small hand. I took another step and made out the shape of a small body lying there, a blue piece of clothing, a plastic bag on the face. I retreated. It was a crime scene, and the body was evidence. I have never seen such a young victim, abandoned like a sack of garbage on the edge of an overcrowded slum. I kept thinking evidence: it’s evidence.

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