When My Friend from the Rainforest Visited
When my friend from the rainforest visited the city, I couldn’t make him understand why the most important people in the tallest buildings were the most important people. No, I told him, they were not able to hunt or fish or grow their food, or build a hut from grass, or communicate with the spirit world.
I couldn’t make him understand what the most important people actually do to make themselves more important than the rest of us down below, scurrying madly to serve our masters, fishing in ever-dwindling rivers.
My friend is kind and openhearted. He suggested we might invite the most important people in my country to visit his homeland, to learn which leaves to eat for a sour stomach, and which flowers help us know the edges of the universe. He thought we could all be brothers, big chieftains in bespoke three-piece suits and little men in loincloths.
I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I didn’t want to tell him that was a bad idea. So I sort of lied and sort of told the truth. I said the most important people in my country were too busy at the moment.
But maybe, I supposed, one day the tallest buildings will tumble like the World Trade Center towers, and everyone will have more time for visiting .