I have found a shampoo that smells like Nata’s. There are two supermarkets here in the Capitol, and in the morning, I went to the one next to the bank. I didn’t bring shampoo with me and I need to wash my hair. So I walk down the shampoo aisle, sniffing. There are not 100 kinds the way there would be in Los Angeles. But there are perhaps seven.

The kind that smells like her is labeled in Thai. I think it is Sunsilk, but I don’t honestly know what I am buying. The bottle is yellow and says Thomas in English in smaller letters and when I open it, the recognition is a rush.

It is amazing to shower with this—there is a shower in the hotel. It is amazing to have the smell of it linger on me afterwards. It gives me a sense of rightness about things.

I don’t know how to explain this. Without Nata, there is a sense of uneasiness. Not just an anxiety that she is not there to protect me, but a discomfort that things are amiss. It is like a picture that will never hang straight, like something that is continually amiss, out of place, awry. And one thing has been finally set right.


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