My father often preached that to distinguish myself from those other critters in Kingdom animalia, I should utilize my brief stay on this earth to effect a monumental contribution to yesew lj. Otherwise how could I set myself apart from the beaver or the ape? I guess less fur, more upright posture, and...
Anyway, I had for years strived to capture this moment of fame, but my various backyard experiments were not coming to fruition. With airplanes surpassing the sound barrier, light bulbs already coming in all sizes and shapes, and pneumonia succumbing to penicillin, this self-proclaimed scientist was getting desperate by the minute. Of course the Internet was not yet to be and HIV was not that much of an epidemic yet. It is in such trying times, at the ripe age of 12, that I discovered a simple and nifty ent'n, how do you say.... "maneuver"... which I thought would be my contribution to providing an endless joy to all mankind.
So, it started as just another Sunday evening of gela metaTeb...the usual sitting in the bath tub with lukewarm water routine. I sat there assaulting my body with a soapy washcloth, determined to rid myself of few layers of skin before dinner. I had finished off the arms, chest and back, when the strangest of all feelings got my attention. As I was working down my belly towards my legs, I started to realize that a heretofore quiescent body part, that had for years inconspicuously rested between my legs, was, all of a sudden, starting to assume a life of its own. I felt the anatomy in question firm up and confidently surge its head towards me as if to say, "What's up man, have we met before?"
Is this a cause and effect relationship or just a coincidence, I wondered? I stroked a few more times and started to realize that I was indeed onto something. I empirically continued to probe further to tease out any dose-response effect this gravity-defying outfit might exhibit. It was during this curiosity driven fierce experimentation that I got a bit carried away with my stimulation that culminated in a sudden, never before appreciated, astronomic, lightening like jolt that appeared to have electrified my whole body. And then it was gone within a few seconds. Somewhat scared and a bit shocked by the study in progress, I jumped out of the tub, swung the bathroom door open and screamed out for my sister: "Chuchu, neyma andE!"
My 18-year-old sister, who spends most of her days designing more ways to smuggle ye fqr debdabEwoch to her boyfriend, came rushing in to investigate the cause of my shrieking. When she got there, I was back in the tub beaming with what I had just discovered. I related to her "yhEn endezih adrgE endzih sadergew qeT blo y'qomal" and I started to demonstrate to her what serendipity had dropped in my very own palms. She stood by the tub speechless, displaying an unclear expression that was far from the look of admiration and appreciation I had expected. Clearly, there was some disbelief sprinkled with stifled disgust. Yet, in my moment of triumph, I felt like she was saying "You son of a gun, you discovered it on your own and mankind has been struggling to uncover this wealth for centuries. I am so proud of you, mamush." Of course, over the years I have come to realize that the look on her face was actually that of unadulterated disgust and disappointment.
I couldn't wait 'till Monday morning to get to school to share this finding with my circle of nerdy friends. Heck, why not with the whole class so all can get the "jolt." Then we would see who was the nerd after all. Then I thought, maybe I should just enjoy it amongst my close friends first, before slowly working my way to the next layer of friends, perhaps in exchange for favors, maybe somebody's lunch or pocket money. I could imagine the lunch time discussions revolving around my "maneuver" and the popular kids coming to me to further inquire about the salient features of this self-joy induction. Perhaps I could even insist that they name the maneuver after me....
Next morning I met Bzuayehu at the "Homework Exchange." He was one of those kids who progressed quite leisurely through the grades since he managed to make it to school only a couple of times a week. Bzuayehu was now taking a second stab at sixth grade as a 15-year-old bully. We had established a symbiotic relationship where I let him copy my homework and in return he'd guarantees me nerd-shield through some serious gulbeteNan mewebez as it was deemed appropriate. Such protection was quite valuable in an all boys' school where harassing the smaller members of the herd was a favorite pastime for the goremsas. Monday morning was often primetime for the "homework copying" part of our transaction as the weekends brought on plenty of assignments.
I had often envied Bzuayehu in his effortless display of male bravado and his frequent flirting with the young ladies who came to our campus to pick up their siblings. Although I didn't quite appreciate the weight my finding held in the world of sex and woman, I reckoned it would establish my prowess in self-discovery and afford me more credibility with Bzuayehu and his goremsa friends. Ergo, I grabbed the first opportunity to tell him about my latest brush with serendipity.
And so he listened to my embellished story with the same kind of enthusiasm one would reserve for a local bowling game. He looked so indifferent to my details that I continuously wondered if he was actually getting it. Preferably, I didn't want to insult him by expounding on my findings any further lest I trigger some fury. Once I got done with my longwinded description of the maneuver, I awaited eagerly for his follow-up which I presumed would abound with admiration and even further curiosity.
To my surprise, I was somewhat off with this assumption.
"Anchim sEga memtat jemersh?" he inquired in a patronizing tone, as he was scanning one debterafter another while dutifully siphoning all he could from my homework.
"M'n memtat?" I retorted, a bit surprised.
He explained "sEga memtat" with such detail and compassion it was too much reality for my Monday morning. In spite of feeling dirty and shameful, in an odd way, I also got the sense that I was joining the ranks of Bzuayehu et al.
That was when I started to consider the possibility that perhaps that look on my sister's face the previous evening was surely not that of admiration.
"Hey, you think my sister will know about this...?" I asked Bzuayehu.
"Chuchu, you mean?"
"Yeah, will she know about this sEga thing" I inquired, a bit surprised by my ability to incorporate this new naughty word in a complete arefteneger.
"Of course not, anchi demo. Qelem aydeleshim endE? Girls don't have a penis!"
"No, no, no. I mean, if she was to see someone ...oh, forget about it." I attempted to spring to my own defense since he was not even giving me credit for the little I had known about boys and girls. But then, kewedequ wediya menferageT, lemelalaT. I figured I had enough bruises. No need for any more.
I couldn't believe that my fortune would so quickly turn into ashes. My mind frantically started to search for any socially acceptable ways I can move out of my family home to avoid my sister's gilmiCHa.
But then it could have been worse, I comforted myself. What if my mom had responded to my distress call instead? Oh gross...!