You will feel so homesick that you will want to die. And there is nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you. And one day, the sun will come out. You might not even notice it straight away, it will be that faint. And then you will catch yourself thinking about something, someone that has no connection to the past. Someone who is only yours. And you will realize that this is where your life is.”
Mengestu, Dinaw (2010-10-14). How to Read the Air (Kindle Locations 3360-3361)
She remained seated while I bent down to kiss her three times—formal, ritualized gestures delivered by a culture that I had never really believed in.”
Mengestu, Dinaw (2010-10-14). How to Read the Air (Kindle Locations 2228-2231)
A common complaint of hers during the early months of our relationship was how little I revealed about my life before her.
“What were you like in high school?” she had asked me. “Cool. Smart, stupid. Friends, no friends.”
“I’m not sure.”
“Which means what?”
“Which means I can hardly remember. That whole time seems like one big gray fog in the back of my mind so I never think about it.”
To the extent that was true, Angela assented, prying only occasionally for extra details while at the same time happy to hold on to whatever I revealed. There were plenty of memories from that time, but I found it difficult to trust if they were real or not.
Mengestu, Dinaw (2010-10-14). How to Read the Air (Kindle Locations 2212-2216)
Within two years of my leaving home most of what had occurred there had already begun to seem like a long-distant dream whose edges were funny and whose details had been washed away. And while it’s obviously true that you can never go back in time and make up for what was lost, you can at the very least spy on it to get a sense of where you might have fit in had you been around to play the game. We think our personalities are solid, definitive bodies, but watching the students at the academy has led me to believe otherwise. In fact, there is nothing so easily remade as our definitions of ourselves.”
Mengestu, Dinaw (2010-10-14). How to Read the Air (Kindle Location 946)
The line that separated the two halves of her life”
– CNN Travel Show
Some people have to leave home to find their home.”