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the assignment

Rebecca Meacham University of North Texas Press PDF

the assignment

89

city’s inaugural marathon, and she was the hometown favorite, and as she bounced past each checkpoint—tiny, freckled, sinewy but not stringy, wearing an orange sports bra and her hair in a ponytail—he could focus only on her. So much so that his producer wondered, watching the tape, if any other runners had shown up that day. She had placed second, but told everyone, as she winked at Carter—a woman who winked—that she’d gone home with the real prize. Lately, she was running twenty miles on

Saturdays. But last weekend, she had been spooked on a long run through the park. She had been dwelling on it. For his part,

Carter was keeping an eye out, escorting her nearly everywhere, installing chains on her doors, staying over.

Still, attacking his girlfriend was a whole other matter. He said, “Jen, haven’t you had enough of that already?”

“That’s why I want you to do this, Carter. To condition me.

In case I need to defend myself, again.” She put her legs together and reached over her toes. The other night, he had painted her toenails, the only part of her that seemed to get kind of ugly.

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What I Was Doing There

Colin Rafferty Break Away Book Club Edition ePub

Finding a crowded spot on the island of Oahu isn’t hard. The island, home to Honolulu International Airport (upgrade your rental car to a convertible for just an extra five dollars a day!), contains the fiftieth state’s largest city, most thoroughly equipped shopping mall, and the majority of its main tourist sites. Several experienced travel guides suggest using the island merely as a jumping-off point to the other islands in the Hawaiian chain. Your most important Oahu experience, they say, should be walking through the open-air terminals of HNL to catch your flight to Lanai or Molokai or some other, less-crowded island.

But Elizabeth and I are here to visit some crowded locations, to be tourists. Neither of us has visited Hawaii, and we want to see the sights. And already our trip has been beset by delays and aggravations—we spent the night two nights ago catching fitful naps on the floor of LAX, having missed our connecting flight from Atlanta thanks to a storm. After arriving yesterday, we drove straight to the Department of Health in downtown Honolulu, parked not far from the volcano-shaped capitol building, and waited for an hour on a Friday afternoon in molded plastic seats for a pleasant woman to ask us several questions, the answers recorded dutifully before she handed us our marriage license, ready just in time for our beachside ceremony on Monday morning.

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Medium 9780253006837

19: Abdo-Julien

Abdourahman A. Waberi Indiana University Press ePub

19

ABDO-JULIEN

ONE, TWO, THREE, WOWWWWW! We're the Mau-Mau, a group of young musicians in love with whirling, turbulent music from the depths of the desert. Blues, guux,* gabay,* and geeraar.* Wowwwwwwwww! We left the city to collect all the sonorities, the overflowing saps, sounds, singularities, songs, noises, tempests, and myths of the country. We went still farther. Alternative rock, reggae, rai, rap, ragamuffin, ska, and sega music hold no secrets for our muddy, moody, and even booted feet. We're the generation who sucked Jamaican music with the milk of our bottle; our birth coincides with the death of the long-haired prince who made the island of the Rastas world-famous. We seek the hypnosis of rhythm, language, song. The art of jubilation. You either are a revolutionary or you'll never be one, said old Victor Hugo. Our greatest reward is when we succeed in making old bodies of forty reel, like our parents, by playing them a piece of salsa, yesterday's pachanga, or a wild rumba, reminding them of the time when they were students abroad. Their tired eyes stare at the corner of a street, a sea horizon, and the unknown that lies at the end of it, a slice of life between Saint-Germain and Montparnasse. Thus we mix generations together—no small deal in this country of ours. We delve far, far down into the mysteries of the past; we bring up yesterday's ashes, delaying tactics and adjournments again and again. We often play stuff from the sixties, seventies, and eighties, old Cuban hits, the Haitians Coupé Cloué, Francis Bebey, or the latest Nat King Cole.

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Chapter Twenty

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

Phoenix knew better than to hope Teeg would change her mind. Might as well hope Salt Creek Falls would change its direction and tumble uphill. No sooner get my feet under me here, he thought, than she’s itching to go somewhere else. Portland, ye gods. What could be left of the place, twenty years after its dismantling? Moss-covered rubble and tons of plastic. Maybe it was all cinders, like Zuni’s village, like the hundreds of blackened townsites he had viewed in satellite photos.

“I have a concern to make a trip,” Teeg announced in the stillness following that night’s ingathering. “I am moved to seek my mother, to find out how she died. Or if she died.”

Everyone let that soak in for a while. The ingathering, Zuni’s first, had been the clearest since the landing, so there was a good deal to absorb. Phoenix sat on his mat in a clairvoyant stupor. Each of Teeg’s words, as she explained her mission, drifted before him like a tiny glass animal.

Surely they would say no, you can’t go, it’s a crack-brained scheme. But no sooner had Teeg finished speaking than everyone was agreeing to her plan. “It would be good for you to wait until the crops are established,” Marie was saying. “And the ribs will take another four weeks to mend,” Hinta cautioned. “And of course you won’t go alone,” said Jurgen.

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Chapter 3

Gabriella Ghermandi Indiana University Press ePub

WE RETURNED TO ADDIS ABABA, TO OUR HOME IN ARADA Sefer. That very evening I took my stuff out of the room that I had shared with my cousins, Aunt Fanus, and Aunt Abeba right before and after the liberation, and I moved into the last room on the left of the veranda, the one that had been old Yacob’s room.

On the way out I cast a quick glance at the bed where I had spent the previous night. There was a time when three of us shared it. And on the first night of my return, three people shared that bed again: Mulu, Alemitu, and me. “Just like old times,” Alemitu had said. That first night the nearness of their bodies kept me warm. In Italy I had missed that physical contact, that natural way we had of sleeping together.

Looking at the bed I felt a little sad about leaving the room, but the following morning I woke up well-rested, and happy at not having had to spend the night fighting with overlapping arms and legs. It was around eight-thirty in the morning, but the cold night air still permeated the house. I braved the cold and jumped out of bed shivering. Wrapped up in a gabi, holding my towel and clothes, I ran through the courtyard to reach the bathroom. After washing and getting dressed, I went to the kitchen, had breakfast, and, without saying a word to anyone, went out. Anyway, everyone knew where I was going.

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