“Ahead, Dubai” (Vignette)

There’s no doubt that anyone would take an offer of heaven to pull himself up out of hell. I wanted a real job. I owed it to my family to be able to bring home more than a mere three-thousand taka each month.

Suddenly, one morning, the job prospector showed up. He told me and another that we could take home 14 times that amount each month – 40,000 taka – for working with a construction company in Dubai. It would be a five-hour flight, so it could be a swift enough trip that I could possibly justify it, but I didn’t have the money. He suggested a loan. I took one out from the local mercantile.

“For you,” I told my wife, “for you and our boys I will do anything. And this needs to be done, or they will never see any hint of prosperity for as long as they’ll live.”

Now, I peer out of the window to my right, a tiny pane of glass with all the remaining glare from the sun shriveling up into its corner. Touchdown will happen at any moment now. Our plane will stumble its wheels over the pavement of Dubai International for a brief second, and then I’ll feel my tension eased immediately after that.

I let out a sigh – not just of relief, but one of frustration. Frustration that I never had the foresight to go about finding a job like this sooner, going outside of the gates of home to embark into new territory. New territory is about fresh opportunities. I want an opportunity. I don’t want to live anymore in that prison, a lockbox that stifles my desires to advance and binds my hands – perhaps even saws off the rungs of the ladder – and keeps me from climbing any higher.

Still looking out, I’m moving with the plane, ever closer to the mercy of a black asphalt. I feel the engine thrusting, and then I lean back slowly while my eyes see a rotating world outside.

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