Saturday, August 09, 2008

I quote from a blog entry towards end of August 2007:
’I have been evil incarnate today.
Just imagine a scowling, ranting, miserable old cow and multiply hundred times and you are approaching an approximation of moi aujourd'hui.
Everywhere I looked I saw things that made me angry. The fact that there are no clients here at the moment just provided the fertile seeding ground for the rest of the day's irritations to really flourish. The fact that Keita has gone to Segou for the weekend to fulfil his functions as a good father and husband to his family added further fuel.’

Francois-Xavier, a writer and new friend just stayed at the hotel- he advised me, amid our voluminous and wide-ranging conversation, to put on my blog what I told him, but what I haven’t mentioned because it is of a very personal nature- it is about Keita and his family. It appealed to the writer in Francois-Xavier and he thought it romanesque.
I don’t know- it just is what it is.
And that is that Keita's wife had a daughter on the 15th of May, which is nearly exactly nine months after my blog entry last August, and perhaps that might explain my frame of mind. I felt the conception in some mysterious way.
Keita is married with two sons and now a little daughter. He sees his wife once a month when he goes to Segou, about 300 km. from here, for the weekend. It was an arranged marriage and his wife was ‘given to him’ by his father. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad marriage. On the contrary I believe it is a good marriage in African terms. Keita has never said a bad word about his wife. He has told her about me, and I believe she looks upon me as his second wife. What little information I can gather about Keita’s wife pleases me. Apparently some old gossip from Djenne went and told her about me, thinking she was providing some news. Keita’s wife told her to mind her own business.
Keita understands of course that it is fairly delicate and a very unusual situation for a toubab woman to find herself in. So last autumn when he found out that his wife was pregnant, he had real difficulties telling me about it. I knew something was wrong, and kept asking him ‘whatever is the matter?’ Finally he told me. I said, after a moment’ s digesting of the news: ‘You should be happy about it’, it is nobody’s fault, no one has done anything wrong, it is just how things are’. Then I said I thought he would have a little girl and I was right…


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