Sunday was International Men’s Day (a made-up Twitter holiday, surely) and the day I beat all the men to the top of the hill. While you were asking me to serve you more food or to turn on the water heater for your shower, I was preparing to climb to the summit; you stayed down below, sitting in the shade trying to watch UFC on your phone.
It was a rough start, awake at 6:30, ready by 7:30 and then driver never showed up. After sitting in the shade of the verandah at the estate and gorging ourselves all day, we had to escape the torpor of overeating and enjoy the lush green of the countryside. By 9am we were on the road but then the replacement driver made us stop to buy him breakfast. One dosa too many for the hungriest member of the group and he never made it to the top but flexed like he had. I slid down the loose dirt slope with a banana in my shirt pocket and got a bruise in my buttcrack; it wasn’t really a competition. Though even the driver, who dropped us saying “fast, fast,” so that he wouldn’t have to wait too long, made the climb. He slipped back down the high hill just like us, blowing out his old knees. The mist wouldn’t clear until we had slid back down the hill; we missed the clear view of the surrounding green hills. As we hiked out, we passed the pile of beer bottles, wrappers, and crushed cigarette packets that the Indian “picnickers” left behind them. On the way back to the estate, with a shrill scream, I chucked my coconut husks out the window of the car, trying to hit the road signs. It’s OK, coconut is biodegradable.