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Unformatted text preview: Part I Withdrawals In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina Can't you see the sunshine Can't you just feel the moonshine Ain't it just like a friend of mine To hit me from behind Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind A single yellow balloon drifted up, up, up—a solitary sun floating aimlessly through the clear blue expanse above. And so Hannah’s mind went—up, up, up with the balloon. Into the infinitude, a Charleston sky unbroken by clouds, where the air is cool and light and doesn’t choke in a warm, suffocating embrace. Nothing could hold the little sun back, nothing could anchor it to earth…she felt so free. Then wham! The resounding exclamation of the old Chevy’s door punctuated Hannah’s daydream. Her father shoved himself into the small cabin, rumpled brown bag in hand. She wondered if the balloon was lonely up there. Karen she's a silver sun You best walk her way and watch it shinin' Watch her watch the mornin' come A silver tear appearing now I'm cryin' Ain't I goin' to Carolina in my mind It’s been six years since Mama took off, down the gravel road to the next street on the corner, shut behind a yellow door, and on to who-knows-where. Tennessee, maybe. Weighing down her left hand was the only thing she valued enough to take—her battered black guitar case. The rest she left: a tired two-bedroom house a couple miles off highway 26, a sorting job at the local post office, her women’s bible study group that met at the pastor’s house every Wednesday, a husband and eight year-old daughter. And two retriever puppies—but Hannah knew Mama never liked them anyway. Too affectionate, she always said. Nowadays Bo and Molly are about the only ones who will listen to Hannah. Papa only really looks at the television set, and only when the Cowboys are playing. He’s from Texas, you see. The rest of the time he looks down the neck of a glass bottle. Thaipusam is a festival observed by Hindus across India, Singapore, and Malaysia. During this time, they celebrate the birth of their god Murugan, the son of gods Shiva and Parvati. Along with a traditional dance honoring their god of war, followers can choose to perform a rite called kadavi. The kadavi is a physical burden borne for the purpose of gaining the favor of Murugan. Some burdens can be as small as carrying milk jugs on the head for an extended period of time. But as the pain inflicted on the body increases, so the worth of the kadavi-bearer increases. Because of this sliding scale, common practices include spearing the skin, tongue, or cheeks with a small rod and even being drawn behind a cart by a hook inserted in the flesh of the back. The statistics are menacing: one child dies every five seconds, which equates to six million each year. Although no part of the world is immune to this affliction, the mortality is centered in such poverty and famine‐stricken areas as sub‐Saharan Africa and South Asia.centered in such poverty and famine‐stricken areas as sub‐Saharan Africa and South Asia....
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