A newly made friend and I are walking back from a long walk to nowhere in particular. It’s dark, and the lights are few.

I am telling him about a funny conversation I had just heard. I am interrupted by his phone. He picks it up and tells a phone company that he is busy, please.

He starts to say something else and then suddenly-

He is not next to me. He has fallen into a wide, deep gutter. He is shouting, and I am incredibly confused. It’s so dark that I can’t tell where he is anymore. I crouch quickly and carefully and hand him my arm. Some Tibetan monks walking nearby rush to us and help me help him out.

He gets out and tells us that his phone is still in there. Save his phone, he whimpers. Now the little crowd that has gathered leaves him alone and clusters around the gutter with torchlights and phonelights, looking for a grey phone in black sewage water.

Later, he tells me that this wasn’t the first time he’s fallen into a gutter.


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