Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Il n'y a rien à dire

Darkness falls swiftly in August.  That is the nature of it.  How quickly we pass from raging, glorious daytime to heat-heavy night.  The city is made eerie by electrical effluvia.  Candle against the void.

I have a memory.  It was the day I left Ouagadougou.  Djeneba and the other serving girls had taken down the laundry from the lines running across the small courtyard.  Your father stood at the edge of the patio in his powder blue boubou, chin shaking.  "He's crying," you said.  I saw that and I saw you wiping at your eyes.  And Mama too.  He was small; he held himself like my Grandpa Cariaga had held himself; with unforced dignity.  And, though I knew it was not the African way, I put my hand on his shoulder and said "Merci, ma pere pour ma femme."  It was the best I could do.  Gilbert waited outside the gate.  The car door was open.   That's my memory.

Catastrophes befall people who do not expect them.  For the rest there are troughs and ridges.

But it's such sad news from Africa, love.  Such sad, sad news.

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