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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Page 14--A Coffee With Two Sugars And One Goat For The Lady--Anjali Parikh

“I think I’m going to get a goat.” I made my declaration at the cramped Starbucks on the corner of Peach Street and Caleb Avenue.
“A goat’s too expensive,” Anne, my best friend these days, reasoned with me. “You’ll never make rent and still afford to feed a goat. How much is a tall cappuccino?”
“3.21—something plus tax.”
“Addictions are getting to be so expensive.” Twirling a pen in her right hand, she sighed. “I shouldn’t have quit smoking.”
“I suppose. I would need to move.”
“You live in the city; you’ll never find an apartment that’ll let you keep a goat. You’ll never find another decent apartment. Trust me. You’d have to move into some seedy, cockroach-infested spit hole. The city just isn’t a favorable place this time of year.” The city would never be favorable when it came to room and board; we both knew it.
“True.” I blinked a bit.
“Wait a couple of years. Then, get your goat. For now, get something that people don’t eat for supper in Korea. I think I might get a scone…”
“In a couple of years, I’ll be out of med school. Then, I’ll be applying for internships and fellowships. In ten years, I’ll have started my practice. After than, I want to open my restaurant, and I would like to send my short stories to a publisher, just for the hell of it. Somewhere in between I’ll get married, have at least a couple of kids, and maybe take a trip to Nepal. By then, I’ll be worrying about the kids’ tuition and my retirement. This can’t wait.” She and I watched her pen twirl for a few moments, before she started speaking again.
“You should get a goat.”
“Nah. too much maintenance.”
“How much is an espresso?”

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