Ethiopian Culture / Immigrant Life

Garden of Vegan

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Eve: What, it’s vegan!

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)

Pizza: psst

H: (ignoring, having herbal tea)

Pizza: PSSST!

H: (still ignoring)

Pizza: It’s just us here.

H: So.

Pizza: Just sayin’. I’m here, all hot and meaty and cheesy. Just you and me here. Who’s gonna know?

H: God.

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.

H: Doesn’t.

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.)

Pizza: 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?

H: Nothing!

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