On strange tidings, people! The Ethiopian National Team qualifying for the African Cup of Nations. This portends…
I am sitting at this meeting. About twenty fives minutes have elapsed since it began. But people are still coming in. Teachers, aren’t we being hypocritical in demanding that our students arrive to class on time? Yes, I hate the mere suggestion of a meeting just like the next guy. Still, I think the right thing to do would be to not come at all in the first place. But if masochism so wills it, and one decides to grace the meeting with one’s appearance, one should not arrive late; even if the consensus reached at before hand almost every time is that the meeting is going to be frivolous. If only I could read this…
Hopes for the new year and resolutions, I don’t have many. There is of course the perennial desire to see things in greater resolution, in high-definition. Then again, HD could also stand, among other things, for half-done. I should stop stressing over the things (and the people) that I have left undone, and that went on to be done by somebody else. HD could also mean Hailem…
I know that I am pretentious. I hate it when people try to point that out like they just made a big discovery or something. I was the first to scale that mountain, baby! They say that identifying the problem is halfway to solving it. But sometimes, try as he might to rectify it, identification of the problem is the most one could do. And for that 50% alone, one believes that one is entitled to a whole lot of leave alone.
My depressions are getting deeper that I am finding it to bounce back to surface. In the olden days, I would put up with my shitty days with glad resignation, safe in the knowledge that the bright days were just around the corner. My depression used to resemble bouts of recession. My depression these days has become an unpleasant plateau. The causes remain the same: huge blessings being masked by minuscule troubles.
I hope 2005 would be the year that my life is turned topsy-turvy, in a good way. Revelations are made to the wretched; I am ripe for one. I will not be reading self-help books for they will suck the romance right out of life. And they call them self-help! If you depend on some book by some author who is as human as you are to tell you how to go about living your life, that is hardly self-help, now is it?
I will get to spout additional verses from the Bible, verses other than Proverbs 18:22 and 1 Corinthians 7:8-9.
My wedding would be a low key affair that only two people would get to attend. It would lie on a Wednesday. I know, I know. Talking about weddings from where I am at is like putting the cart in front of the horse and the person is walking ahead, urging them to follow suit –asinine! It is just that people around me keep on getting married. It was well and good if they got hitched like that and kept their happiness to themselves. But no! Their happiness won’t be complete unless they drag the entire neighborhood to wallow in their happiness (Perhaps their desire stems from the fact that they are creating negative entropy when they coalesce; thus the need for their disturbing the rest of humanity, in order to satisfy the second law of thermodynamics.) My friend is one such asshole.
I have known him for over six years. When I first met this seemingly aloof individual in front of the lecture hall, little did I know that we would hit it off, to the point of him calling me Kyph; and that a little further down the road, he would do me the great disservice of asking me to be one of his best men. I turned him down flat; I was not one for the spotlight; social events give me the heebie-jeebies; I will ruin the photos; etcetera and I bid him reconsider his decision to put his life under the same yoke as some one else’s. Two chassis become one:
How about all the freedom of movement? I know it saves a lot of fuel, that is not reason enough to get married. No reason is.
He hails from where the waters come in heights ranging from 330 to 2000 ml. She, on the other hand, is from where the waters could be as deep as 100 meters. Let them gush all they want, call their coming together an act of fate, destiny. I prefer to call it a logistical nightmare:
We settle upon my role as a stand-in best man. I attend training sessions.
Fast forward to the wedding date, the usual: photos in ludicrous acts and poses, breakfast at the groom’s , the whole shebang.
I am not feeling my writing. But it is the only thing keeping me awake up in this. Plus fellow “meeting animals” are, I can feel it, watching me scribbling like crazy, wondering how I managed to extract gold from a heap of manure, because it is how things are: once a minute (more like twenty seconds) of silence has been observed in memory of you know who; I have thanked the Lord for making me count among the crème de la crème (in an institution where, the very first day I joined as a student, exclaimed “when is this going to end ); the cap seal on the bottled water has been broken (two, clean movements, please!); and everybody has settled down with their Sinarline and Bic in hand, there is hardly anything to do with said pieces of stationery, nothing that prevents one’s mind from wandering out of the meeting hall. And I, like the consummate teacher that I am, am giving a lot of community service, the third pillar of our noble profession, by keeping several teachers in the hall with my wanderings. So I go on writing.
Our collective lack of experience on how weddings should be run has made us overlook an integral part of our duty –we needed to bring a protocol along. I am tagging along with the groom and his best men. You could almost say that I looked like a better man. So it was only natural that I would be mistaken for the protocol once we have reached the gates of the bride’s house. In my new capacity as the accidental protocol guy , important demands are made of me like: how many people have you brought along so that we can arrange designated seats in the dinkuan? Answer –um, one, two, three, …, thirty to fifty. Won’t you make up your mind for fuck sakes!
Hold the plate for the groom and do some ladling My response – mirror, maybe too much, the female protocol. Pop Champagne Reluctance to do so, even after this nice lady offers to do most of the work for me. I am literally swept off my feet at the melee of the anasigebam sergegna; I lose a button.
A lot of hassle to the business, that a protocol can’t get his fill of the Tej, and get his daily requirements of vitamin C. Damn! On a positive note, I am told to announce the cake cutting ceremony and my teaching experience comes in handy –sermons.
We have to hurry back. There are people waiting for the newlyweds (or should I say, the newlywelds?) at the groom’s house. But haste gave rise to commotion. Our atshegnunim wey was deemed unceremonious. I, in my buzz of not knowing what to do, even manage to remove a seat that was prepared for the bride’s relatives for when the time came for gulbet mesam. In my defense, I was just paving the way for our party. One of our own people starts to sing, out of turn, eyebelu eyeTeTu zim; two of our own people almost get into a fight with each other.
We are berated for not honoring the tradition and for making a mess of our exit, most of all by the priest who was standing on a chair, the better to command the scene. He looked like a turbaned, much younger and way more pissed off version of Ababa Tesfaye, the way he went enante nachihu ahun yehager terekabioch? (ere egna mushira lemerekeb new yemeTanew!) … bezefen ager ayqenam! … beTam tasazinalachihu!…
Once calmed down, he breaks the word mist down in ways it had never been broken down before. We all know the definition in circulation: mitmita sitilis tinoraleh. But aba says mi in Gee’z stands for migib; si = short for sisit yelelebat, t= for tihitina yetemolach. My irreverent self takes this to mean, respectively, that she cooks, gives it up on the regular and does not complain whether you come early, toes curled or late, legs wobbling.
Songs from the wedding dinner:
To be continued…