Archive for April 19, 2011

Year II: Part deux

There hasn’t been many Hollywood movies in Ethiopia when I was growing up. But, somehow, by some weird reason [namely, my uncle being in the entertainment business as well as a close friend to the owner of “Rahi Video”… Mr. Rahi?!], I’ve watched them all. I’ve started with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and gone through every shit, from every genre, Hollywood came up with [Back to The Future, Eyes of Laura Mars, Django]. A curiosity fueled by “Police ena Ermijaw”, plus 42 of Agatha’s Christie’s books, I’ve always been inclined to read and watch movies with “twists” in them: Twisted minds, twisted kids, twist-endings.

If I paid “Arada” a visit and decided to drop by “The British Council”, I hunted for books about serial killers, self-appointed Messiahs who led their followers to mass-suicides and/or unsolved murders. I fed my lust for pain and suffering [for “Pain by itself is just pain. But Pain + Distance can = entertainment, voyeurism, human interest, cinéma vérité, a good belly chuckle, a sympathetic smile, a raised eyebrow, disgusted contempt”] by browsing through the “Suspense/thriller” section of “Philips Video”, which I was the proud member of despite being intensely disliked by one of their rather-plump, rather-cute, rather-sophisticated sales representative who didn’t hesitate to show how she felt about —- anybody [these were the “take it or leave it”/”Kebele”/”ration” days in which the only thing in shorter supply to goods & services was the tempers of those who “provided” them]. Alas, did her distaste to my “smarty-mouth” [i’m only guessing here] stop me from striding in and taking the book, the movie, the audio-book home? Nossar it didn’t! Take them I did. And read/listened to or watched them – through gaps in the blanket, between my fingers, over the shoulder of my mother or somebody older/braver who kept asking, while trying to free their back off my vine-like presence, parasitic and persistent, “yemitferi kehone lemin tayiwalesh?”.

Ofcourse, the shoulders won’t always be there. A time would come when I’m left alone.. a few minutes before I fall asleep or need to go to the “shint bett” after hours [which just happens to be located at the back of our house, infront of the piece of land dedicated to “arem ena muja”; the spot where the “berenda mebrat” doesn’t get to]. For those times, I fashioned what Darwinians might call “a survival mechanism [for those paranoid fucks to whom “rationality” isn’t always the option]”. “These killers”, I reasoned with my myself, “are fictional. There is perhaps half a dozen crew members and two hundred by-standers watching this guy follow that woman down that dark alley [and no woman in her right mind would walk down a dark alley at night. Right? Right?!]. Even if it’s based on a true story,” continued I the self-monologue, “it’s happening in America. The killer would have to cross continents to get to me. And what are the chances of that happening really!?”.

Ofcourse, there were “ghost” stories. THEY can cross borders. THEY can watch you when you can’t see them: tickling your 6th sense, making you shoulder heavy, the hair on the back of your neck stand. But Ghosts were evil spirits, right? And America is bound to be full of them due to its lascivious living. Which is why you don’t hear about ghosts and people with split personality disorders in Ethiopia. We have the fear of God, we abeshas. “People of the book”, so to say – “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel?”, and all that. As for the remnants of stories from your childhood (of “qorits”, “erkuus menfeses” and “gAneNs” who attack young girls in their sleep), doesn’t their presence, by default, mean that God exists too? And that Angels are real? And what’s an angel for, if not to protect thee wee lamb [True, you were a sturdy 13 pounds the day you were born. And haven’t been exhibiting a “wee-lamb-like” yewahinet since 3rd grade. Alas, what are your uncharitable deeds: cynicism, atheism, breaking the 3rd commandment atleast twice a day, compared to the sins of others?!. People like Hitler! John Wayne Gacy! And Nietzsche.. who not only had an incestial relationship with his sister but actually declared God “dead”!?]. Time to get your Pslams 23 going.

Bihonim.. Bihonim… I tried to avoid watching scary movies at night. When it’s something haunting, like “The Omen”, like “Far From Home”, something that stays with you for days, and creeps up at night when you are most vulnerable, I feared freely. I kept the lights on, I wrapped my self in the blanket – not leaving a breadeth of hair out in the “unsafe world”, I glued my back to the wall, to it’s fortress-like quality (thy rod and and thy stifness they comfort me oh mighty wall). Still.. I kept getting jerked out of a feverish sleep – by something squeezing my chest, racing my heart, making me breathless.. its over-whelming power turning my bones to mesh. No curse more than the curse of being a chicken with imagination. I drew the scariest scenarios. And shook, shamelessly, like a leaf.

It was, therefore, “inconcevabl-ish” to me (more…)

April 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm 2 comments


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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April 2011

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