There was a young woman whose path often crossed with mine at the bus stop, while we were waiting. She was sweet and soft-spoken and she never failed to greet me.
Sometimes we talked about the weather, when days were too bleak to speak about other things, but I never dared to ask her name, even though I longed for it. I sensed it’d be a musical name and delicate blues will have it in their lyrics, and if ever my shyness would be cornered or curiosity subjugated me, I would hear an unusual name that would delight me. I knew she felt safe by my side, because she always came smiling where I was, and there she remained silent until the time to leave arrived. And I suspected part of her calm resided in my apparent indifference on conversations seized with queries. I was glad when she was close and I liked to watch her when she seemed not to notice it. And I loved her stillness and her absent happiness that invited me to crave for her reserved friendship. And that’s maybe why, because her quiet charm was haunting me, I guess I’ve never adjured her name. Such was her allure as she then was, that I could not bear that, because of me, she could one day change.
Time has passed like a hand waving from a train traveling the world over to find the beautiful, haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere. Homesick for places I’ve never been I traversed humanity far enough until I meet myself, to then realize I carried beauty within all the way, from a familiar ground.
Aware of life’s timelessness, back on yesterday, I returned this morning to the bus stop. They can take the music that I’ll never play, all the broken dreams, they can all take. Take them away, but allow me the moment to have one more time my yesterday.
Minutes, unnoticed, may have passed, until a voice woke me from my reverie, “Are you getting in?” Confused I have shaken my head as the bus left down the street. A feeling, whose length can’t be measured, painfully crossed me, “You are still with me, even when you’re not by my side.” But now, like a reinterpretation of the man I was yesterday, all I can do is get through to another tomorrow, hoping that I will be less in love again. And I wish she never had to think about anything as much as I think about her.
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).