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Eritrea and Being Alone

Is it weakness or kindness to feel compassion when someone has hurt you?

M called round this evening to collect some things. She wanted to know what my parents and sister, whom I’d just recently told about the infidelity and seperation, had to say.

I can’t deny a certain spiteful glee at unleashing the words theat they used. To expose her to them was unkind, but her reaction was perhaps kharma dealing me a fair hand. I felt no pleasure, only regret, at the way she crumpled and cried.

I hugged her as she did so, but it wasn’t comfortable. I hugged her in the way I imagine Prince Philip of England would hug someone. He’s no doubt familiar with the concept and has a rudimentary familiarity with the dynamics involved, but his execution would, as was mine, be somewhat awkward and stilted.

Tonight was another evening out, a leaving party for a friend due to departs this City. We attended an event celebrating Eritrean culture as the only two non-Eritreans to begin. My knowledge of Eritrea was sadly quite lacking but I can now confidently expouse the virtues of their cuisine, and dancing.

I also made a friend. A five year old who found the funniest thing in the World to be bouncing a balloon against my head. You can only envy someone who hasn’t yet been distracted by all the nonsense. He seemed to enjoy my exaggerated, comedic responses to his repeated inflatable attacks. He might not have enjoyed it as much as me. If only life were as easy as being hit by a balloon.

Dear M,

I wonder where you were tonight. You would have enjoyed it.


Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption

~William Saroyan~

Olivia A. Cole

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