The T Village:A Memoir

The T Village

Chapter One

Last night I dreamt my uncle, then my father. They are becoming old, so am I. I remember, in my dream, my uncle talked in a manner of a real old man, resembling his younger life being as a fisherman.

‘If I fished a big fish, that’s awesome. If an oil-fish,’ he grunted, ‘I would sell it in the market. ’ ‘Oil-fish’ is a term coined by my uncle, which refers to the fish being contemplated by the oil-drillers.

My father was preparing food, in that dream. It seemed like we would have a celebration for event, a traditional festival, a banquet, or some body’s birthday? Oh, no, no birthday. In our family we never celebrate birthday. What’s in a birthday except for the burning pains to mothers?

Mother was not in that dream. I often dreamt her separately. She once had a mother, but died unnaturally, which had haunted her for many years, I believe.

My uncle is only 10 years older than me. So I’d like to address him Little Uncle. He’s a brilliant man with a clumsy tongue. This mixture has proved Heaven is fair, as grandma always said before or after a long sigh.

‘Heaven is fair, little boy.’ Grandma took my small hand, signed, ‘You’re clever, so Heaven made you fat.’

What? Fat! No! That’s the only word I hate to hear, even nowadays. ‘Granny, I’m not fat. I’m just having too much meat.’

Meat is grandpa’s favorite, any meat. The last meal he cooked for me was chicken meat, in that bleeding winter, with the stomach cancer he suffered. I was a prodigal son, and still am because of his funeral I didn’t attend. Where was I in that summer? I stayed in the city of my university. Maybe the moment he died, I am holding a few fingers of a girl whose mother was my sister in church. Their names are long forgotten in my mind.

To my knowledge, grandma in Heaven, sometimes, Heaven is not so fair.

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