Monday, March 26, 2007
Stories Untold: The One About Jimmy
A couple of years ago…
His was not the childhood he’d be proud of. Not for him the toys that all his friends had, nor the stories they told in the playing field. He couldn’t pitch in as his friends bragged about the kind of cars their fathers had. The word friends may have been used little liberally, for Jimmy never quite connected with the peers he had.
One may say the important thing was that he did have a father as he grew up. Maybe. But what was a father worth when all he did was take his frustration out on his son? Jimmy told himself the booze made his father do those things. The beatings and all the other things. He may not have been scarred on the outside, but deep down a piece of him died. He knew earlier than he should have that he would not have any kids of his own. Not so much because he had not the capacity, but he was afraid. He was man enough to acknowledge it, he was scared he’d grow up to be the man his father was, or worse.
His mother was, for the most part, in denial. She had seemingly convinced she was getting what she deserved. After all, were not women supposed to grin and bear it through thick and thin? She loved him and it was her love that drove her to an early grave. Not once did her husband, the love of her life come to see her in the hospital in those final moments. He was with his mistress, one of many. So there was no way he could have…or would have known that she took with her, his unborn child. Depending on how one looked at it, maybe the child was spared a fate worse than the death it didn’t deserve.
That day, after the funeral, Jimmy trudged back. The walls in his life had come tumbling down with such weight it paralysed him. He found the door to the house open, daddy was home. He saw clothes on the floor of the sitting room before he saw his father, and his all too willing partner. His father spared him a glance, a couple of words even, “back so soon? Give your old man a few minutes and we’ll go drink this thing away.”
It sounded like he was glad she was gone, like this was going to be a celebratory drink…a victory chug perhaps. Jimmy’s spirit was taking a bigger beating than it deserved, than any 12 year deserved.
He knew his father didn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what he had done to them, and yet, he didn’t know what to do. Something had to give, but what. Then he saw his mother’s pair of scissors.
The following morning he got back from school and found a crowd of people outside the house. His uncle George was outside the house, face frozen in hard to decipher expression. It was angst, but to an extent yet unseen.
The story was, his father in a state of drunken remorse had evaluated his life and figured that without his wife in it, it simply wasn’t a life worth living. He’d died of an overdose.
Everybody felt sorry for Jimmy. Two losses in one sweep were not fair; somehow the twelve year old didn’t seem moved. He’d cried at his mother’s funeral and thereafter, but there was a certain calm about him at his father’s. They called it denial, but it wasn’t.
As he watched his father’s coffin get lowered into the grave a faint smile played on his lips, “this is for you mother”.
His uncle had dumped him in a seminary. Said it was for the better. It didn’t matter. And for a while it felt perfect, he felt like he belonged. Then he gave in to the pleasures of the world and was asked to leave… he didn’t fret about it. It was well worth it.
He’d discovered during the workshop sessions that he had a knack for fixing things and Sister Anne Rose had told him that he had a gift. She told him he would go far if he honed his talent. She also told him he could work magic with his fingers. This part she had added after class and with a cryptic smile on her face.
Soon after he’d left the seminary, he found work as a mechanic, and it was while there that he saw her.
Her name was Sophia and she radiated a beauty that was enough to make a man kill. And yet her eyes told a story, a story he’d seen in his mother’s eyes so many years ago.
He followed her home once, hoping he’d speak to her, even for a minute, but that never happened. As he worked up his courage he saw a car drive up. It was an expensive Golf. The kind you’d sell and buy two more expensive cars and still have enough left over for fuel…and then some.
The golf looked familiar. Jimmy had seen it parked outside some girls' hostel near his home. The owner was some guy called George. Then it hit him. And with such force he felt his guts churn. He left.
A few days later he had to deliver Sophia’s car. He figured it was a sign of some sort. God wanted him to make things right for this creature. He would tell her about her husband’s ways. It was his mission, to make it all go away. He parked the car in the drive way, and then, suddenly, got cold feet. As he handed over the keys to the goddess that haunted his dreams he realised it was not meant to be. For the second time he left.
Yet this time round he felt like something was calling out to him, calling him back. Feet of lead he dragged himself back. Then there was a loud bang…repeated a number of times. Jimmy’s closed his eyes in prayer for what may have been an eternity. Jimmy approached the driveway and the scene that greeted his eyes made his insides roll. It was ghastly. He wanted to run away…call the cops, do the right thing, but he stood rooted to the spot. Sophia was not here, and all at once the realization hit him. She knew. God had somehow opened her eyes to her husband’s infidelity. He looked at the body in front of him and had a brief flashback of that moment years ago when he emptied the pills into his father’s wine bottle.
He realized he couldn’t judge Sophia. Oddly he wanted her more. He felt almost as he had not too long ago when he’d first laid his eyes on Sister Anne Rose’s frame out of her nun’s garb. Sister Hazel had also awakened in him similar feelings.
Jimmy looked at George’s body or what was recognizable and knew what he had to do. Sophia had been wronged and the worthless heap before him deserved what he got. It wouldn’t be fair to put Sophia through a trial for exacting justice.
With a sigh, he looked up and muttered under his breath," this too is for you mother". And with that, started the chain of events that would make it seem that what happened here this day had been an unfortunate accident.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Like some sort of ability
They made their clusters and by gosh, they made sentences. But as is wont to happen, these things grow out of hand and sentences beget sentences and a paragraph is born. The cycle continues… I don’t know how poems work… it’s a whole new ball game there… but one thing is for sure, writing begins with just the one word…the little word that could.
Now ages ago, no one knows how far back and honestly, no one really cares, people discovered words. It was a gigantic leap from playing drums and thumping chests which, as you can imagine had all sorts of complications springing forth, like asthma and Hip Hop. So words were discovered and they were strung together to form sentences and stories and subpoenas. They were also put together to form what people call scripts, but hardly ever use because words don’t look pretty without repeat appearances by the letter “R”…come to think of it, words don’t sound pretty with repeated rrrrs.
As words came together some people looked on and tried to understand what the deal was. Because this was tideous,they settled for the spot on the couch or bench or whatever and read the words put together by others. We shall call these readers. Its only fair, they also call us names.
Those with abilities to marry words to beget families were few and far between. They were, as the French would say, scarce. The French say a lot of things and that is a fact that can not be disputed. SO anyway, these writers did their thing and the readers looked on from the side lines, some content, some with disdain and some with a strong conviction that they too could write.
Then suddenly something went awry, writing ceased to be a thing that only the brainy sorts would do…sure they still did it and we suffer through their bloody textbooks and pamphlets, but nonetheless the realization dawned. Writing was something that could be done. All one had to do was try. And try many did…and fail, but try nonetheless and they certainly deserve some sort of credit for trying, though it would have been way better if he’d in fact gotten posted to Sudan.
Curiously, some that could, didn’t bother trying. It would seem like “coming out”. And no one wants that…no. But those that did seldom had regrets, the few that did, well they got over them.
Life goes on and with each passing day someone else discovers that (s)he can actually put words together…whether these are words shared is an entirely different issue. And also with each passing day, others discover that they too can fashion statements…statements damning those that put their thoughts down, put their opinions out there.
We are writers and, like it or not, we do the write thing.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
A state of contemplative repose : The Text
Take for instance, those times you are in your taxi, minding your business and this dude tries to break the window so he can sell you a watch. Seriously now, if you're going to inflict some sort of damage, offer me something I could use. Like an English-Luganda dictionary. That way I can hurl obscenities at the taxi conductor,erm, person when he inflates my fare like he thinks I'm a CHOGM delegate.
Or the times there's a dude going around selling stuff like combs, earrings and all that when suddenly, he looks at you and all of a sudden he is selling toothpaste and drugs to enhance your manhood... WHAT IS UP with that? I know I am not alone. This **** happens to everyone. Its like the gods look down and think, heh, look at that dude, let's have some fun with him.
I might have lied at some point. . . I could be jealous..I may not care to actually acknowledge it coz that's what I do. I chill and refuse to acknowledge stuff and watch as stuff goes by...
... I'll be mildly preoccupied, thinking of nothing else when I'm hangin out...I'll look for some sort of distraction, but that won't work. And even if I did feel something, and i just might...I'll never tell....I am The 0ne
Labels: Repose Reloaded
Monday, March 19, 2007
In a state of Contemplative Repose
Friday, March 16, 2007
Its just wAtEr!
I honestly think that stuff has a taste. And that taste is NOT.NICE! I don’t look down on people that drink it. And I certainly have no problem with fish doing their thing in it. I just can’t stand it. And yet, this post is not influenced AT ALL by the Hydro-Hater in me.
What’s the deal with trying to make water appealing? Its just water! Nobody has discovered some new variety of water. Yeah, there was the whole mineral water fad and what not, but come on people, we are not in Hollweird. We know better than that.
Pure Spring water? Are you kidding me? How the heck is it pure? Oh, I know….Its coz its got no visible impurities right? Springs are the new clean. Man, I was way off. Let’s do adverts…
“ What you are about to see is different. No one, since the dawn of time has witnessed this. This is the beginning…the commencement. The start. The real real thing. So real I have repeated myself. But hush, here it is now. Look at that, It’s the birth of a new Spring. And we, the wonderful folks at Hydro Industries are going to trap the little tyke, subject it to tests in our noisy industry and trap it in a bottle…just for you.”
While we are at it, we might as well plug this one,
“Howdy y’all. Err’one’s talkin’ about Grillz and s**t but that’s not what you want. No way homie. What you need all that metal and shit in your mouth for? Get this, we’re gonna get these precious stones things and wash em with water and then we will pack em in a bottle for you. We’re gonna call that Mineral water, cuz itf off ‘a minerals, you dig? Mineral water! Are y’all pickin up what I’m putting down?’ It’s the h to tha 2 awww DAWG!
to be continued...
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The 70's Called, They Want All Their Hair Back
I’ve taken to growing hair, mine. No fields being watered or any of that. The hair sits up their without a care in the world. Everything is fine until someone approaches me and asks me to justify the whole hair thing.
I met a friend the other day who told me I was “lost”. I told him I’d been busy and sick. So he looks at me with an expression that suggested that he knew where I was coming from. When he spoke, it was soon apparent that looks lie… “ah, you were sick? I can see, that’s why your hair has grown…” I politely pointed out that I’d let my hair do its own thing in an attempt to piss off people…Then he nodded. Yep, he understood how that worked. What I don’t get is the whole “sickness=hair growth” formula that he advanced.
I used to cut my hair like every week, not because I got a kick out of feeling the machine pressed against my head, a scenario I’m almost sure has been considered as the sole premise of several porn flicks. I actually used to get the weekly haircut because, after a week, the follicles on my head woke up from some sort of comatose and made every effort to stand out. I also used to get the said cut because my elder brothers used to do the same thing and it actually seemed cool.
Fast forward to a few years later, about three weeks ago actually, I skipped the haircut and then got this incredible idea. I’d do away with the haircut until such a time that things started to work out for me. It didn’t really seem like a bad idea coz I was realistic with my expectations. It’s not like I said my barber’s electric shaver would be denied rights unknown until the country got a new president. The way it should work out, my hair will be cut in about two months…or three. Who knows?
However there’s a snag, during the initial growth of hair period I’d look at it in the mirror and think, “What am I doing? That is way too much hair to be carrying around in public!” Then again I’d seen more on other people’s heads and it kind of put me in some odd comfort zone…a little place I like to call denial.
I met a friend who asked me what the deal was, and pointed out (sincerely?) that not everyone can grow an afro and look good. His exact words may have been, “Whoa! Afros were not meant for everyone!” It’s actually the same mindset that put me off the whole gym experience. I recall writhing on the ground trying to realign the muscles in my body with the sheer power of thought when I had a light bulb moment. A voice in my head cried out, “The Gym is not meant for everyone!”
This time round I decided that the defeatist attitude would have to take a back seat. Then one morning after taking a bath, I ran my hand through my hair. It felt…wrong. I actually felt good playing with my hair so it only made sense that I offered anyone that felt like it the chance to play with it, provided they brought it back home before dark.
Labels: Hair Raising Experiment
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
First, head here to better acquaint yourself with the term BODA. No, wait; your connection might be as pathetic as mine, so I’ll tell ya.
Boda-Boda; A motorbike…or the crazy dude that rides the said bike. Yes, they have come to accept that ours will never be a long-term-relationship so names will play no part in the present or not so distant future. In the unlikely event that they do in fact turn up in your life for a second or subsequent time, they will refer to you as; Chief, Boss, Sister, Master, Customer or Ernest.
The boda dude is a shy creature when he decides to be. He will not demand that you pay him his dues, but rather will let you disembark and then turn away in that incredibly infuriating manner that will make you want to yank HIS HELMET OFF HIS HEAD AND HIT HIM WITH IT AS YOU SCREAM, “TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN HOMIE! I WILL NOT BE SEEN CONSORTING WITH YOU! BE GONE, HOMIE!”
From time to time boda guys may be in the profession because they failed to make it in others…nay, scratch that, its because their desired professions are not available. Jobs like Stunt Rider or Crazy Dude On Bike are in short supply and as such the individual has to make do with what’s available and then proceed through Traffic trying to be like Trinity from The Matrix Reloaded. Given that this dude is nothing AT ALL like Trinity, this scenario can only end in one of two ways;
a) You fall, roll a couple of times and as you bleed profusely and realize that the reason you can not feel your fingers is because they are broken, the boda boda guy comes over, unscathed (this guy has a knack for survival, how he does it is beyond me) and says, “Sorry chief, but you should have held onto me…”
By the boda boda dude;
i) ….as a new ability manifested itself in me and enabled me to fly to safety
ii) … as I pressed this button that makes the seat spring upwards in a very non-threatening fashion and ensures I land safely
i) F**K YOU!!!
ii) Don’t worry about it my good man. I do enjoy a good tumble now and again
b) You in fact get to your destination safely with a couple of hairs standing at end contemplating leaving you for good. Then the boda boda guy looks at you, smiles and says, “You know what I like about you…you do not fear SPEED!
…yeah, sure, I love speed, that dark patch on my pants, yeah it’s the way they get. Its part of the new Marks & Spencer line; its called Pissed Off. Catchy ain’t it?
The boda boda guy gets lonely once in a while and will employ a remarkable technic to get himself some. He will start off by politely asking you to hold him around the waist and sing SWEETHEART like you’re Mariah Carey. You will reciprocate by politely asking him to sod off. He will shrug this off and gun (heh) his engine and employ the hic-cup manouver of CLUTCH ME TIGHT-ness wherein he keeps jerking (it sounds bad already doesn’t it) and riding in a move that will have you, well, Clutch him tightly for safety. I could be wrong, maybe its what rocks your boat….some people love chains, trains, oxygen deprivation, heck, even snakes on planes. But not you. You absolutely love boda boda jerks!
Boda-boda guys have no life expectancy, in fact, they expect nothing from life and will end it first chance that they get.