Mauritanian gathering

2 Aug

I hide behind my father as we wait for someone to answer the doorbell. I must be small, only four or five, because it seems as though the pile of shoes by the door is almost as big as I am. Big shoes, little shoes; flip flops, and school shoes. Pink sandals and green trainers poking out. At the time, I already know what this means. A lot of people are already inside.

I have an image than spans years: The door swings open, and my dad slips his shoes off,  gesturing at me to do the same. I can smell the cooking and it’s already in my nose, in my hair, in my skin. Thieboudienne, rice and fish.

My father. He is sharing this, as he is sharing me, yet everything feels complete.


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