"D’ha behilmu qibE byyTeTa noro.......”
He pressed the remote and the ceiling rolled back. Another button and his breakfast, programmed yesterday evening, rolled to his bed on the head of a Robot singing "Tizita" in a voice that recalled Bezawerq.. He remembered the ancient proverb that “ an arrogant Goremsa will mafuaCHet in the toilet or will have his "minamintE" tattooed”. He swallowed the two "molala kinina" that contained his balanced diet breakfast. He remembered he had read somewhere that back in the year 2000 many people had died from lack of antibiotics.
Death? It is defeated now he said to himself, content. You can't have a car accident because there were no such things anymore. You travel in your head using your gray cells to catapult you in any direction. He had been to Katmandu and Vladivostok, to Dolokia and Kerala without leaving his bed. Progress, or what his ancestors had longingly called siliTane.
He pressed another button on the all-purpose remote and his dream girl flew into his mind. He had wanted her naked, but she was wearing a fur coat - sometimes the remote did not control all. He ignored the girl and looked up to see the new space vehicles swoosh by with hardly a sound. He had yet to use one of these contraptions. A song? From nowhere the room was filled with songs that competed for his ears. He tugged at his left ear and it fell into his hand. He cleaned it and stuck it back. Body parts could be changed - this was 2015. Brains and gray cells can be bought on the open market too – nowadays, you do not change just opinions, you also change the means of having ideas. He was on his tenth brain and he did not really like the present one. Time to change?
He did not pick up the phone, but thought about it and it rang somewhere in San Francisco and it was answered by a woman who spoke in Urdu to him. His new brain was dumb when it came to languages and so he ended the phone conversation by sneezing. He brought his thought back closer to home and played the tourist roaming down the Addis ring road, swimming in the Tana and Blue Nile resorts, walking down a Harar avenue with CHat trees lining both sides of the street. No beggars. No stray dogs. Well-dressed cats with overly dressed masters...strolling. Cool weather. Street vendors selling bottled joy. Road-side orchestras playing songs using birds perched on their shoulders. 2015 was heaven on earth, he was happy to note again. The future that worked.
The remote fell from his hand and he saw it breaking.
He awoke. It was indeed 2015 as the calendar on the mud wall informed him. He got out of his rickety bed to go to the outhouse. Outside, the smelly street was filled with noise and misery, he knew. 2015 was much like 2003. Today resembling tomorrow but he was too much of an optimist not to believe in his dream of a happy future.
2015? Who can pick such a theme and a title but a desperate man who imagines that 12 years from now the Future will not resemble today?
D’ha behilmu saybela yiTegbal.