Micro-Creative Nonfiction: Holy Week in Garissa

Coffee Shop Mourning You sit in a coffee shop Saturday morning listening to a French song with an accordion, guitar, bass, and mandolin. The coffee is yellow with acid, the air is fat with eggs and butter and garlic. Though there is homework to do, you put it off by reading the news instead.
You sit in a coffee shop listening to French music; Jesus is dead and buried, but Kenya is still burying its martyrs. Thursday is betrayal; Friday is death; Sunday is life, but you sit on a Saturday morning drinking coffee as a woman sings something in French from the speakers.
You cannot remember if Kenya was a French or British colony. After reading a BBC article on the attack you drink your coffee, imagine you recognize a French phrase for “I love you,” and research Kenya’s history.
British. Anglican. All the Anglicans are waiting for Jesus to come back from the dead, but not only Jesus, you think to yourself. You want the departed college students who may have sat in coffee shops listening to French music putting off their homework to be resurrected from the dead, but the Church has dictated that such a privilege is only reserved for Jesus. What if we founded a religion for each victim? A religion of education and peace? The British would come along and call it backwards; the French would side with them.
The song ends and you sit in a coffee shop wondering what graduation would feel like if 148 classmates were murdered a month before you reach out a hand to take your diploma, but all you can do is speculate with quiet, foreign empathy.

-jk

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