Category Archives: Life

Here’s to the Invisibles…

It’s cold outside…..

Everyone can see it’s been raining….

Everyone has something to say about the weather…..

Something good, something bad, a complaint, an appreciation…..

 

The windows still have dripping rivulets…..

 

On the window box in one of the ordinary houses along the streets

Sits a lone soul, a solitary soul

That has been watching the rain fall, drop by drop

As it formed little streams along the street…..

Drawing parallels to the many other little drops it hides

This here lonely soul, craving affection

Comparing the flowing streams in the streets

With those flowing down its face…….

 

The ordinary people living in the street come out, finally

And the little lonely soul watches,

Watches as the children play in the puddles……

As the boys whip out their boards……..

As the girls sit in groups and gossip…….

As the adults sit in the porches and relax……..

Another tear, this time big and heavy, rolls out…..

And splashes on the attic’s worn wooden rocker

Paving way for more….

And more……..

 

And more……..

 

This little lonely soul,

Clinging to what once was…..

When it was visible, alive…..

Hoping to be seen…..

Recognized…..

Maybe loved……

To mingle……

To feel the rain, the sun, the snow…..

To smell the rain, taste it

In the company of another…..

To join the rest…..

 

To stop being lonely….

Invisible……

 

*CREEEAK*

Yes little soul…..

That’s the attic door…..

Another child walks in, a little boy….

The soul leaps……

Happy……

Anticipating…..

 

……*wave*…..

……*harder wave*……..

……*frantic wave*……..

……*sad sigh*……..

…….*resignation to fate*……

 

“I’m always gonna be invisible….

Nobody sees me…..

Nobody understands me…….”

 

What the whole world doesn’t see and understand

Is that this very invisibility

This loneliness…..

 

was the reason this little soul

stopped being a little boy…..

 

Life was taking too much

So he took his…..

 

……and now, it was exacting its revenge.

CTS 2010

The Wrong One

By Jamike Ekennia-Ebeh (Nigeria)

What do you do when the wrong one loves you?

When the wrong one cares and thinks about you

What do you do when you make the wrong one fall?

When the one you don’t want comes to answer the call

What do you do when the wrong one seems perfect?

And the right one is wrong, no hold, no prospect

 

What do you do when the wrong one is there?

Always ready and helping and loving and fair

What do you do when the wrong one loves you right?

When they’re ‘right’ in your heart but ‘wrong’ in your sight

What do you do when the wrong one brings it all?

But the right one does nothing to even try to make you fall

 

What do you do when the wrong one makes sense

Starts making you dream and feeling all tense?

What do you do when the wrong one is right

Do you accept the fates or take them to fight?

What do you do when you love the wrong one too

Because the right one never came and the wrong one loved you…

 

You can find more of his work on his blog … where I just spent the past maybe 4 hours or so, going over posts as far back as they go (The stalk is strong with me…).

Cheers, and see you soon.

Love and hugs.

 

 

 

 

For Me, It’s You

Who had the audacity to decide which plants were weeds and which were flowers?

-@whorefrost

 

There’s nothing I want more than to take up my phone and text  you. To tell you how you are my writer’s block (click here for post). How I cannot write because of you. How everything I put down has a memory of you. How I was a fledgling writer, just starting to put my thoughts out there, when I met you. How I shared everything with you first, how I lapped up your affirmation… How you were the wind in my face on that game drive, the cake I really savored, how my literary sun rose and set with every word of yours. How, one day, I held my musings up to the light that was you, and you declared them juvenile. Half-baked. Not well thought-out, because who cares that famous people have died if we will all die anyway, if our existence is but fleeting? Because my angle was skewed, because all men are like grass and how dare I suggest that some deaths are “more important” than others based on how well-known the deceased was? How dare I?

Well, now, more famous people have been dying of late. And, again, I have been getting reflective, but not because of their fame. I think I know death, I have seen more death in my field than you ever have, maybe more than you ever will even. Yet, I still wonder at the “famous deaths”, because I get to see worldwide and nationwide reactions to the death, and how it manages to galvanize people, and how, for the few days afterwards, all we do it try to find the best in the deceased and in each other and it’s all about tributes and celebrations of achievements and/or mourning what we deem to be too soon. What makes it weird is that now, instead of concentrating on these aspects that had formed the very core of my thinking in earlier times, I concentrate on the justification. I justify it, in my own head, to a fictitious figure, why I have the right to be moved beyond social media condolences, why I have the right to think about what has been and what could have been in that life, what they could have done different, better, and how I can learn from that. Do you see how you changed it?

I find it funny, this thing death. It comes and takes, and takes, and takes. Without second thought, without remorse, without apology. Just *poof*, just like that. And the living are left to grapple with the aftermath, to find a way to survive, to adapt, to keep on keeping on, to hang in there and be there for one another and think and muse such strange musings. But what’s even funnier is one person’s ability to stifle another’s voice, to act as grim reaper to an honest-to-goodness fellow’s voice, even if their naivety is off the charts and may maybe need direction. That, when Pat Monahan (of Train) strains to deliver in “For Me, It’s You”, as he sings of what he would prefer to sing about, to laugh about, to talk about, my thoughts shift to writing and I think that for me, it’s you.

The only difference is that he actually wants to do it…

 

 

My Writer’s Block

What exactly does it mean to have “writer’s block”? Many people have said that they have experienced this, that this is the reason for their not putting out any work… Does this phrase have a specific, fixed, direct, immutable meaning? Well no, of course not, but then again that question was dumb. I just googled it, and apparently, there’s even types of writers block. TYPES!!!

I would say I have been experiencing it but then that wouldn’t be entirely true. I have had content to write about. I have written all about everything, and then so much more. The only problem is, everything I write has boiled down to one topic. One. I could be writing about the beauty of the wind in my face on a game drive, and then you become the wind. It could be about how I had the most beautiful cake in the whole wide world, and suddenly you’re the cake. It could be about the beauty of the views I have of the sunrise and sunset from my room, and then there you are, my sun rising and setting with you.

Truth is, nothing I churn out is untouched by you. The thought. The idea. The memory of you. You are everywhere. Usually, I wouldn’t mind. But I want to write, I really do. I want to put all this beauty around me to paper, and not have it infused with yours. I want to capture the sights and sounds, and not have them filtered through you. You are forbidden fruit, and it has to stay that way.

Twin Crushes??

I am willing to bet that everyone who will read this post has had a crush at one point or another. Several, actually. And we can all relate with the feeling, how those butterflies come unbidden when you see the object of your affections, how you swoon, how you build an entire kingdom of castles in the air thinking about being together and how much fun that will be… Yah? Crushes are awesome, very good, wonderful, even. And then they die a natural death, or he gets a girl and your heart breaks into a million pieces for all of 3 days before you get a rebound crush, or something. Note, I’m talking about crushes today, not relationships. Crushes. Infatuations.
What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins? You don’t really know them yet, so you cannot exactly tell the difference between them, but you like one of them. Am I the only one who has gone through this? Something happened within the past week that reminded me of an incident like this that took place a while back. I was 13, and thoroughly in like with a guy who had an identical twin. Then, it was easy for me to tell them apart because they had only their looks in common, everything else was very different. One of them was the cool guy, he hung out with cool guys, he had cool clothes, girls liked him a lot. The one I liked was more reserved, chill, quiet-ish, simple – just how I like my guys. His acne had also checked in earlier than his brother’s (I’m not even sure if he developed it eventually, will explain why), but that didn’t matter to me, he was very kind and nice – you know? Personality. Inner beauty. That stuff.
I never really spoke to any of them, at least not at length… But my mother knew their father. Not that it changed anything anyway… and the only close interaction (and by close I mean in terms of proximity) I ever had with any of them was one day when we had a class retreat with our parents and teachers and got divided into teams, and I was in the same team with one of them, I think. The details of that day are a bit fuzzy. So yes, I had this debilitating crush on Adam for that entire year, and it died because we finished primary school and I went to a boarding high school and they disappeared off the face of the earth entirely – which is why I cannot say for certain whether John’s acne ever came knocking. I never saw any of them for the four years I was in high school.
Fast forward four years, and I bumped into one of them. We were 18 then, and the moment I saw those big eyes I was transported back in time to the days I couldn’t say a single word around any of them. We participated in a volunteering program together, and even then I couldn’t speak more than muttered hellos, because I was crushing again. However, this time, I wasn’t sure who was who… There was no acne, no brother to contrast with, and he was cool, calm, collected. Because I wanted to, I guess, my mind decided that this was the guy, after four years, ergo second chance. Rekindled crush. For another while, I revisited those early days every now and then (I know, right?????), until I had to move on. Because it was pretty silly, I said.
Again, fast forward another four years, to last week. I was doing my rounds on facebook, and I find a post by him with a few people tagged in it. I recognized the name of his twin and decided to check out how he was doing, and you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the revisited crush in the previous paragraph was directed at the wrong twin!!!! Mortification!!!!! I didn’t even know where to start, I still don’t… but at least now I can see some humor in it. Which brings me to the question that had me writing this post in the first place… What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins you cannot as yet tell apart?
P.S. Adam is not his real name 😛

Keshy

My grandparents have a farm help, Njambi. She is very good at what she does, very meticulous, very diligent. Everybody that has ever been to my grandparents’ place before and after her arrival can testify to the fact that the house, the compound and even the cows – everything looks better. Waaay better… but this post is about Njambi’s daughter.
Wangechi, whom we call Keshy, is a bright 6 year old girl. When I say bright I mean not only intellectually, but personality as well. Her smile, oh, that girl’s smile is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. She smiles with her whole being, she looks like a flower that is fast-forward blossoming (you know the way they do it on Nat Geo?) right in front of your eyes… Her whole body seems to light up. She has these very white, very small milk teeth, and her smile gives you a free front row seat to view this gallery of twenty. Her eyes light up, they look like they hold the essence of all the fireflies in the world, all the innocence, all the simplicity one could ever wish to acquire. Somehow all the beauty in the universe, in the night skies, the sun and the moon and the stars fit in that little, little body, when she smiles.
Now, in my grandparents’ house, there’s this room I really can’t name, but it plays a central role in today’s narrative. It looks like it could be a dining room, except that there is already a dining room. Each of its four walls has a door… two doors that are directly opposite one another each lead to a bedroom. The third door opens into the living room, and the fourth into a porch that faces the outside kitchen. This room has a cupboard that has been there since my mother and her siblings were babies, and it still keeps leftovers and salt and matchboxes and milk from the cows and flour… mostly. It also has two tables, one next to the cupboard that holds dishes that are in transit from the washing area to the living room dish cupboard, and the other that holds food in transit both to and from the kitchen. Under the first table is a small gas cooker we use to warm food in a hurry, and under the second table is a karai, where hens hatch their young. In one corner, behind the door that opens to the porch, is my grandmother’s kibanji, a huge earthen pot where she stores her drinking water so it stays cool. I think now you kinda understand why I cannot exactly give this room a conventional name.
Yesterday, Keshy introduced me to her child, Stella. She came into this room as I was preparing vegetables for supper, and I see something strapped to her back. So I asked her what was going on, and she told me that that was Stella, her child. And she was fast asleep. She needed my help adjusting the pink jumper that doubled up as the baby carrier so I obliged, and she left promptly in search of food to prepare for Stella, so that when she wakes up, she won’t have to stay hungry for long, or at all.
Stella is a very fortunate doll, if I may say so. She’s not much really, not as much a doll as she is pieces of cloth inside a larger pink one, but the love and the care that she gets is out of this world. Whenever she isn’t being cuddled and coddled, she is strapped to Keshy’s back, sharing in her adventures as she explores the farm and bush around. She is always fed on time, and I find it beautiful how Wangechi models her mother in how she takes care of that doll. She will speak to Stella, explain things, tell jokes, ask questions – even prioritize and put her before playing with her friends. She doesn’t just place Stella anywhere, she has to find a place that is stable, firm, safe, soft, fit for an actual baby. And then she will cover her well to protect her from the elements, just as she has seen it done, before she can go out to play.
So Keshy went out to search for food and left me very impressed. When she returned, about half an hour later, I asked her whether she had found the food, and whether Stella had been fed already. She said no, she hadn’t found food yet, and then looked at what I was preparing with this glint in her very white eyes. Catching on, I asked her to fetch a plate from the dish rack, and I scooped some (really like two tablespoons) out of the pot and gave her, to go feed her child. We were speaking in conspiratory whispers this entire time, and when she left holding that plate of food in her hands, I wished I could bottle up the joy that little mother was exuding. Since then, every time we meet, she has this look in her eye, and I would imagine Stella does too… the look you give a fellow conspirator when you did something and got away with it… But that’s not the point of this story and I don’t even know what the point of this story is!
All I know is that this little person inspired me to write something about her, and made me so happy just to sit back and observe her go about being a small person in such a big world, still hopeful, innocent, untainted, pure.

Someone Like You

That she was blamed for inadequacies in ego… Making it her fault that he broke his promises due to an irreparable sense of inadequacy… Not being allowed to change… And any counsel that went against his opinions was wrong… Aggression against the entire damn world… And all the overlooked sacrifices, all the overlooked effort… That she was the only one striving to adapt, to fit a mould that was always very unforgiving… To be reminded that she was inadequate, not a good enough person, mate, confidant, critic, advisor, even spiritually… To be criminalized for poor personal choices… The stinging words… To have every one of his twenty friends know every darn thing about their darn misunderstandings and fights and what was apparently wrong with her… To almost throw away a career and prospects so she could be by his side…

To be called a liar, never getting the allowance to get a word in edgewise… And even after the mutual agreement to end things, she still believed his promise… That he would be fine, get along just fine… But that it would take a while before he got back in the scene… That she still believed and got comfort from that statement… I guess she was the fool…

Because it wasn’t even a month down the line when he tells her he’s found someone, he’s moving on… Because the someone has been by his side all along… Because she was there for him through every whip… Because the infallible, always-right, never lying Mr. Perfect’s last statement was a blatant lie… Because he is a liar too, and a preacher that drinks his own wine…

It is true, that every breakup has two sides, and this is just hers. It may be biased, it may be jaded, it may be laced with intent… But it is HER story to tell, and I am telling it. Because it is finally time she stood up for herself, even via proxy. Because this isn’t the last night she’ll erupt into spontaneous tears, grieving over someone she would rather not remember…

Because, maybe, for the first time, she don’t agree with Adelle… Because she does not want someone like you again.

Dilemma, Dilemma, Dilemma…

I had convinced myself I don’t need any of it, that they could keep the whole darn cake to themselves, cherries and all. I don’t like cake… Well, I do, but not white forest… For obvious reasons. It’s too white. Too clean. I hate cherries. It lacks character. It’s bland – colour bland. It’s a spin-off from black forest, which is the best. So no, I didn’t want it. I don’t. Plus, I’m watching my weight now…. Yes, I said it.

All day the cake sat in the display, and all I did was come up with reasons why I didn’t want to eat it. Why I didn’t want to want to eat it. Because God also cared what I put in my body, and all that sugar isn’t fit for any temple, much less his. All day I told myself that this cake, which everybody expects me to think is yummy, isn’t my kind of yummy, and someone else would be better suited to eat it. Some amazing girl with metabolism from the gods that could swallow a whole hog and still be trim and in shape. Someone like my sister. But I didn’t just think it… I acted on it. I got her to come and have the cake. And she did… Fork in hand, getting all nice and stuffed, eating the cake with such ease that I thought she had been secretly practising how to eat cake in front of the mirror. Which reminded me of how daft I looked while looking into the said mirror, not knowing what to do. And as she are that cake, I could feel admiration slowly becoming jealousy. I had that cake first. Heck, I bought the damn cake. It was mine… And here she was, cake gliding effortlessly down her throat as if it wanted oh-so-earnestly to be swallowed by her. At that moment, I hated the cake… I hated her.

But of course, I’m not talking about cake… Or my sister. 😀

These Guys…

There’s a certain breed of guys I find myself gravitating towards… And thank God they do not know it yet.

The kind that should know better, but don’t. The kind that have no clue what it takes, or means, to keep a girl happy… Or just maybe acts that way… The kind that look like they don’t want to touch a girl with a ten-foot pole. The kind that sends the text that kills all conversation, and you have to wrack your brain to bring up something else. The kind that is adorable, but hates to hear it. The kind that shares in the same peculiarities, that shares the same secret pleasures as I, but away from the public eye. The kind of guy whose statements almost always sound mean, until you get to know them, and understand that no harm was meant by them…. The kind that fit many of these descriptions, and then some, because they are bigger than any descriptions. The kind that also happens to be some of this, and none of it at the same time. The kind that confuses me….

The kind that doesn’t really fit into the criteria of whom I should like, but that I do anyway. The kind that would probably laugh if they knew I’m into them. The kind that may stumble across this one day, and then deny that they ever know me, that they have any association with me. The kind that defies stereotypes, that guy that feeds me a whole lot more than anybody else ever has in any given environment, give or take. The kind that makes me all giddy and all comfortable at the same time. The kind of guy that makes me write a post at one am, despite my resolutions to not write about any significant others, or potential ones, because of how ephemeral this all could get. The kind that would never know I learnt that word watching Teen Wolf, or even that I like that show. The kind that I couldn’t imagine getting all old and wrinkly beside, yet I still get pulled in… The kind that makes me think I’m waaay in over my head, the kind that makes me know I’m screwed.

I think I’ll leave it off here, lest I add things I will regret, because the thought of having a crush figured out from a blog post, by the person himself, mortifies me to no end. Lol… This life. iOut 😀

The Refusal

Give up.

That’s what everybody seems to tell me these days… To give up. On all this… And you would think that after three years, time really is nigh to do so. But I refuse to give up, because I do not want to. I’ll stick to my guns, stubborn as I can, because that is still a much better option than letting go.

I do not want to let go, how could I? I was young, I was foolish, I think I still am both, but less young, and hopefully less foolish as well… Although if refusing to let go were the epitome of foolishness, then I would gladly be more foolish than I was then, even and up to the most foolish person in the world.

I remember, the analogy of falling as diving into a pool filled with molten chocolate, and you daring me to jump in. I did, and it was as glorious as the literal implication of the analogy, swimming in chocolate. As I would imagine all those yummy strawberry desserts feel. And we had fun, we played in the rain, stared into each other’s eyes in the mirrors lining the walls of that dingy joint we had our coffee at…. I remember everything, just as Bryan Adams sings, and I would and could match him up, up to the guttural way he belts out those lyrics. Because that’s how it all is to me, hoe it still feels, it goes all the way down to my gut, and works it up good.

I refuse to let go, because what will I do with the photos I have of you? I cannot stand and testify that I got all of them honestly, but you must know that I meant no harm, I never will. Not to you, how could I even bring myself to do it? You are the gentlest, most interesting soul I had the pleasure of knowing, with your way of words. Your stories, if I started, I would never stop, you told them in such a way that your town monkeys, zebras and other adventures came alive in my head… And I could see them all, and trust you when you said to stay away from them baboons because they never really were nice to begin with.

I refuse to give up, despite you telling me to do so, even if this is all my fault. I cannot bring myself to do it, and pastime after pastime has failed to fill that void, to quench this thirst that my heart feels. How could I dishonour such strong emotions, and simply give up?

No dear, I refuse to do so. Please forgive me, but I refuse.