Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blue Train to Heaven

Charles Harvey
(An Excerpt)

Ha! I have seen more things than I’ve not seen in this Ghana, in this place Accra.  I’ve seen rats chase lions. I’ve seen the sun at midnight. I’ve seen empty coffins fall out of the sky. I was here the year the Volta turned orange, but I’d never seen a train coffin until Ashong decided to die. Ha!  Yes. Ashong is such a rich and powerful man, himself decided when he was ready to go. God had little to do with it.
Now when I die, a Volkswagen is enough for me.  Been in the world seventy-three years, all I own fits into a suitcase—a big suitcase, hear me, but a suitcase.  I’ll be wearing my only suit I own that I bought in France—that bad time in France chasing after that ex wife of mine.  I got a hat the wind and rain shaped to look like a bundle a woman carries on her head, two pick axes from my days in the mines, a paper sack of my mot’dears’s glass beads and a signed photograph of the Queen that my last employer gived me instead of all my salary.  My Brother Ashong owns—owned  a farm and two wives.
“Elijah, you are a mole on the planet’s ass. I am the fists,” Ashong said to me when we were young roosters.

The Blue Train to Heaven

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