but he was suddenly silent

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Ketut nodded as if to say, Yeah, that sounds about right. "But don't worry," he saidHong Kong international school. "After you lose all your money, you will get it all right back again. Right away you'll be fine. You will have two marriages in your life. One short, one long. And you will have two children . . ."

I waited for him to say, "one short, one long," frowning at my palm. Then he said, "Strange . . . ," which is something you never want to hear from either your palm-reader or your dentist. He asked me to move directly under the hanging lightbulb so he could take a better look.

"I am wrong," he announced. "You will only have only one child. Late in life, a daughter. Maybe. If you decide . . . but there is something elseMuay Thai." He frowned, then looked up, suddenly absolutely confident: "Someday soon you will come back here to Bali. You must. You will stay here in Bali for three, maybe four months. You will be my friend. Maybe you will live here with my family. I can practice English with you. I never had anybody to practice English with. I think you are good with words. I think this creative work you do is something about words, yes?"

"Yes!" I said. "I'm a writer. I'm a book writer!"

"You are a book writer from New York," he said, in agreement, in confirmation. "So you will come back here to Bali and live here and teach me English. And I will teach you everything I know."

Then he stood up and brushed off his hands, like: That's settled.

I said, "If you're serious, mister, I'm serious."

He beamed at me toothlessly and said, "See you later, alligatoraerospace technology


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