Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Ways of Remembering

I had a good dream today. It put me in a good mood. I smiled and chuckled all day. In fact, there’s still some leftover glint in my eyes even though it’s been hours since I first open them to the waking world. It’s funny ’cause I woke up doubting, not sure that I had actually been asleep. But the dream was there as proof. Surely, I couldn’t have dreamt without having slept? Naturally, I went about my daily routine: washing my body, sipping tea, reading, taking notes, wolfing down sandwiches, drinking coffee, reading some more, waving the librarian goodnight, and walking home in the dark. Through all these, I kept thinking about the dream not because I could remember the smallest bit but because, strangely enough, thoughts of the dream brought up  images of my childhood days.

A band of fruit thieves standing around a cashew tree and looking intently at a lonely cashew at the very top. The fruit is too high to reach by climbing. So they are poised to pluck the one fruit using their shoes as projectiles. I am the one waiting at the foot of the tree, hands stretched out to catch the fruit when it fell. 

Little dark girls, bony and naked, bathing at the public tap. I can’t hear them laughing because they are frozen. These images, by the way, were merely flashing photo-like in my head. Or maybe it’s because I am the girl who is not laughing, whose eyes are shut tightly from soap sting. 

A boy’s face. His name is Sunday.

I was seven at the time and believed I had fallen in love with Sunday, or rather, with his face. I had little trouble getting used to seeing and conversing with the face only. A cute sad face. The challenge was keeping the rest out of view. The rest of him was scaly and fell all over in tiny flakes. The rest of him was also gangly. And then there were knee caps as big as oranges.  When he stretched out his hand, it made a V shape. Something to do with his elbow never quite healing properly after a dislocation. I was convinced that these elbows that flicked V-wise were the most unattractive thing in the world. I was often rattled to the point of tearful disgust whenever he paraded the deformity in front of the other children, encouraged by the cries of surprise, insults, and admiration.

Oh well, it’s not like I miss home or like these images are meant to substitute the real thing.  After all, is home not merely the traces of an unremembered dream?

Tags: , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “Ways of Remembering” Subscribe

  1. Suzanne 2012/02/07 at 11:03 #

    You write so beautifully. I like.

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2012/02/09 at 04:29 #

    Thanks Suzanne!

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology | Read e-Book Exploring Millennial Sex Culture and Romance in African Cities

erotic-africa

Much has been said about the state of sex in African literature: whether African novelists are keen on sex, why […]

Zimbabwean Mapping Project Documents the Movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare

dambudzo marechera - graph

An unusual mapping project has documented the movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare. “Home Means Nothing to Me,” published in […]

Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia Gets Animation Movie | Watch Teaser

The Passport of Mallam Ilia - animation

Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel The Passport of Mallam Ilia is being made into an animated movie. Premium Times reports that the 2D […]

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible Makes Vogue’s Must-Read Books of 2018

yrsa daley-ward - image by Laurel Grolio for Girls At Library

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow […]

Film Adaptation of Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, by Dapo Adeniyi, Tells the Story of the Legend as a Child in the 1940s | Watch Trailer 

Egba women wait on Mrs Kuti at the outset of the women’s riot3

The film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1981 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is now available on Amazon. Set during the World […]

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology Forthcoming in December

erotic-africa

Twelve months after the call for submissions was made in January, we are happy to announce that Erotic Africa: The Sex […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.