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መልካም ጥበብዎች Fine Arts

My Quotes from Dinaw Mengistu’s “Children of the Revoltion (Extended)

Quotes from Dinaw Mengistu’s Children of the Revolution (extended).

፪) ክፍል ሁለት፦ የእኔ ጥቅስዎች በእየምዕራፉ


እነዚህ ጥቅሶች፣ እጅግ ብዙ ናቸው። ትርክቱን እንደ ካርታ እሚያነሱም ስለሆኑ፣ የቀደመውን ጭምቅ እሚያጠነክሩ ናቸው። በብዛት ደግሞ አፈጋጊ ወይም ሀሳብ ጠቅላይ ስለሆኑም ሳልቀንስ አካትቻቸው አለሁ። ስለእዚህ የትርክቱ ጭምቅ፣ ፈገግታ እና ሀሳብ ማጋራት የእሚከተሉት ጥቅሶች አላማአቸው ነው፨


 ምእራፍ አንድ
• He believes in the power of a well-tailored suit to command the attention and respect of those who might not otherwise give him a second thought. (10)
• As much as Kenneth has ever needed anything in his life, he has needed order and predictability, small daily reassurances that the world is what it is, regardless of how flawed that may be. (10)
• [“Why not fix your ugly (a bit bent and brownish) teeth even if you make enough money?”] [“Because,”] “You can never forget where you came from [poor Africa to the USA] if you have teeth as ugly as these,” he said. (11)
• “Africans. Congolese. You can never trust us to be on time.” (12)
• [“Why are you not late?”] “I’m an engineer. I have to be precise. Precision is the name of my game. You say to be somewhere at eight-thirty, I’m there at eight-thirty. Not a minute later.” (12)
• “He pours a little scotch into a Styrofoam cup he stole from his office and hands it to me.” (13)
• You get the sense when watching him that even the grandest gestures he may make aren’t grand enough for him. He’s constantly trying to outdo himself, to reach new levels of Josephness that will ensure that anyone who has ever met him will carry some lingering trace of Joseph Kahangi long after he has left. (13)
• He’s [Jo] now a waiter at an expensive downtown restaurant, and after he cleans each table he downs whatever alcohol is still left in the glasses before bringing them back to the kitchen. (13)
• That’s my favorite thing about you Ethiopians,” he says. “You kiss each other on the cheeks all the time. It takes you hours to say hello and good-bye because you’re constantly kissing each other. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.” (14)
• “… Poor Bukassa. Emperor Bukassa. Minister of Defense, Education, Sports, Health, War, Housing, Land, Wildlife, Foreign Affairs, His Royal Majesty, King of the Sovereign World, and Not Quite But Almost the Lion of Judah Bukassa.” (16)
• “He [my father] used to say, when I die you’ll know how to tell it’s me by this scar. That made no sense but when I was a boy I didn’t know that. I thought I needed that scar to know it was him. And now, if I saw him, I couldn’t tell him apart from any other old man.” (17)
• “All of our fathers are dead,” Joseph adds. “Exactly,” Kenneth says. It’s the closest we’ve ever come to a resolution. (17)
• He pulled the car up to my house and waited for me downstairs while leaning coolly against the passenger-side window, legs crossed. I wish for his sake there had been more people out there to see him because he looked wonderful. (18)
• “Good, no?” He had a habit back then, only recently abandoned, of ending his sentences with a question. (18)
• Our drive to the dealership was a slow one. He eased his way prematurely into fading green lights, and took a slow, extended route around the neighborhood to reach the expressway. I didn’t mind any of it. We had all suffered enough mockery and humiliation to last us well beyond our lifetimes, and if my role now was to serve as a blind, unflaggingly devoted cheerleader through whatever challenges and victories lay ahead, then I was all the happier for it. (18)
• I watch the car through the windows as Kenneth and Joseph miss their turn off the circle and have to drive around it again. The second time, they honk just for me as they pass. (19)
 ምእራፍ ሁለት
• “Guess what?” I asked them. “What?” “Some white people just moved in.” “Where?” “Next door.” “Next door to who?” “Me.” “He’s lying.” “I’m serious.” “Next door to you.” “Yes.” “In that house.” “I think they’re going to fix it up.” “Why would white people want to live next to you?” “I don’t think they know I live here.” “How do you know?” “I saw them.” “And what did they look like?” ”Tall. White.” “How many” “I only saw one.” “Well then, that proves nothing.” She was searching in her purse for keys.” (20)
• When I moved into the neighborhood I did so because it was all I could afford, and because secretly I loved the circle for what it had become: proof that wealth and power were not immutable, and America was not always so great after all. The neighborhood, and by extension the city, had fallen, and every night I could see and hear that out of my living-room window. (21)
• Her name, Judith—Judy—was the English counterpart to my cousin’s name—Yodit. When I pointed that out she shook her head, bit down on her lower lip, and said, “No, no. That’s much prettier than Judith. Much prettier.” (22)
• When the girl turned back around and faced me I felt a hint of embarrassment and shame come over me. I knew I was being judged by this child as she refused to avert her gaze from mine. (23)
• Over the years I had watched her go to church two, sometimes three times a week just, I believe, so she could escape the deafening silence that came with living alone in old age. (23)
• “Get me some milk. I don’t want nothing that’s expired, though. I may be old but that doesn’t mean I want my milk to be.” (27)
• She smiled back gratefully at me. If there was one thing I understood about people, it was how far even the smallest gesture of sympathy could go when needed.“ (29)
• ”Kids pushed and beat one another up on almost every block; they flashed gang signs, shouted insults, and made threats. Nothing, however, seemed to alarm Naomi, and when she told me what she had seen, she did so without fear hesitation, as if she already knew that the only way to live was to take all of the things you saw at face value. (30)
• Naomi was eleven years old, and she took pride in being able to shake her head at the world. She was convinced that American foreign policy in the Middle East was a failure, that a two-state solution in Israel was inevitable, and that enough wasn’t being done about the global AIDS crisis. (31)
• [Do not talk like an adult little girl] “So what’s your point? I’m supposed to be stupid until I’m a lot older? ”Exactly. Why do you think people like kids so much?” (31)
ምእራፍ ሦስት
• There are those who wake each morning ready to conquer the day, and then there are those of us who wake only because we have to. (34)
• The benches smelled of urine, and even the pigeons that strolled around the grass in search of thrown-away chicken bones and bread had a sad, desolate look to them, as if they knew by instinct that this was where their breed belonged. (35)
• A society that fails to properly remember its dead and fallen heroes is a society not worth remembering at all. (35)
• In the afternoon a short line of kids on their way home from school jostles to get in. The children fill the store with their outsize presence, shouting and screaming at one another because everything to them is urgent and desperate. (37)
• From the first day I opened the store, I’ve kept a book close at hand so that every hour of even the quietest days has been filled with at least one voice other than my own. (38)
• No one tells you this at the beginning, but the days of a shopkeeper are empty. There are hours of silence punctuated briefly with bursts of customers who come and go within the span of a few minutes. The silence becomes a cocoon in which you can hear only your voice echoing; the real world in which you live begins to fade into a past that you have tried to put to rest. (38)
• Left alone behind the counter, I was hit with the sudden terrible and frightening realization that everything I had cared for and loved was either lost or living on without me seven thousand miles away, and that what I had here was not a life, but a poorly constructed substitution made up of one uncle, two friends, a grim store, and a cheap apartment. (39)
• [to families in Ethiopia] I send them money once every few months when I can afford to, even though I know they don’t need it. I do it because I am in America, and because sending money home is supposed to be the consolation prize for not being home. (39)
• Kenneth cuts down one narrow side street after another to avoid traffic; the trees, flowers, and bushes are all in bloom. There is something unsettling about spring in D.C., a cautionary tale of overindulgence and inflated expectations that seems embedded in the grass and in the trees. I thought I had long since learned to keep those expectations in check, but it happens anyway, doesn’t it? We forget who we are and where we came from, and in doing so, believe we are entitled to much more than we deserve. (41)
• We order three scotches, drink them quickly, and order three more. Women come and go off the stage every three and a half minutes, dancing halfheartedly to the ’80s pop songs I used to love listening to in my store. Prince. INXS. The Cure. When they finish dancing they saunter over to our table and introduce themselves. They all have names from Greek and Roman mythology: Venus, Apollonia, Aphrodite—names that promise an unattainable bit of love and heaven. Before they can offer us anything, we hand them two singles each, and Kenneth tells them all that they’re beautiful. (41)
• The Capitol’s white dome seems to hover in front of us, and if I turn just a little to the right, I can see the red eye sitting at the peak of the Washington Monument. There is no mystery left in any of those buildings for us, and at times I wonder how there ever could have been. (43)
• When the refrain starts, the three of us lean forward and sing along: But you won’t fool the children of the revolution. No you won’t fool the children of the revolution. Over and over, until the song ends, by which point we’ve all finished our drinks and are ready for another… The song played, and Joseph stood up drunkenly and declared, “That is us. We are the children of the revolution.” His accent was heavier then, weighted … When we finally did understand him, Kenneth and I stood up, and together the three of us nodded our heads to the words we barely understood, the refrain repeating its unintended sympathies over and over. Now, when the song is over, it’s hard not to laugh at our misplaced enthusiasm. We had been in America for only a couple of years when we first heard it, and we did believe that we were children of a revolution, and not only because we were willing to be grand. We all had stories of families we missed and would never see again. We spoke in our broken English of Africa’s tyrannies, which had yet to grow tedious. And we had our own stories of death and violence to match. The song plays two more times over the course of the next two hours, and each time, like children being coaxed into a conversation we sing along. (45)
• ምእራፍ አራት
• “Did you ever get to read Ralph Emerson or Alexis de Tocqueville?” she asked. “A little,” I said. “Years ago,” I added a moment later to cover up the lie. “Americans hate history,” she said. She began to lecture then about Emerson and Tocqueville, about America’s repudiation of history and its antipathy toward anything that resembled the past. We always want to believe that we’re the first to do anything,” she continued…. “We’re always racing something or someone, even if it’s all just in our head. We raced across America to get to the Pacific, and then we raced to build a railroad to connect it all. We raced to the moon. We raced to build as many bombs as was humanly possible. I wonder if now we haven’t run out of things to race against. I think the moment that happens, we’ll have nothing to do but look back. Then we’ll know if it was worth it” …. “I should have taught a class called ‘Races.’ It could have been great.” (50-51)
• From my living-room window I could see the lights in Judith’s house. There was at least one room on every floor that was fully lit. I decided there was something monstrous about a house with so many lights, something distinctly unjust. (54)
• I imagined all of those people clamoring to get into the Oval Office, where the president sat waiting to hear their complaints and woes, their solutions and ideas. A great Santa Claus and father for adults. (66)
• How is it that in all these years, I’ve never seen my store look quite like this? [All the sudden he left it open without a storekeeper and is seeing it back from far way] I can imagine it wanting to be spared the burden of having to survive another year. The door is unlocked. The sign is flipped to “Open” and the cash register, with its contents totaling $3.28, is ajar. I wonder if this is what it feels like to walk out on your wife and children. If this is what it feels like to leave a car on the side of the highway and never come back for it. What is the proper equation, the perfect simile or metaphor? I’m an immigrant. I should know this. I’ve done it before. (63)
• ምእራፍ ስድሥት
• “Come in sometime, Stephanos. Close the store. Take the day off. And I’ll have you treated like the king of Ethiopia.” When I reminded him that the emperor had been killed and buried under a toilet, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “These things happen. We all make mistakes.” (71)
• I set out two glasses and filled them partially with ice. This was a deliberate act of seduction; I had seen it before in television and movies. There was a direct chain of events that had to be followed: the glasses of scotch and ice led to the couch, which in turn led to the first hesitant kiss of the night, followed by the frenzied passion that came with my hand running through her hair. All I had to do was know how to play the role right: to hold the cups properly, speak eloquently, and carry myself with the assurance of a leading sitcom actor. (74)
ምእራፍ ሰባት
• We all have the sense that someone of great import is passing, and that we are fulfilling our role as observers. It seems as if time has been temporarily suspended, the world placed on pause as we wait to return to our ordinary lives. In Ethiopia the story was similar. Troops used to line whatever route the emperor took hours in advance. They swept the streets clean of beggars, cripples, and trash, and had faithful loyalists stand on the side of the road, ready to bow as he passed. When the emperor was finally deposed at the start of the revolution, he was carried out of his palace in a blue Volkswagen Beetle. At the time I had thought of it as a silly and pointless thing to do, but now I can see how wrong I was. Few things are as important as the last impressions we make when leaving. (77)
• When Joseph first began to work at the restaurant, he would demand that I come and eat there during his shift so he could, as he liked to say, “take care of me.” “Come in sometime, Stephanos. Close the store. Take the day off. And I’ll have you treated like the king of Ethiopia. “When I reminded him that the emperor had been killed and buried under a toilet, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “These things happen. We all make mistakes. (79)
• The house, I learned later, was inspired by a picture of a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie home my uncle had seen in an issue of Architectural Digest. Berhane designed the home himself, entirely from the memory of that photograph. The house, he said, was supposed to disappear into the landscape, invisible to the naked eye until just the last Whatever his business was, he tended to it from there. He knew even then to be distrustful of the city…. His house and all of his possessions, down to his car keys and family photographs, were left perfectly intact, as if he had disappeared into thin air just as his home had always suggested he would. (81)
• The trains of this city continue to amaze me, regardless of how long I live here. It’s not just their size, but their order, the sense you get when riding them that a higher, regulatory power is in firm control, even if you yourself are not. (82)
• After seventeen years here, I am certain of at least one thing: the liberal idea of America is at its best in advertising. (82)
• The first aim of the refugee is to survive, and having done that, that initial goal is quickly replaced by the general ambitions of life. (82)
• I didn’t leave Ethiopia to attend classes in the northern suburbs of Virginia, but to hear the story told then, that was what I had done. During my one year in college, I brandished my title as frequently as possible. I introduced myself as a student to every person I met, often without their asking. I made it the raison d’être for my being in America, even as the famine in Ethiopia briefly dominated the news, along with hints at the long-standing civil war in the north. Images of starving children with bloated bellies and fly-covered faces were ubiquitous. When pressed for a response, all I could do was shake my head and agree that yes, what was happening in Ethiopia was indeed a tragedy. But what did I know about any of this? I was a student, studying engineering. All I wanted was to tuck my books under my arm and stroll across the campus lawn with that permanent grin stretched across my face. (83)
• He likes to play the role of an aspiring academic lost in his deep thoughts about poetry, religion and politics. (84)
• If you miss it so much,” he yelled at him once, “why don’t you go back? Then you don’t have to say every day, ‘This is like Africa, that is like Africa.’ You can’t go back though. You would rather miss it comfortably from here instead of hating it every day from there.” (84)
• There wasn’t a sport played in the world that couldn’t be better grasped by the African mind. And as for politics, who understood its weight, capriciousness, and value better than the citizens of a continent devastated by coups and tyrannical old men? (85)
• A history teacher at my northern Virginia community college said once that there had been only three real revolutions in the past two hundred years: the French, Chinese, and Russian. Everything else was merely a rebellion, insurrection, uprising, protest, strike. Tsk. He didn’t know how easily an entire society could be made and remade. More than just having garish billboards painted on the sides of buildings and multiple-story statues in city squares, Africa’s dictators were busy reshaping their countries to their own liking. (85)
• I remember another aphorism of my father’s, one that he used to say whenever we passed someone pissing openly in the street: add color to life when you can. (85)
• Here we were, an older man and a girl [Naomi] young enough to be the man’s daughter, sitting in a store on a winter morning reading a novel together. I tried not to notice too much, to simply just live, but that was impossible. Every time I looked at her I became aware of just how seemingly perfect this time was. (86)
• Sometimes while I read, Naomi would lay her head against my arm or in my lap and rest there, wide awake and attentive, until forced to move. It was just enough to make me see how one could want so much more out of life. (88)
• We read back and forth for half an hour that night, until all the tea had been drunk and Naomi had taken to swirling her finger in the bottom of her cup. For those thirty minutes I had it all, and perhaps if I had been a wiser man I would have been content with just that. (93)
• How many Ethiopians can you fit into an elevator? All of them. What do you call an elevator full of Ethiopians? An oxymoron. (97)
• [Ethio-Americans staffed inside their apartment’s lift] It’s soon followed up with the other news of the day. Those who don’t join in on the conversation simply stand quietly like myself, complicit and greedy. In one protracted elevator ride there are rumors of infidelity, abuse, drugs, unemployment. It all amounts to one thing: proof of a vanishing culture. Time, distance, and nostalgia have convinced these women that back in Ethiopia, we were all moral and perfect, all of which is easier to believe when you consider the lives that most of us live now. With our menial jobs and cramped apartments, it’s impossible not to want to look back sometimes and pretend there was once a better world, one where husbands were faithful, children were obedient, and life was easy and wonderful. (97)
• With enough time, one woman says in Amharic, there won’t be any Ethiopians. They’ll all become American. (97)
• I consider the old emperor to have been a tyrant, not a god. When I try to pray, it’s only to ask God to forgive me for not believing in Him in the first place. (98)
• In the mornings he worked as a cabdriver and in the evenings he worked as a parking attendant at the Capitol Hotel. His life was determined by cars, tips, and making change. For a man who before coming to America had rarely ever driven his own car, the role reversal was always noted with his customary irony. “Perhaps,” he would say, “if I went back to Ethiopia I could get a job driving the general now living in my house. Although I would kill both of us on our first trip out.” Any questions I may have had for him about his day or his fares were always met with a stern grin and a reminder that a man his age didn’t have to answer any questions from a man of mine. (99)
• . He would say that I lack the ability to maintain structure and order. Begin from the beginning, he would say. Begin there, and then you can move on with your life point by point. That’s why he has boxes full of letters, neatly arranged and tucked away, while I don’t have so much as a picture of my own that dates back more than ten years. I never could find the guiding principle that relegated the past to its proper place. (104)
• ምእራፍ አስር
• She asked us why the government would do that to someone. [To nearly hung Feyodoor Dostoyevsky but at the execution moment spare and jail him for four years]. Judith tried to explain to her that governments were no different from people, and that what they wanted, more than anything else, was to protect themselves. Dostoyevsky,” she said, “was a threat to them, and they wanted to get rid of him without having to kill him.” Naomi couldn’t understand that either, though, how one man could threaten an entire government just by writing. “Maybe he couldn’t,” I told Naomi. “But somebody out there could, and until you know who it is, it’s better just to scare everyone.” (108 – 109)
• She said she wanted to see something that reminded her that Christmas was just a little more than a week away. There were hundreds of spectators surrounding the tree when we arrived, [at the National Christmas Tree] as if they were all expecting it to do something more than just stand there and twinkle in the darkness. (109)
• And I believed her; [What she commented about him not being suitable for her family if he choses cheap and small gifts than bigger ones which she likes] it had been a joke, but whether or not she meant it with the lightest intentions didn’t matter. I could see myself trying to measure up at family dinners and cocktail parties, and as a result, always falling short. How many times would I have to stare into a mirror and compare myself against Judith? I could go on second-guessing myself forever, and perhaps even find some consolation to the routine, but I saw now that all it would take was one fleeting moment of skepticism on her end to confirm all of my inadequacies, validate all of my doubts, and send me running back to the corner I came from. Our insecurities run far too deep and wide to be easily dismissed, and Judith, without knowing it, had hit that central nerve whose existence I was reluctant to admit, but that when tapped, sent a sudden shock of shame and humiliation beneath which everything else crumbled. (110)
• ምእራፍ አስራአንድ
• He [his uncle] proceeded to lecture me about what I could expect to find now that I was in America. “Everything that is in this apartment,” he said, “belongs to you as much as it does to me. Outside of this apartment, though, you have nothing. Nothing is yours. Nothing belongs to you. Take nothing for granted. No one here will give you anything for free. There is no such thing as that in America. People will only give you something because they think they will get something in return.” (114)
• For the first three weeks [since coming to the USA from Ethiopia] I was here in this apartment. I didn’t speak to a single person besides my uncle, and even then our conversations were brief and strained. I rarely left the apartment, nor did I want to. Any connection, whether it was to a person, building, or time of day, would have been deceitful, and so I avoided making eye contact with people I didn’t know, and tried to deny myself even the simplest of pleasures. I refused to acknowledge the charm of a sunset or the pleasure of a summer afternoon. If possible, I would have denied myself the right to breathe another country’s air, or walk on its ground. (114)
• I nodded my head in agreement. I was ashamed of myself and would have done anything he asked me to. (115)
• Once you walk out on your life, it’s difficult to come back to it. (120)
• ምእራፍ አስራሁለት
• Any moment now Judith was going to ring the doorbell and I was going to apologize, and she was going to apologize. Soon, we were going to laugh the whole thing off as a terrible but minor misunderstanding. Greater and more unlikely things happened every day. People won the lottery. Trains jumped off tracks. Missing children were discovered. Why not this? (122)
• Beaumont never achieved the fame and recognition of his longtime friend Tocqueville. He published only one novel to be translated into English, Marie or Slavery in America. There is a fragmentary, discursive quality to the narrative that to my mind seems more fitting of the American literary spirit than anything captured by Tocqueville. Beaumont may not have even known just how radical his narrative was. The central questions of racial identity and women’s role in society lie at the heart of Beaumont’s troubled novel, as if he had divined the next one hundred years of America’s future and written this book as an explanation to those who would someday dare ask, “How did we end up here?” History, all too sadly, often works that way. The first creative spirits of a generation are often forgotten, or neglected by time. (128)
• Since meeting Judith I had read Democracy in America, a collection of Emerson’s essays, and even Marie, a novel I had to search through three libraries to find. I can’t say that I understood America any better for having done so. What I did understand was just how seriously Judith took all of America’s failures, and just how much she loved its heroes. She may not have said it, but I think a few thousand lines of poetry and a handful of novels redeemed the entire country for her. (128)
• ምእራፍ አስራሦስት
• We lay down on the couch first, and then later the bed. I wanted to be more than just half-present, which is to say I wanted to see myself fully and honestly, naked in my bed with a woman whose real name I would never know. I took pleasure in feeling another body under me and on top of me. I buried my head in her chest and treated her as if she were someone I loved. It was purely the context of the evening that mattered. It gave a certain weight and substance to what we were doing, so that when we were done and lying on my bed with the orange glow of the streetlamp as the only light in the room, neither one of us moved or rushed to get up. (132)
• Compared to the crowded city buses that rolled through downtown Addis, my empty backseat [in private Sedan vehicle] seemed like such a hollow and lonely existence. Each window had a half-dozen faces pressed against it. Old women with their heads wrapped in a thin white cloth and children with their dirty rags and mud-stained faces stared at me through the windows, while standing above them. While I sat comfortably alone in the backseat of my father’s car, there was an entire city moving together, block by city block, with every curve and bump the bus took through the pothole-riddled streets of the capital, like marionettes attached to the same piece of string being orchestrated by the bus driver’s hands. I imagined the crowd exiting the bus through the windows and doors like water spilling out of a jar full of holes, and I imagined them entering much in the same way, except in reverse. I wanted to be with them. I would have given anything to have disappeared into one of those buses, swallowed whole by the crowd, my face and limbs so thoroughly merged into theirs that the words “I” and “alone” could never be uttered again. (133)
• When the revolution came the buses emptied out. During those first few months I would sometimes see one trolling down the street, empty with the exception of the driver and a few soldiers who stood near the windows, their guns pointing out. Later, the buses were used to carry hundreds of boys to one of the new prisons built on the outskirts of the city. I remember thinking that I couldn’t understand how a city that had demanded so much intimacy could turn on itself. It was the thought of a childish, privileged young man, but that didn’t make the disappointment hurt any less. (134)
• When I lived in Silver Rock with my uncle, I often spent my free Friday and Saturday nights hopping from one crowded bus to the next. I rode the buses until the crowds began to thin out, and then I would get off and take another crowded bus back in the same direction. Eventually I came to know which buses were the busiest at which times of day, which buses could be counted on to always arrive on time or full to the brim, and which ones always left me wanting more. It was enough to feel that for twenty or thirty minutes I had locked myself into the same fate with dozens of people who, like myself, could barely move their hands out of their pocket or shift their weight from one foot to the other without pressing against someone else. To me, the buses were the benchmarks of civilization, although at the time would haven’t known to describe them as such. Instead, I would have said that I felt safer on those buses than I did anywhere else in this city. (134)
• “You know who came in on Tuesday? The president’s chief of staff. And you know who he was eating with? That senator from Mississippi that no one likes. They were the only two at the table. I watched them. Neither one of them laughed or smiled the whole time. That can’t be good for things. His interest in the city’s politics lasted only as long as it took him to know the faces behind it. Once he accomplished that, there was no more mystery or surprise. (135)
• We all have measures by which we gauge the progress of our lives. Joseph has been generous with his. It’s been nineteen years since he came to America, and he has tried to see each and every one of those years in the best possible light. Michigan and the PhD are now the idle dreams of a restless young immigrant. You don’t need a PhD anymore,” he said to me once. “Anything you want to learn in this world, you can learn in this city for free.” [Because it has many Libraries or book accesses as needed]. (136)
• In his rare and sober off hours from work, he was working on his own cycle of poems, ones that would trace the history of the Congo from King Leopold to the death of Patrice Lumumba and the rise of Mobutu Sese Seko.“The poems,” he said, “are like the Commedia, except there is no heaven. They begin in hell, they come out for just a moment, and then they return.” ”Once, in his underfurnished and oversize studio, he read to me the last few lines of the first section, the one that ended with the departure of Belgium from the Congo and the rise of Lumumba as prime minister. The scene was his equivalent of Dante’s “Some of the beautiful things that heaven bears.” (136)
• Those early lines of poetry gave Joseph just enough romanticism to make it through his years at the Capitol Hotel, and now the Colonial Grill, but they were losing their power. Now, when he talks about the restaurant, it’s exclusively as a joke or sarcastic comment. He refers to it as the Colony. He talks about it only when he’s sitting back comfortably in a chair, his legs crossed, preferably with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. (137)
• As a city, Addis wasn’t much larger. Ninety square miles, most of which was a vast urban slum built around the fringes of a few important city centers. (140)
• I searched for familiarity wherever I went. I found it in the buildings and in the layout of the streets. I saw glimpses of home whenever I came across three or four roads that intersected at odd angles, in squat glass office buildings caught in the sun’s glare. I found a small measure of it in the circles and in the beggars who slept under the office towers at night. (141)
• I explained to him the parts of American culture that I had never heard of before. “There’s no respect here,” I told him. “The students in my class call our teacher John. They dress like they’re coming from bed and then sleep through class.” (142)
• I had decided to open up again out of a sense of obligation. Christmas, after all, was not a holiday that immigrant storekeepers were permitted to take. The world depended on us to work on Christmas day to provide last-minute supplies of groceries for dinner and batteries for new stereos and radio-controlled cars, not to mention the extra cases of beer and wine I always purchased just before the holiday season began. (143)
• [A Christmas call] “Where’s Kenneth? ”At work. Can you believe that? He said his boss asked him ‘to take one for the team’ and come in today. He was happy about it, though. He said it showed that they trusted him. Engineer or not now, he’s a damn fool.” (144)
• If all went well, the three of us would spend yet another Christmas night together, laughing at our isolation, mocking one another and ourselves for all we were worth until the night faded into a blurry, indistinguishable memory. (144)
• [Being lonely and out of the celebration] Since it was Christmas, I decided to take cab rides for the rest of the night as a present to myself. (145)
• “I’ve already had a bottle of wine. It was my Christmas present from work. Two bottles of cheap red wine that no one ever orders.” ”But you drank it anyway.” ”Of course. I’m a man of taste, not means. I drank it and read Rilke in German.” ”You don’t speak German.” ”No. But I love the sounds. All those harsh verts and gerts. It’s absolutely beautiful.” ”Everything is beautiful to you.” ”Not everything “But damn close.” ”You just have to have the right perspective.” ”Which is what?” ”Indifference. You have to know that none of this is going to last. And then you have to not care.” ”And then the world becomes beautiful. ”No. It becomes ridiculous. Which is close enough for me. So what happened to you today. (145)
• By the time Kenneth joined us, [After working in the Christmas day alone] Joseph and I had been sitting at the bar for nearly two hours. He arrived dressed in his usual work suit, his tie loosened just beneath the collar. He was tired. His shoulders were hunched just slightly. His eyes had a weariness and vacancy to them that reminded me of the look you sometimes see on an injured child who has just caught a glimpse of something cruel and unfair happening to someone he loves. It was almost nine o clock. He had worked at least a twelve-hour day entirely alone. (145)
• “I once had the pleasure of being told by a Mauritanian that he couldn’t understand my Negro French. That’s okay, I told him. Ce n’était jamais à moi.” (145)
• “I don’t consider Mauritania a part of Africa,” Kenneth said. “To me, they are Arabs. They belong to the Middle East.” (146)
• “No. Just a colonel,” Joseph said. “All the best dictators are colonels. Qaddafi. Taya. Both are still going. You have to respect that. A general would have never lasted as long. Even your Mengistu, Stephanos. He was a colonel.” … “You see? That’s the thing about these colonels. They get just far enough to think they deserve it all. A general has already been close to the top. They become lazy lions up there. The colonels, on the other hand, never rest. They’re too impatient. They know they don’t deserve it. And so they last. Name me one colonel removed by his own army. (147)
• “We’re never going to run out, (of counting African Dictators for game)” Joseph said. “Having a coup is addictive. Look at what happened after Idi. Yusufu Lule, Godfrey Binaisa, the return of Obote, and then Tito Okello. One after another. Why would anyone want to stop?…” (147)
• “Exactly. That’s it. That’s all he [his father] ever was. A poor illiterate man who lived in a slum. And you know what that makes him in Africa? Nothing. That’s what Africa is right now. A continent full of poor illiterates dying in slums. What am I supposed to miss? Being sent into the street to beg white tourists for money? If I die today, my sister in Nairobi will get one hundred thousand dollars. Someone would have to come and move the furniture out of my apartment. My suits will be shipped back to Kenya for my cousins. You, Joseph, would get my car. The only thing my father owned when he died was a picture of Jomo Kenyatta. His great leader. From the day I was born, there have been only two leaders of Kenya. The first was terrible, and now the second is even worse. That’s why I’m here in this country. No revolution. No coup.” (148)
ምእራፍ አስራአምስት
• Back at the store I finished reading The Brothers Karamazov by myself. I came back to the final pages with Alyosha and the young boys gathered around him, the death of the innocent Illusha adding a certain touching sentimentality to the scene, which continued to bring a few tears to the corners of my eyes regardless of how often I read it. I read out loud to the shelves and empty aisles my favorite passage:
“People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one’s heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.”
I memorized the passage by reciting it on my way to work. I highlighted it in the book for Naomi, knowing even then that it would never make its way back to a shelf. Remember this, I wrote in the margins. I filled in my afternoons by making a list of aphorisms, some new, some borrowed, that I wanted to tell her. Never trust anyone who says “Trust me. “Try to find high places to look down from. I wanted to give her a catalogue description of the world, a list of rules by which she could live her life and spare herself the same disappointments that I had already suffered. (149)
• It was Kenneth’s suggestion that I put a deli counter inside of the store. “Americans love sandwiches,” he said confidently. (151)
• The next three days saw two more evictions. These were conducted secretly, early in the morning, when no one was around to witness them. The crowd came back nonetheless, a blend of middle-aged and unemployed women, men whose careers depended on the odd jobs they bounced back and forth between, and teenage boys who had nothing better to do than stand around and righteously declare that what was happening was indeed fucked up. (152)
• “PROTECT OUR NEIGHBROHOOD NO MORE EVICTIONS.” She had spent all afternoon walking around on her arthritic joints passing around those handwritten, misspelled copies to every friendly store and building she knew. (154)
• I focused all of my energy and attention on a flyer posted in front of me for a potluck dinner being held in the church the following week. I read the words over and over—Join Us for a Special Night of Food and Friends—like a prayer that, if said often enough and with the proper conviction, could bring the world to a complete stop. (156)
• “I’ve only lived in the neighborhood for less than half a year now,” she began. “But I share the same concerns as you. “She didn’t get any further than that. She paused just long enough in between her sentences for someone in the crowd to yell, “Shut up.” She wavered for a second. She gripped the chair in front of her and seemed briefly poised to continue on with whatever she was going to say, but the moment passed. She sat back down and crossed and uncrossed her legs. (158) ….. When the petition reached Judith, she graciously received it and passed it back to the woman sitting a row behind her. (159)…. Mrs. Davis came over to me and kissed me on the cheek.” “I wish it hadn’t gone that way,” she said. “That woman’s going to go home and think we’re a bunch of ignorant fools.” ”No, she won’t,” I told her. “She’s better than that.”…. “I’m sorry about what happened at that meeting,” I said. “Don’t apologize,” she said. “I know how these things go. You didn’t do anything. “She didn’t mean it as an attack, but it felt like one anyway “And what do you think that would have done? If I had lived here as long as they had, I’d be angry too. What I couldn’t do was sign that petition. That would have been the definition of hypocrisy, don’t you think? I’m embarrassed to say what I paid for this house. Even after all the repairs. I can’t pretend that there’s anything just to it, but there’s nothing evil to it either. (161)
• They towed that car [attacked by evicted citizens] out of there pretty quick. I never even got the chance to see it. What did it look like” “It looked like a car that had been broken into. “My answer wasn’t enough for her. Perhaps I could have done more to clear the record, but people have to want to know the truth before they can hear it, and who could possibly care for simple facts when the myths being spun did so much more? (165)
• Outside of my store was a mixed crowd of old and young men making the most of the temporary reprieve from winter. Fragments of their conversation drifted in and out. I couldn’t imagine any of them marching down the middle of the street armed with bricks. We all essentially wanted the same thing, which was to feel that we had a stake in shaping and defining what little part of the world we could claim as our own. Boys even younger than the ones standing outside had fought and killed one another all over Addis for that exact reason, and they were at it again now throughout more of Africa than even Joseph, Kenneth, and I cared to acknowledge. At least here, in America, they had this corner to live their lives as they pleased, and if a few of them took to throwing bricks through windows, then we could not judge them. (166)
• This is how it happened in Zaire,” Joseph said. “One day we heard that some people were beaten up by guys with guns. The next day we had a rebel group walking through the neighborhood saying they had come to liberate us from the government. To prove their point they shot five people in the street who were responsible for our oppression.” ”You must have been grateful,” I said. “Of course we were. We didn’t even know that we were oppressed. Imagine our surprise and joy to find out that we had been. We gave the rebels all the money we had to thank them. I remember one man was so happy he even gave them his wife and daughter…” (171)
• That there’s nothing these people can do. Look at this place. All of the marches in the world won’t change anything anymore. We were at our best in the sixties. Africa was free. America was free. Everyone was marching to something. And now look at us.”
• ምእራፍ አስራስድስት
• We were always more comfortable with the world’s tragedies than our own. That night was no different. Coups, child soldiers, famines were all a part of the same package of unending grief that we picked our way through in order to avoid our own frustrations and disappointments with life. It was only inevitable that the two would have to meet at some point. (173)
• I tried to tell her that there wasn’t much point in holding on to a store, in holding on to anything, if in the end it didn’t matter to at least one other person than yourself. (177)
• Of course I suggested that she rebuild, even if I never expected that she would. “It’d be too much,” she said. “To go through all of that work again. It would feel like I was stuck in the past and I don’t want to live my life that way. It’s better just to start over.” (178)
• I quoted to her a line from Democracy in America, one of a series that she had used as an epigraph to her own book:
“Among democratic nations new families are constantly springing up, others are constantly falling away, and all that remain change their condition; the woof of time is every instant broken and the track of generations effaced.”
“That’s one of my favorite quotes from him,” she said. “I know” (178)

By Binyamhailemeskel

Hey there! If you want to know about me, I just like fun, commonsense wisdom, and human love. Let us live a bright today changing tomorrow into brighter.
Regards,

One reply on “My Quotes from Dinaw Mengistu’s “Children of the Revoltion (Extended)”

[…]  ምእራፍ አስራስድስትበሎጋን ሰርክል እና እሱ መሀከል ሦስት ብሎክዎች ብቻ ቀርተው ነበር። የሎጋን ሰርክል ራቅ ብለው ሲያዩት ያለው ድባቡ ሰፋ አዲስአበባ ከአባቱ ጋር ከቢሮው ሲወጣ ከሰዓትበኋላ እሱን ይዞት ይራመዱበት ከነበረው መናፈሻ ይቀራረብ ነበር። ያ ሎጋን ሰርክልን የመረጠበት አመክዮ ነበር፤ አባቱ ከቢሮ ይዞት ከሰዓቱን ሳይነጋገሩ በፀጥታ ሆነው በመንገድዳሩ ጭንቅንቅ ገበያ እና ግፊያ አልፈው በፀጥታአማው የንጉሱቤተመንግስት ጥላ ስር የነበረው መናፈሻ ይደርሱ እና አረፍ ብለው ፀጥታን አስተምሮት ወደቤት ይጓዙ ነበር። አባቱ ፀጥታን ሲመጣ ሳይሆን ጋብዘህም በህይወትህ ልመደው ይለው ነበር። ግን አባቱ በመናፈሻው ሲቆዩ ሀሳብ ሲበዛበት ለራሱ ያጉተመትም ሁሉ ነበር። የሞቱ ዘመድዎችን ስም ይጠራ ነበር። ከሰፋ መወለድ በደህና ቀድመው ያረፉትን እናት እና አባቱንም ይጠራ እና ያጉተመትም፣ ህፃኑ ሰፋ ደግሞ ያደምጥ ነበር። ጃንዋሪ 23፣ 1977 (ጂሲ.) ላይ የመጨረሻ ጉዞአቸውን ወደመናፈሻው አደረጉ። በስድስት ወሩ አካባቢ አባቱ ተገደለ። አባቱ ጋር የመጨረሻ ጊዜ ወደመናፈሻው ሲመጡ መንግስቱ ኃይለማርያም (ኮሎኔል) ቀይሽብርን አውጆ በጠርሙስ ቀይ ቀለም በመወርወር የጠላትዎቹን ደም በምሳሌ በመግለጥ ግድያዎቹን አዝዞ የአብዮት ጠላት መገደል የተጀመረበት ሰሞን ነበር። ያኔ፣ በመናፈሻው መጨረሻ ቀን ሲደርሡ ከጭቃ እግርዎችአቸው ጋር እንደክብሪት የተደረደሩት ታዳጊዎች በአንገትዎችአቸው በወረቀት ‘ከሀዲ’ እሚል ተፅፎብአቸው ተገድለው በመንጋለል ተሰትረው ነበር። ጠባቂ አንድ ዘብ እሬሳዎቹን እየጠበቀ ሰው ከመጣ እንዲጎበኝ ተደርጎ ነበር። አባቱ ይዞት መናፈሻ እንደደረሡ የሞቱትን አየ። ላለመመለስ ግን ወሰነ። ከቶ ዘቡም ሟቾቹም በመናፈሻው እንደሌሉ ያክል አድርጎ ልጁን ይዞ ወደዉስጡ ዘልቀው ገቡ። ያንን ያደረገው አብዮቱ እንደሌለ ለመካድ የግሉ እርምጃ መዉሰዱ ስለነበር ነው።እኩለቀን ሲል፣ ሱቅ ከመሄድ ወደቤቱ ተመለሰ። ማታ፣ በጁዲት ቤት መቃጠል ጊዜ፣ እነኬኔት እና ጆ መጥተው ጆ የሰረቀውን ወይን እና ያዘጋጁትን ተርኪ ሳንዱች እየተመገቡ፣ ሰፋ የመንደሩን ሁኔታ አብራራ። የጡብ ዉርራዎቹን፣ ጥቁር ለበሱ እሚባሉት ሰዎች፣ የአያድን ሁኔታ ወዘተ. ነገራቸው። መጥፎ ምልክት ነው ሲሉት ገበያዬ ግን ጨምሯል አለ። ግን አሁን ቀንሶበታል። ዛየር ሰው ሲጨነቅ ወጪ ያወጣ ነበር ብሎ ጆ ያንን ያብራራ ቀጠለ። አማፂዎች መጥተው ‘ጨቋኝዎችአችሁን ይኸው ያዝን!’ ሲሉ የመንደሩ ሰው ይገረም አለ። ‘ጨቋኝ ነበረን እንዴ?’ ሲል ለማረጋገጥ አንድ አምስት ሰው እዚያው ይረሽኑላቸው ነበር። ‘አሀ ተጨቋኝ ነበርን!’ ብለው ተደስተው ብር ይከፍላሉ፤ በጣም የተደሰተ አንዱ ሚስት እና ልጁን ሁሉ ሰጣቸው። ‘የአፍሪቃ ጉዳይ እንዲህ በልጅዎች እሚደረግ ጦርነት እና አመፅ ይበዛው አለ’ ብሎ ጆ አብራራ። በስድሳዎቹ ድሮ ተስፋ ነበረን፣ አለም እና አፍሪቃ ነፃ ወጥቶ ወደአንድ ነገር እየተጓዘ ነበር። ዛሬ ግን እኒህ እሚረብሹት ምንም የሌልአቸው ልጆች ናቸው። ጆጆ የሩዋንዳ ማጭድ፣ የፖኪስታን ድንጋይ፣ እዚህም የተነሱት እና ሰፋ ዘንድ የደረሱት ጡብዎች ‘የእኛ መገለጫ ናቸው!’ አለ። ጡብ ነን እሚለውን ሀሳቡን አሳበቀ። ሲወያዩ፣ ድንገት የእሳት ማጥፊያ፣ ህግዘብ (ፖሊስ) እና አምቡላንስ መኪናዎች ጩኸት ሰፈሩን ቀወጠ። ጆጆ የአፍሪቃ ጦርነትዎች በህፃናት መከወኑን ሊያሳይ የሠላሳ አመትዎች ጦርነትዎችን መረጃዎቹን ሲያሠላ የአደጋው ድምፁ ከውጭ ወደሱቁ መግባቱ ከባድ ሆነ። የአፍሪቃን መንግስትዎች ግልበጣ፣ እረሀብ እና የልጅዎች ዉጊያ ተሳትፎ ሲወያዩ አፍሪቃ ድረስ ያልሸሸ፣ እዛው የእራስአቸው ህይወትም ትራጄዲ እንዳለው በተግባር ለመመልከት መገደድ ጀመሩ። የእሚነጋገሩት ሁሉ የአህጉሩ መከራ በመጨረሻ የእራስአቸውን መከራ ለመርሳት የተደረገ ሆኖ ሰንብቶ አሁን ሁለቱም (የአፍሪቃ እሚሉትም የእነሱም ገሀድ) ችግርዎች ወደ መጋጠም (መመሳሠል) ጀመሩ።ጁዲት ከባልደረባዎቿ እራት መከወን ላይ ሳለች፣ ቤቷ መንደድ ጀምሮ፣ ሰው ተሰብሥቦ እየተመለከተ ነው። ምንም አልዳነም። እሳትአጥፊዎቹ ሱቁ ገብተው የተናገሩት ቢኖር፣ የቀረውን ወለል፣ እሷ ስላልነበረች እንዳላዳኑት ነው። አምስት አመትዎች ቀድሞ ሰው በሎጋን ሰርክል ተተኩሶበት ተገድሎ የመንደሩ ሰው እንደተሰበሰበው አሁንም ሰው ተሰብስቦ ይህን ልእለቤት ሲምቦገቦግ ተመልክቶ፤ ሁሉም አራት ወለል ወድሞ ጁዲት ደረሠች። ተስፋቆርጣ ስትንቀሳቀስ እሚደርሰውን ይህን እምታውቀው የነበር ይመስል ነበር፦ ጊዜዋ በሎጋን እማይዘልቅ ጊዜአዊ የነበረ እንደነበር እና ሌላ መኖሪያ ስታስብ እንደነበረ አሳበቀ። ስለቤቷ ሰፋ ማዘኑን ገልፆ ተለያዩ። በመንደሩ ቆይታዋን የአምስት ወርዎች አካባቢ የረዘመ መጥፎ ህልም ያክል፣ ልትተወው እንደምትችል አሰበ። እነኬኔትም ከሱቁ አዝና ስትወጣ አይተዋት በአይን አወቋት። ምሽቱን ጉዳይዎች ሲያወጡ እና ሲያወርዱ በሱቁ አመሹ። ያን ማን እንደከወነ ሲጠያይቁ ቆዩ። በማግስቱ ፍራንክሊን ሄነሪ ቶማስ የተሰኘ የቅንጡ ቅኝገዥ ስም የያዘ አዛውንት ወንጀሉን እንደከወነው በይፋ ተነገረ። ጥቁርለበሽዎቹ ወይም ሌላዎች የተባሉት አሉባልታዎች ቀርቶ፣ የጡብ እና እሳቱ አደጋ ፈጣሪ የሆነው ይህ ሽማግሌ ሰው፣ የተሰረቀ የትመ. (ቲቪ) ግንኙነት ለመንደሩ ይሸጥ ነበር። በሎጋን ሰርክል ድሀ እና በሀምፕሻየሩ አፓርታማ ከሁለት ልጅዎቹ እና ሚስቱ ጋር ለአስራስምንት ዓመትዎች ይኖር የነበረ ነው። አብሮ የተለያዩ የጥገና እጅስራዎችን በመሠራራትም ይታወቅ ነበር። ያን ባለ አንድመኝታ ቤቱን ባለፈው ዲሴምበር ሊዝ አለቀበት ብለው ሢሶ ዋጋ ጨምረውበት ሂሳቡን ክፈል ሲባል ነበር ያቃተው። ሲያስለቅቁት እጅግ ተናደደ። ወደ ጊዜአዊ መጠለያ እሱ ሲገባ ሚስቱ እህቷ ጋር ልጆቻቸውን ይዛ ተለየችው። የጁዲት ቤቷን አቃጥሎ ከወጣች በኋላ በሳምንቱ የእጅስራ እቃዎቹን በሻንጣው ይዞ የተቃጠለ ቤቷ ተደብቆ ሲገባ ህግዘብ ያዘው። ቤቱን አድሶ ሊኖርበት በማሰቡ ቀውስአዊ-ቅዠት (ዲሉዥን) ነበረበት። ህግዘብ ሲጠይቀው ‘ሰው አለመኖሩን አረጋግጬ ነበር ክብሪቱን የለኮስኩተደ’ ብሎ ተናዘዘ። በ ዋሽንግተን ፖስት የወጣውን ይህን የአደጋውን ወንጀለኛ ዘገባ ሰፋ አንብቦ ሲጨርስ ከተለጠፈው ከሰውየው ፎቶ ጋር እራሱን ተመሳሥሎ አገኘው። መላጣነቱ እሚያመሳሥለው እና እድሜው እንደእሱ ጥቂት ሲገፋ በተለይ እንደእሱ እሚመሥል መሆኑን አስተውሎ ምስሉን አጠገቡ አቆየው። ህግዘብ በሎጋን ሀውልት ጎን በመኪናው እየቆየ መንደሩ ጥቂት ቀኖች ያን ሰሞን ጠበቀ። ብዙ ሳይቆይ ግን መኪናው እና ህግዘቡ ተነሡ። ሎጋን ለብቻው ቀረ። ከእሳቱ በኋላ ሱቁን ያለደንብ ባሻው ጊዜ ለአንድ ሰሞን ከፈተ። እንደ ኬኔት አባባል ሊያዘጋው ወይም ደንበኞቹን ሊያጣ ብሎ አልነበረም። ለናኦሚ እንደፃፈው እና የአጎቱን ደብዳቤዎች መሰለ ብሎ እንዳልላከላት ደብዳቤው፣ በስርአቱ እማይከፍተው ናኦሚ እና ጁዲት ስለሌሉ ነበር። እነሱ ፈፅሞ በሌሉበት ሰፈር ጧት መንቃት ደብሮት፣ ሱቁንም ከእኔ ሌላ አንድ ሰው እንኳ ካልወደደው መክፈት እንደእሚደብረው ገለጠ።በመጨረሻው የመንደሩ ጉብኝቷ፣ ጁዲት ቻው ልትል ጊዜ አመቻችታ ሱቁ መጣች። ከሰዓቱን ብቻዋን የወደመ ቦታውን ላለማየት ስለፈለገች ሱቅ ዘግቶ አብረው ሄዱ። ‘ዳግ-ገንቢው’ (ሪቢውልድ) ብሎ ለማለት ያክል ቢነግራትም ‘ያለፈጊዜዬ ላይ በወጥመድ መያዝ ነው’ ብላ ስለአዲስ ህይወት በማለት እንቢ አለች። ከ ዴሞክራሲ ኢን አሜሪካ እሚለው ተከታታይ ፅሑፍ ጥቅስ – በፅሑፏ የተጠቀመችበት – ሰጣት። እምትወደው የተጠቀመችበት ጥቅስ ነበር። በጠቅላላው፣ ‘በ ዲሞክራሲ ሀገርዎች መሀከል፣ አዳዲስ ቤተሰቦች ያለማቋረጥ ይፈጠራሉ፣ እንዲሁ እሚጠፉም ደግሞም አሉ። ብቻ የቀረው እሚለውጥአቸው ነው። የጊዜ ሚዛን ግን የጠፉትንም የተሰበሩትንም እሚከትት ነው!’ ይላል። ጥቅሱን እምቶደው የተጠቀመችው ነበር። ‘አንድ ጊዜ ለጊዜውም ቢሆን አዲስቦታ አጊንቼ ስሠክን መጥተህ ትቀላቀለን ይሆን አለ’ አለችው። ድጋሚ በሚገናኝ የህይወትአቸው ሃሳብ ተስማምተው ጉዳዩን ዘጉት። ተለያዩ።‘በሁለት ዓለምዎች መሀከል የተያዘ፣ ብቻውን ኖሮ ብቻውን ይሞት አለ!’ ብሎ በአባቱ ትዝ ያለው ተረት ላይ ጨመረ። አባቱ ‘በዛፍ ቅርንጫፍ የተያዘች ወፍ ሁለቱንም ክንፎቿን ትበላለች!’ ብሎት ነበር። አሁን ግን፣ የሁለት ዓለምዎች ህይወት ስላሳለፈ የእሱው ህይወት ከሁለቱም አለመሆኑን አየ። ሱቅ ስላለው እና የእኔ እሚለው ንብረት ስላለው ያም ንብረቱ ፍፁም እሚባል ባይሆንም እንደመንደሩ አንድአንድ ሰዎች ስላልፈረሰበት እና ዛሬም አብሮት ስለቀረ መደሰቱን ግን ለራሱ ገለፀ። ነገርን እንደመረጥንው መመልከት ወይም መተርጎም እንችል አለን በማለት ወደቤቱ ተለይቷት ሲሄድ በቀና መንፈስ ሊያዘግም መረጠ፨— === —፪) ክፍል ሁለት፦ የእኔ እንግሊዝኛ ጥቅስዎች በእየምዕራፉ፨ […]

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