It’s the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday, week two of the forty day Lent (Abiy) fast, wherein our heroine, let’s call her Hewan (Eve) or H for short, has vowed to not consume any animal products. She is in the office lunch room, where boxes of pizza (one chicken, one meat) left over from a lunch meeting have been left out for anyone to help themselves. She’s in the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.
Pizza: Hey, you there.
H: (ignoring, having herbal tea)
H: (still ignoring)
Pizza: It’s just us here.
Pizza: Just sayin’. I’m here, all hot and meaty and cheesy. Just you and me here. Who’s gonna know?
Pizza: Don’t worry about what He knows. God already knows plenty of things. For example, He knows that your lent-fasting has nothing to do with Jesus.
H: It has everything to do with Jesus. He said the body is a temple, therefore I am spring cleaning my temple.
Pizza: It’s not spring.
H: In Ethiopia it is. Sort of.
Pizza: You sure? I bet you didn’t even know when the fasting started. You had to ask three different people on two continents to get the date.
H: It’s hard keeping two calendars straight in my head. I’m not a Mac application.
Pizza: What’s for dinner?
H: Tuna. Delicious tuna.
Pizza: Aha, so you’re eating fish. And, if it started raining wine you probably wouldn’t open your umbrella.
H: What do you want me to do? Roam in the desert and feed on dates?
Pizza: You’re confusing your prophets.
H: Or eat nothing until three in the afternoon and then have kolo for dinner?
Pizza: That’s how you’ll discover truths and see visions.
H: Oh I have visions. I’m having one right now. I see the devil, and it wears cheese.
Chicken Shawarma: You’re not into cheese. I get that.
H: What the –
Chicken Shawarma: Don’t act like I haven’t always been here. You pretending to not notice me. I’m hurt.
H: In walking past you I attain spiritual strength.
Chicken Shawarma: But you enjoy me in your mind. I’ve felt you squeeze me lovingly between your mind-teeth.
H: The brain is not a digestive organ.
Pizza: How about the nose? The way you inhaled me just now, when we were all alone, I had to double-cheese uh I mean double check that I didn’t have parts missing.
H: Please go away, all of you. I want to be alone with my thoughts.
Pizza: They better be dairy free.
H: Only God knows, right?
Chicken Shawarma: Don’t you mean prayers? You want to be alone with your prayers.
H: Yes, I am going to meditate on spiritual matters. Matters of pureness and light.
Latte: Did someone call me?
H: I said light. I want to be light.
Latte: Aha, so this is all a weight-loss thing.
H: If I wanted to lose weight – and I’m not saying that I do – there are more effective ways to do that. I could still eat bread and pasta all day every day and end up bigger than I started out.
Latte: So you’ve thought about it.
Pizza: Erm, you do realize pasta has egg in it.
Chicken Shawarma: I’m the mother. I should know where all my babies go. That pasta you’ll probably have with your tuna tonight will have at least .01% of my first cousin’s sister’s wife’s grandmother’s third child in it. (Grandma got around.)
H: I can’t dissect everything that passes my lips. I mean I eat out you know. I have a life.
Chicken Shawarma/Latte/Pizza/Burger: (gasp in horror)
H: I do!
Burger: We meant about the eating out part.
H (to Burger): Who invited you into this conversation?
Burger: I figured I might as well. You’ve probably broken the fast a million times already in just one day of eating out.
H: I can’t know what’s in every molecule of everything I eat. I have to go on faith.
Latte: Or just eat at home. Make all your own stuff.
Pizza: It’s great for your budget.
Chicken Shawarma: And your figure, not that you’re checking.
H: Except you.
Chicken Shawarma: No really, I’m not.
Burger: Good on you though. For enduring so much.
H: Well, it takes more than a little willpower, no thanks to your kind.
Latte: Yeah, a little suffering to spice up your year.
H: I suffer together with my people all over the world.
Pizza: Misery loves company.
H: You can say that again.
Latte: Misery loves company.
H: No I meant –
Chicken Shawarma: Misery loves company.
Burger: Misery loves –
H: Shut up before I make mincemeat out of you!
Burger: Too late. I come with mayo and spice, dripping fat hot off the grill.
H: I hope from the fires of hell.
Pizza: That’s the spirit. Come on now, don’t leave me out here to get cold all by myself, even though I’m just as good cold.
H: (murmurs) Yes I remember…
Pizza: What’s that?