Thursday, January 9, 2014


There was an old man in one of the smoky huts who would play that song, sometimes. He would never talk, or at least not that I heard, but at night he would get his kalimba out and play for us. Even the littlest kids in our company, not used yet to the hunger and the cold, would be silent and just blink their big eyes at the fire light and listen and forget all about the winds raging outside -at least, for the moment.

When the old man died, my own father threw his kalimba on the funeral pyre in the middle of the endless concrete and rebar ruins. Pah said he had been cruel for teaching us about memory. I think I cried more that day than any other in my life.

Yes, I would like to say I cried. Even though by now, who could be sure about such things?

(Story published before on Reddit and Tumblr.)

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