There is a part at the beginning of “Pretty Woman” in which a street hustler asks a passer by “Hey, Mista? Wot’s your dream?”.
This is my attempt to answer that question.
I joined the Addis Ababa University right after I read “White Teeth”. A book I put down and wept the first time I read it, not because of anything sad I read there, but because the onslaught of emotions produced by the writer’s skill became too much for the abesheet soul. Ofcourse my sister Blen has asked me once before why I won’t try to do something about it when I complained, non-stop, on how bad Ethiopian books and movies have become. But that was the day in which i woke up and smelled the coffee. It was a strange ephiphany. Realizing that was what I wanted to be all my life: a writer! Like Zadie.
So I read, dreamed, and ate Zadie. Every article she had published on the internet. Every thing written about her. Every thing she ever did. Her A to Z’s on life. The school she went to. The guy she had a teenage-crash on. And the poet she finally married. A Zadie Smith-fandom is what me and my husband shared before first kisses. She was the tie that bound us together, in a round about way.
Then I came across Miki Turner’s article on msnbc.com. I got addicted to it. I started reading it atleast once a week, savoring each word and expression. Praying that I would one day become a Miki Turner.
Then we watched “Man of the Year” and my husband told me about Jon Stewart, whom he felt was the man Robin Williams’ character was modeled after. I’m easily impressionable when it comes to “my kind of people”. So first thing the next morning I googled Stewart. Watched a few videos on you tube. Fall in love. (inspite of, I always emphasize, the guy being a Jew).
A few weeks ago, it was Keith Olberman. I read, I googled, I watched, I fall in love.
What do these people have in common, except for me as their biggest fan? A sharp wit. A sense of humor I’d like to develop. And a sassiness a person with zero-self esteem like me can only dream about.
Does that make me sound immature, dreaming of becoming people I see on tv at 30+? More importantly, could I?!
When “Pretty Woman” comes to an end, before the credits roll up, the same street hustler passes by the camera asking the same question:
“Welcome to Hollywood.” He says, “What’s your dream? Everybody comes here. This is Hollywood, the land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t. But keep on dreamin’. This is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.”
I am as far away from the “City of Angels” as the feet could take. Don’t think i have any other choice though!
Dream Sample: Hey Paris, want to help Rwanda? Stay home!
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