I might have no one in the world, but at least I’m free

I do have someone, some people in the world, for whom my gratitude knows no bounds. But the sheer freedom described below appeals to me in a way I can’t quite articulate. Insert old adage about longing for the things we don’t have.


You see those people? He pointed toward the bar. All those people have families, you can tell by their faces, they have families that depend on them and that they depend on, and for some of them this is good, and for some of them this is bad. But it all amounts to the same shit because there isn’t one of them who is free. They can’t do what they want to do or be who they should be. I might have no one in the world, but at least I’m free.

– the Gangster, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

growing up in the diaspora: podcast interview

in the spirit of not being afraid of my voice [both literally and figuratively], I participated in a podcast conversation about my identity as a diaspora Ethiopian. I discussed what it was like to grow up in the Ethiopian/African/immigrant concentrated D.C. area and my current relationships to my country of origin + my current home [the U.S.]. my talk with the two lovely hosts from Black Women Be Like was framed by a piece I wrote in November, monday morning blues. enjoy below or on SoundCloud.

I always felt out of place

“When I lived with my parents, I used to take long walks by myself, even when I was very young and was forbidden from doing so. I couldn’t help it. I was restless. I always felt out of place. I didn’t know it was permanent, though. I thought eventually I would find a house or a street that seemed to have been made just for me. I think I have walked more miles than just about any man I know, and I have learned that if I were to walk every day for the rest of my life, I would never find such a place. That is nothing to be sad about. Many people have it worse. They dream of belonging to a place that will never have them. I made that mistake once.”

– p. 99-100 of Dinaw Mengestu’s latest book, All Our Names