Year the 2nd: Part une
As it turned out, America [among other things]* is not a place where you come to make your marriage work. So I will be single in exactly 22 + the liQimQami days it would take the apartment owners to issue us an Eviction Notice. Single and homeless. Single, homeless, talentless, education-less, no, not-jobless but, then again, that has been as much a comfort as “having your health” would be when you are broke and feel there was nobody to love you. [Yes, it was a mutual decision. Napkins?!]
Alas, the news isn’t all bad. I have received my 10 year I-551 form, otherwise known as “permanent green card”. Got 2,500 dollars saved (2009’s tax-return, a gift from soon-ex-husband-to-be). And got nothing to tie my clipped-wings down to the city in California that doesn’t have a Walmart [or a school I can afford to go to – not that I have actively looked – or a taxi chain, a Chinese food delivery service, an Ethiopian restaurant, or Ethiopians for that matter. It’s a rare-bird of a town; quite, “yegeter Qebele” kind of town, full of amedam immigrants. The kind of town that doesn’t make the news until a pedophile removes his GPS tracking device, crosses it’s rocky hills, rapes and kills two teenage kids, and buries them in a shallow grave. It’s “hidden” and spanish as it’s name.
Still, the apartments are as intact from earth-shaking them to pieces as only an american building contractor can; the waitresses at Ihop are as smiling as other waitresses at other Ihops around the country and the streets are as safe as Addis Ababa’s can never be, at the rate of about 2 people meeting their Creator through car accident every six months. And the ceremony, the two dozens or so police cars that block the street and surround your body when found dead in the street; the integrity of the human soul, the solemn look and the gracefullness of the “officers of the law”.. that definitely stands in stark-contrast to Addis where a body stays ill-clad, neglected and unseemly, until a kind old woman on her way to “gebeya” drops her [probably only] “netela” on it. In the day time, it’s streets are filled with an almost non-existent traffic, and a warm .. lazy.. air that seems unable to make up it’s mind whether to be as hot as Arizona’s or borrow a “cool” page from it’s coastal neighbor, Oceanside. At night, half naked adolescent black girls from cities far and wide walk it’s streets advertising, as well as looking, for men to shack up with. Middle-aged white guys with too much teen-porn under their belt to keep them sane and legal as well as undocumented-aliens with whom, Chris would emphatically assure you, no self-respecting girl would shack up with [makes you wonder where all these adorable little Hispanic kids come from, then, at the rate of 6 child per mother].
So the age old question of those untied by “something tugging, some responsibility, some memory, a pull of a child’s hand or a heartstring, which induces them to make the long journey back to their other half”; the question of where to go, what to do and who to be … has made me trace my way back to you, my ex-readers, fellow immigrants, (hopefully) well-wishers, for advice!
First, earlier recommendations:
1. Enat [newly married cousin, 31, Protestant Christian]:
Has decided that I should toughen it out. Stay in the city in California with no Walmart until the 3 year residence period is up and I can apply for my citizenship, through my citizen husband.
Less hassle for future life.
Neither husband nor wife in the mood to wait it out. Also afraid signing on false-to-be documents would make me lose my chance of becoming a citizen when the 5 year period is over. Also, California isn’t exactly a place where a single gal, used to luxury in her former life as a married woman, can afford to live in.
2. Chris [spouse of 5 years, good friend for the last 7 months, man who still believes in soon-ex-wife-to-be’s writing ability]:
Has suggested that I move to Hollywood and try to see what it can afford to give me. “It is the place for you” he kept saying, “my sister will find you a job. And you can go to school. And you write a script. And find a director. They would love you.. you have so much to say”.
By the time I vacate California for lesser glamorous destinations, I’d know I’ve given “this writing thing” a try. And now/then that it didn’t work, I can devote my time [by which I mean the few pre-menopausal years I’m left with] by doing something more sensible…. something worthwhile like study [the ominous] nursing, find a willing and able man to have kids with so I could petition my parents to come visit me on my welad alga, in my little apartment, paid for by my nursing job. Also, the likelihood of having a chance to sneak a peek at Johnny Depp’s lovable face, too tempting.
Everything about the idea of moving to Hollywood to make it work. As “If Hollywood don’t need you” by Don Williams, “That Kind” by Neil Diamond [who would have thought I had known a Niel Diamond song that wasn’t part of the movie “Saving Silverman” before I even came here?!] and all the songs on this site would bear witness.
3. Me [maniacally insecure, also a self-professed mini-hoarder, 30 something female with a head-full of scary Hollywood movies where single females living alone come to no good in America]:
Been thinking about going to Virginia beach. The only relative I have in America, a 2nd cousin on my dad’s side willing to actually put up with my godana-tedadari-as-of-June-1st-behind, living there. Also it’s close to Ethiopian communities, who I feel would be my only.. remaining.. source of inspiration to pick up the pen, as they say. Not to mention how it has the kind of weather I like. Cold and gloomy, I heard. Which always reminds one of toes warming under blankets. Passionate love-making. Dying orange-brown leaves lining the side streets in the morning. Autumn in California, how much do I love thee. Lemme count the ways. I love thee to the extent that I forget my heart-ache when I see you. I wipe the raindrop from my noses, shake off the snowflakes from my lashes, suck in that cold air and breath it out with many a thank-you-Gods. You, dear autum leaves, remind me that nature can indeed be unnecessarily beautiful. More dreamy than practical. Like a drunk artist with a brush, or a spiteful painter with a pail of paint, or Charlie Sheen on facebook, that you are something that somebody went nuts on: in a marvelous way [Sheen is the exception. But enough has been said about that —- by Jimmy Fallon — my favorite impersonator of all times].
Mentioned above. Plus, unlike any other place in America, I would have somebody who knows where I am incase something happens. I.E. Incase somebody decided to cut me up and stuff me down the drain. Fear of your parents not getting your body shipped to them for the anjet-qorach final sinibit. Isn’t that the ultimate immigrant nightmare? Or.. as Zadie smith eloquently put it: “But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears – dissolution, disappearance. “
* Having a “zemed” put up with my still-stubborn still-wanting-to-remain-self-reliant self.
* No clue what it is like to live in a state that isn’t the melting-pot-California is. [Ode to California: to thy stiff upper lip on employers, provisions for minimum-wage earners, $8.50 per hour—s. Thy beautiful people, skinny/tanned under your merciless sun, most of them mexi-can; O, thy riches, thy beauty, thy close proximity [to Las Vegas? Where I won 19 bucks… last Christmas .. and lost about 40–dollars?!]. Is, infact, rumored to be racist.
*No idea how I can get a job there (if there is a job to be got).
*Plus what I would do with my life, my wannabe-writer-no-good-for-anything-else-self now that neither Hollywood nor Chicago are anywhere in the horizon.
Now: yuour turn!
Spare me a minute, I beg of you, and tell me where you think I should go, what kind of job I am likely to get and what my chances of going to school and making a [decent] living for me are. Based upon the data you provided, and the force of it’s conviction, abesheet [holder of the arguable and otherwise redundent title of “first Ethiopian blogger to blog from Ethiopia” she doned on herself; the same sassy female whose posts make you laugh and hot under the collar, sometimes at the same time; YeZih tsihuf aQrabi enew erase :-)] MAY come to a place near you. To walk in the streets you are walking. To shop in the same Ross [Dress for Less] store you are hoping to get a good “Sales” bargain in. And to steal the jobs you are unlikely to apply for [Janitorial, Cashiering, Security Officer].
*whose streets are paved with gold
*where people know everything about Ethiopia: the flag (most think our green/yellow is an emblem to Jamaica); the fact that we are/were the only country that was never colonized; that we beat Italy’s invading forces with “tor ena gasha”
*and Ethiopians: how “legebo kehone leQum neger gudai, gorebet wedad, engida teQebai” we are; how we consider ourselves to be the most beautiful, most sought-after; Atse Tewodros
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