Wegesha my Christian Grey

I wish Wordsworth was here to teach me some poetry to express what I feel; it would show the romance through all this, and may be it would get through that thick brain of yours. Rules and religious principals guided my life for 31 years, and my life was amazing. I can never do complicated, but all I end up doing with you is complicated.  I wish I was a drinker or a smoker: weed sounds good right now just to make me forget but I never really got into that habit and there is no point in starting now since I cannot catch up close enough to help me shut my mind off for a second, plus I do not want to end up on the Michael Jackson drug and on ventilator with fluid weeping out of my body, I can never understand how people destroy their lives for drugs and ETOH, such a waste.

Any way back to my life: my apartment smells of  you; I cannot sleep on my bed because it has your scent; any laundry detergent couldn’t get rid of your scent since it is in my head and all I want is to have you there. So I move to the couch but there is still you.  Please  let me have one sq. foot in my apatemtnt where there is no reminder of you. The ache my body feels every time I move is a constant reminder and I cannot wait until it goes away. Why am I having trouble explaining it to you that relationships have anthropological base, no sexual act can survive without it,

The problem is I couldn’t tell you I love you, I have loved you for years but I can never tell you that because I think you are so out of my league, and I was doing so good when you decided to disappear on me, it felt good not to want you to my core but you showed up and this time I became a junky for your love and kiss and every thing else that followed. It is weird  to want to get drunk on your kiss, I cannot play with flower petals to see if you love me or not. I gave up the one virtue I held close to my heart because who better to give it up to than the one person that makes me high with just a kiss and candle light conversations. I want to tell you that I love you to the moon and back and more, but I can never say it to your face, sharing what we shared meant a lot more than I led on my Wegesha, I am your marked territory now; like a lioness is to the king of the jungle. I do not swear but if I did I would say this is F…..up.

I am a mess but I am an adorable mess who isn’t afraid of  the fifty shades of F..up you are, but I am afraid of telling you that to your face. But I have hope that you allow me some neurotransmitters and neurons so that  we can let the synapse happen and build our own Pride. All this crying makes me look weak and I am stopping that right now, but I am not impervious to things that happen around me, I am human and I believe you are too even though you think  you are not affected by human emotions and I plan to prove you wrong by enlisting God whose existence you question, I got one up on you on this one and you are in for a surprise.

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የሌሊት ወፍ

እነሱ ገና አንድ ወር እየቀረው have yourself a merry little Christmas ምናምን እያሉ ሲዘፍኑ እኛስ ቅዳሴ ብንሰማ ከለካይ አለብን እንዴ? ሆጵ ሆጵ ሆጵ

The ቅዳሴ came on my earphones while I was doing late night work on a presentation. It was nice. It almost felt like I was attending የገና ዋዜማ ሌሊት ቅዳሴ. It ain’t got shit on የፋሲካ ቅዳሴ though. You know that the celebration of gena in ኢትዮጵያ is subdued as compared with that of fasika. What the Westerns have failed miserably to understand is that if He came to the world, and let us say, just chilled until ripe old age, then redemption would have been out of the question. The death trumps the birth; and in this case, we as a nation are not being our usual fatalistic selves.

A person asked me when our holiday was and I answered that the nearest was Christmas even though it falls on a different date (later on I would kick myself for not having remembered that we celebrated Eid al-Adha just last week.) Person was kind of disappointed that we did not have “indigenous holidays” as if Christmas was their gift to the rest of the world. There is a strong possibility that my people may have been celebrating Gena back when person’s people were on their harvest festival shit. And now they expect us to tell them when our harvest festival is?

I don’t believe my being  Catholic would stand in the way of my pride in being an Ethiopian and the traditions of other pretenders to heaven. In our church, የግዕዝ ቅዳሴ አለ and ብዙዎቹ መዝሙሮች are taken from the Protestant churches. It’s like having the best of both worlds:

Had I been alive at the time of the Italian invasion, and of the same religious persuasion, I would definitely have been an አርበኛ. Ok, may be not an አርበኛ but most definitely not a ባንዳ.

I don’t spend too much time worrying whether my religion is the right one or not, dissecting our differences (“ካቶሊኮች በድንግል ማርያም ያምናሉ ግን ቤተክርስትያን ጫማ ሳያወልቁ ነው የሚገቡት”) It is enough for me to know that God is right. Come judgment day, I hope it is going to be an all-or-none phenomenon.

It is hard to be Catholic in Etyopia, man! No, there is no persecution. But the pool of chicks to marry from is narrow, very narrow. A good number of Catholics end up marrying outside of the religion. Perhaps they want to prove that they are in high-demand, limiting their realities may be. For people like me that translates as “Just because we are both Catholics, does not mean that you stand a snowball’s chance in hell with me.” Speaking of snow. I should have known ዛፎቹ መለመላቸውን ሲቀሩ –we is about to get fucked. Good thing we dabble in ግዕዝ and መዝሙሮች though:: They are survival skills, whichever path the need to procreate might lead us. (A modern day Macbeth at his final hour tells his nemesis that he cannot be defeated by any man born of coitus. Nemesis retorts that he was a fruit of IVF and shoots him. And then the twin of the nemesis appears.)

It was well and good if one could be a citizen of the world, all categorization flung out of the windows. But recent events are making one take stock of one’s situation, about who one is and where one stands in the struggle:

I can’t say that I have experienced racism since I came here. Not that I know of. But should it decide to rear its ugly head, I know that I am not going to be immune just because I am a “light-skinned” Ethiopian. Although there are many shades of black, I doubt if those shades would matter in the face of antagonism. Not that the shades should matter: our trials and tribulations as well as our hopes and dreams have got to be shared.

But I still have got to worry about what other black people would think of me (have thought of me) when they meet me (met me) for the first time: Africans -stuck up, Africa Americans -bush.

I still also have to worry whenever I mess up at school, whether it would reflect on the intelligence of black people. Now, after I mess up, there would be another layer of feeling awful, in addition to the old stalwart: hours after said mess up, I would still be thinking how bad my performance must have appeared in front of people.

I had a lot of ደንባራ in me even before I left home; Sami would know. But coming here is like a whole ‘nother level of መደናበር:: In Bahir Dar, I used to bow my head even when greeting my students. My friend used to tell me that I was making the students confused: if I do the bowing what is left for them to do? When I do the same thing here (or when I walk or sit with my head down, as has been my wont from time immemorial) I fear that it could be construed as a loss of confidence (some truth in that), obsequiousness, deferring to the “superior race”, a relic of unresolved childhood issues,… who knows?

ወዘተ ወዘተ  እሺ አሁን ወደማጠቃለያው

So, I am  Catholic, and a black man. Two things that, in the Etyopian context, are loaded with ambivalence.  Catholic – Orthodox vs. Protestant; Black ­– Black black vs.  መለስ ያለ black.  On a personal level, even my field of study is pretty ambivalent. The biomedical sciences straddle the line between medicine and natural sciences. Hell, even ጉራጌ መሆን ራሱ መሀል ሰፋሪ መሆን ማለት ይሆን? እንዲያው God forbidና, if shit were to go down between any two of the big three, we would be the ones providing both sides with the ammunition. አንደ ባሎቴሊ ሳልከሰስ ላቁም:: ግን እኮ even Standard Oil did business with the Nazis.

One

ለካ ኤዞፕ ጥቁር ነበር?!

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