Nomenclature

I was born on Tuesday. I’m telling one of the workers who stopped me on my way to the clinic. November 4th, 1986-election day, though I don’t tell him this. I had been walking the half-mile stretch from my house to the farm clinic, caught up in observing the road. I was thinking it fascinating that when the sun was out the ground took on a light cafe color, but as the sun went behind a cloud, a deep orange tinge seeped up, seemingly from under the dirt. If there was water it swirled, thick, making the ground appear like wet clay that could set at any moment. I don’t know why I found this so interesting, as my eyes followed the short staccato of patched grass lining the middle of the road. I’ve been in my head more than usual lately. I think without an outlet of an “other” to relay my observations, they’ve been building up in my head, causing me on occasion to all but completely remove myself from the present. The worker who stopped me had jolted me out of my head as he said hello, in Twi. He spoke more, my dumbfounded expression made him smile, and laughing switched to English. “You understand?” No, I admitted, I didn’t. He then asked me what day I was born, meaning day of the week, not date. I told him Tuesday, and he told me he would call me adina (or was it adima), either way, I had heard “edema” as in cerebral edema. I thought this strange, until repeating, I realized that isn’t what he had said. I kind of liked edema though, I’m not entirely sure why. Each day of the week has a name associated with it, a nickname of sorts. The little boy in the house shares the same day as one of many Johns who work here, so he has taken to calling him “name.” People, I’ve noticed have many names here, I’ve yet to figure out exactly why.

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