An English In Kentucky



















March 4th 2009

    I used to speak Swahili and Ateso with just a little bit of Luganda.  But that part of my brain is almost gone.  At school I used to wake at night and see Okanya, realize I had been talking to him in Ateso.  Now when this happens we talk in English, and this even though neither of us appears to have aged more than a few seconds.

    I cannot say where he is, or what he does, or whether he is good or bad, because I think of him as my friend.  He was probably a couple of years older than I.  To say farewell we shook hands.  Me to my life.  Him to his life.  I do know, with that handshake, nothing was ever the same again for either one of us.


    Age freshens memory.  Like blowing up an old balloon.  Not the yesterday morning of memory but the way back of memory.  And if that's where ailing mind ends up, I propose now to the future, so there might be beer and desert islands, and a chance to speak Swahili and Ateso with my tall friend.

    Quite why this is important to me, I do not know.  I do know this place probably dwells in all of us.  In me, I think, it might just be further away than it is in some.

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