my world was weightless

“I moved slowly, one strained step at a time, and as I did so I thought of my mother and father and all my younger siblings, who were growing into strangers. After countless nights of deliberately trying not to think of them, I now felt a distant and detached affection that I knew I could carry harmlessly. They were gone, and whether I would ever see them again no longer troubled me. My world was weightless, more so than I had ever thought it could be. I owned practically nothing and was obligated to no one; I felt more alive than I ever had before.”

– p. 103 of Dinaw Mengestu’s latest book, All Our Names

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