African ballad

I smell the air as you walk out. You smell like.. fresh bread. like vanilla and roses had a baby. You smell like a bath bomb. I love how you smell. I love you for your smell but that is not the only thing.

I love you for thanking me. Every time I hand you something, you say thank you and your eyes crinkle at the end as you draw out the last syllable of my name and I can see your teeth and a little tongue and I love you very violently at the moment.

I love you for breathing. Collarbones should not be romantic but I think your clavicle is poetic. I stay up some nights, remembering the staccato of your breaths, rugged and short and musical.

I am star struck. I am a disciple at the temple of your perfection. Your name is both my muse as well as my softly muttered exclamation.

Dear ordinary black african boy, thank you for existing within my timeline. Thank you for being mine.

A horror story (Fiction)

Twitter and coffee. That’s the theme of my life. The number of hours I’ve spent on Twitter, sipping kawaccino after kawaccino, cackling maniacally at a thread are shaming to be frank. Am I repentant tho? Will I stop? I don’t know, maybe the coffee.

I remember when I first saw your account. I remember it well, it was raining and I was stranded in the coffee shop, scrolling the TL idly and wondering whether the rain had reduced to drizzles so I could walk in them. I didn’t (still don’t) care about my hair getting wet because I like how frizzled it gets.

You were complaining about the government’s inability to make doughnut holes wider. Someone on my timeline retweeted you, I giggled hard at your tweet and scrolled past. Then the person, retweeted a  bevy of your tweets, all as hilarious as the first. I was hooked. I clicked your profile and zoomed to your avi.

You looked (Still look) delicious. I really could not believe how funny you were. I read through your tweets, chuckling harder at every tweet you released. Then I started retweeting you.

I think I freaked you out a little how often I retweeted you, but in my defence you are, (still are) hilarious. You were my Twitter crush, my obsession, I logged into twitter early in the morning and quote replied your good morning tweet. I pictured you in my bed, saying those words to me in person.

I wanted you.

Three weeks into my obsessive retweet routine, as I was waking up from a nap, dreaming about you and me and that surfboard tweet you sent out at 3:15 am Thursday night, I saw a notification that changed my life.

DM:1.

My heart pounded. wow. was this really happening? could this be? no! I went to the loos and came back and opened my phone again.

DM: 1 from @yourcrush

I opened the dm, hoping that the battery wouldn’t burn and the world wouldn’t stop because I am the type of person this stuff happens to.

DM opened. Then I saw it, the reason I blocked you, the reason you broke my heart in two, the reason I don’t eat or sleep anymore.

“Thank you for following me. via crowdfire” images

Ode to my Infobahn fantasy

I’ve never seen your face. But I want to touch it. Let me see what it takes to make you gasp. I want you to explain something to me in a long winded, confusing way so I can stop listening and love you so hard because you trust me enough to be boring.

I want to espouse your beliefs. I want to be your sounding board as you rail against capitalism and penguin murderers. I want you to lean against me absentmindedly as you are lost in your thoughts because its natural to have me by your side.

I have never seen your hands, but why do I know that they’ll be warm and dry and wide; that I will link them with mine many times, as we read, or talk, as you emphasize a point, or tell a joke or wipe a food stain from the edges of my mouth?

Why do I love your teeth? Why do I know that your laugh is the most beautiful sound I will ever hear. I don’t care if they are slightly crooked or even a lot crooked because they’ll be my crooked and so help me God, anyone diss them!

I’m looking forward to loving you. I can’t wait to go through the awkward first texts, then the excited first dates and then the first fight where we realize that maybe holding on to these dating ideals is not realistic and we should be ourselves, and then loving our real selves as much as we liked the fabricated ones.

 

 

Vehicular Sapiens, a study.

When I get a business card, I would like to be known as a citizen social scientist. It is only fair since I tend to spend a lot of my day empirically observing people and trying to understand them.(Also, learning the word empirically)

Hear this, I do not claim to understand people; but I love to watch them as they go about their day. I guess this is what comes out of being terribly self-conscious as I was,all through my childhood and teen age, I used to feel awkward and bumbling and I started slyly watching others including my bigger sister and my best friends at the time, Alyssa and Gloria so that I could pick up on their social cues since they seemed to have mastered them.

As a 21st century millennial, one’s driving force is to be different. This is the age of open-mindedness and the celebration of diversity and revolution against norms as well as established but archaic rules. In our striving for difference however, we end up the same, part of the frothing mainstream that we so fight against. We walk away from the madding crowd and we find that we are.
Ironically,it is actually against the norm to be adherent to the norm. Conservatives who stick to the old-fashioned way of thinking and doing every day find that they are no longer the majority and that the progressive and liberal “agenda” that they so fight against is so wide-spread. An example is the overwhelming popular vote that Hillary Clinton got in America, which even though it did not win her the presidency showed her that the number of anti racist progressive thinkers is not as little as it once was.
I digress, but in this line of thinking, I have observed that some of our characteristics are widely shared and to our collective nightmares we actually have much in common with each other.

Here’s what I think:
Some people are driven. Possessed with need that is apparent to all who are observant. A need for something, money, love, attention, revenge, even simple things like acceptance.                                            
I am sure in your circle of people you have met ,there is at least one always talking about the new deal (I just met with J and there’s a man who will give me his phone and 700 mil) They are always talking about money. Whether it’s about those who possess it, or how they will possess it or when, it’s all about cheddar to them.
Then there are those preoccupied by the romantic undertones that exist in life. lovers of life, artists, musicians,photographers,writers,telemundo watchers,They see love, they love love, they want to be in love.I’m sure you get my drift.
Others are purely into humanity, keen observers of current affairs with an eye that smokes out interesting incidences, living off the thrill of human relationships, always in contact, never alone.                                Some are driven by the roman god, Mars himself, seeking for spontaneous combustion,a fight, a thrill, competition, drugs, endorphin, They like to bungee jump off the edge of humanity, allowing their bodies to be saturated by the heady feeling of immortality.

Other people are drivers. The centers of people’s universes. Enigmatic attractors, negative or positive. They are talked about, nothing is more interesting than their lives. They are always drawn and quartered, judged to an inch of their lives. They are obsessed over and worried about and loved and hated. They are the subjects of songs, novels, their influence, whether negative or positive is the final push that is needed for a cataclysmic deed to occur. That one ex who left lasting scars, that one mentor whose words got to you and you cleaned up your act, that one celebrity who has divided a nation, that one person whose act led you on your path. That one girl who you do not get why she is popular because you are the same people, with similar backstories and ‘she isn’t even that beautiful’. People who get things without even trying, the I get it all from the black board kind. The ones who always win, no matter what.

Some people are the passengers. The unsung heroes. The man whose grave is known as the unknown. The people with instantly forgettable faces who serve as settings to your life story. The ones with the jobs we would not like to do. The math teacher whose face is forgotten whose pat on the back could also be one of the reasons you are now an engineer, the girl in the super market who was the only one to tell you how lovely your shoes are. That friend who consoles you in your hard times, who never falters, who is forever faithful to you, sending Happy birthday messages to your Facebook wall 6 years later, the first five likes on your IG people,The people who you are afraid to admit to yourself that despite them loving you,they are actually boring. That maid who tied your shoelaces when you were four, straining to get them as you leaned on her back breathing in her four am tea and chappatis smoke inundated clothes, the classmates you forget as soon as you walk out of class despite the fact that when you have dodged class they are the quickest to defend your absence, who are also the back ground laughter to the clever quips you shout back at the lecturer, the relatives one does not even bother getting to know, who always bring fresh produce from the village. The people who die fast, as soon as one is getting to know them and all they leave is a slightly wistful tang because you really do not know them.
And some are not even in the vehicle. Really poor people who you’d take a pic of to bemoan capitalism but would never deign to touch. “Beggars are actually thieves, so walk wide and don’t give him a cent” “close your window, this is street kid territory” the mad man you give a wide berth, the social outcasts, who call themselves rebels but really want to belong. The truly different, the people in unfortunate memes whose physical disabilities are only a punchline to an unfortunately really funny joke, the old, the weak, the sexually different, the very rich and the very poor. The ones who have embraced their sins, Thieves, murderers,prostitutes, politicians. Those who dedicate their lives to giving, are supported but not envied:” eh, so you left your job to fully dedicate yourself to a charity, God bless you bambi, I am not that brave.”

Where do you lie? How do you learn to leave your assigned position and experiment? Can you drive? do you wanna get off sometimes? Are you the Rosa Parks, refusing to accept your label, willing to die for the independence to be who you are?

It’s your choice.

The flowerthagoras theorem

I was thinking the other day that I pine more for things that I don’t have as opposed to appreciating what I do have.

This realization was brought on by a four am phone call from a suitor, pardon my old fashionedness, and he was promising to be things, kinder, more generous, more thrifty, christian, anything really that I wanted so we could go out. I don’t usually have suitors so this one was flattering and I was moved by his passion but I was astonished to find that I did not even have a modicum of interest in his proposition. The lack of existence of any feeling whatsoever alarmed me and I was actually worried that I was becoming sociopathic, only feigning emotion but dramatically empty within.

Ayi maawe..ln the morning,  when my crush texted me to ask about something purely professional, my nigga my heart started pounding.Its like all of a sudden you do not know what to write, you panic, first wipe your screen well, like gwe, I first practiced writing on MS and I polished my nails, applied a coat of paint on them and brushed my teeth, then with dictionary in hand I beautifully texted back. “IDK, ask Dean” he sent back a kiss emoji and a Thanks anyway and my God, the butterflies in my stomach were on that ekitagurururo dance. It was a whole Mukigafest in my gut.

So yeah, I’m not sociopathic, I have emotions, and they are intense. I just suffer from the same thing we all have in common, the need to acquire more, better, faster, stronger, unobtainable stuff. I believe we call it ambition. Its a necessary quality to survive and a powerful driving force. No doubt about it. People who have little to no ambition are lethargic and even the Bible condemns those, “consider the ways of the ant, hard worker.” paraphrased from Proverbs, “he who does not work should not eat!” the apostle Paul thundered from the Asian continent where he traversed driven by the need to get more and more people to Christ ambitiously.
So I do understand ambition. And I laud it.
However.. I am also an advocate of the stop and smell roses theory. The it is alright to have what you have and make it work for you theory. Because on the other side of ambition is the malicious seed of discontent sowing. We want more and when we dont get what we think we deserve, we become discontented, and then we turn dark. Human strigoi, hollowed out by the need for more.
If we work out and eat healthy and get lean but we are still dark and we do not like that, we bleach. we do not care that we look like the underside of a crocodile, all pink flesh and dark tufts of melanin struggling to stay in protest, clustered together on our cheeks.
If we do not get the money we deserve, we embezzle. We become thieves and take for ourselves all the while pretending that we are doing it for our families, to survive.
When we feel like the partners we got are beneath our class or are not what we set out to achieve, we cheat, we steal, we divorce, we leave them and move away, in search of elusive perfection.
When we get what we want, we do not want it anymore and if you disagree with this notion ask me why phone companies are thriving, selling us the same phone over and over again, while renaming it and depriving it of a few essentials, like a headphone jack, to make it more Elite?
Tell me why people drink water with flakes of metal and stone for more money? I read somewhere that you can pay for gold flakes in your champagne. Apparently people want to literally poop gold. sigh.

When does ambition cross over and become a demon?
How do we make it stop? I dont know, I am not a therapist or even hugely motivational. I just think like medicine or fire, ambition is a good servant but a tyrannical master. we can choose to let it control us, or, this is where my stop and smell the roses theorem kicks in, we can choose to divert it to that which really matters and keep it away from your personal life.
Don’t hurt people in your drive to gain. Don’t make decisions you can not talk to a sunday school class about. Stop and smell the damn roses, see where you are, bask in how far you have gotten. Do not be like those who die without really having lived.

A peacock’s take on dreams

I have been forced to confront innate truths about myself this year. Truths that warp themselves around your soul and leave you afraid, because they are true, afraid because they were only vague thoughts floating around in your vast nothingness but now you have to confront them and live them.

I will never be an anthropologist. I am tired. Life is hard. Life is especially hard because the people supposed to show us the way, to teach us are causing genocides or Tom and Jerrying with their rivals. Fees are high. Work is rare. I am not perfect and I fear I will never be. Year 23 of not realising any of my year’s resolutions. I have writer’s block. I haven’t read as much as I used to this year.

My Aunt Mary asks me to tell her what is on my mind almost everyday.

“Everything! Everything Aunt. I am tired of this place and I am ashamed of my shame and I am afraid of my fears. I am afraid I will never grow. I am at the precipice of everything and all the little fissures are starting to show and the pressure of plugging them is taking its toll on me.”
But I do not tell her that.

I stare off into the tan majesty of her living room, and the larger than life epoch in its center; a 4 foot peacock statue, reclining on a tasteful dais, haloed in a tasteful glow.He is a grand old thing that peacock, a haughty arrogance as it flares its plumed behind in all of its iridescent beauty.

I find myself talking to him easily. He’s not judgmental at all to be honest.

“Yo Feathers,what’s with the world man?  Do you even know anything about stress? Why is it that the wicked get the money and the righteous perish? why do I keep making mistakes yet I try so hard? Do you know? What do we do that is good and straightforward that is still rewarding?  Am I ugly? Is life supposed to be this hard?”
The monstrosity mostly quirks his eyebrow but he doesn’t answer.

“TELL ME? WHY?” I cry, riled to the bone, unreasonably furious at a sculpture.

“Alright, you nonsensical creature, calm your hysterics” Sometimes I imagine if he could talk he’d say gravely in a dignified baritone,shaking his magnificent tail as he comes to life
“You’re still trying to figure yourself out? are you not? You’re not mad but you are shedding. Like a snake.” here he’d smirk and adjust his crown.
“I wouldn’t be worried if I were you. You’ll figure it out. You’ll have some falls and you’ll pick yourself up, you’ll fail at somethings and you will realize that some dreams belong in your childhood. but if you are strong, and despite your foolish self pity you have an iron core, you’ll realize that you are where you are right now and that is perfect and wherever you get,you will be there and you will have to make peace with that.Do you get it?”

“In truth you know who to turn to for strength don’t you? stop wallowing in that mire you create for yourself and ask for help.” He’d say, parting shots as he hardens back into marble, nothing more than stone.

 

Aesthetically speaking

As we pray, I sneak a look at her, she is beautiful.

I will never get over how beautiful African women are. I am fickle, Aesthetic, I love beauty even though it is not encouraged to say so.

She is angular, more bone than meat, a harsh vista of sharp slopes and steep inclines. Everything about her is sharp. Her proud patrician nose, standing out from her face in haughtiness supreme. Her forehead, with the hairline sharply defined, with the baby hair tendrils threatening to come out but not quite. her face, a heart-shaped mess with a cleft chin and scars of pimple past. she is beautiful. her eyes too, obey the laws of Pythagoras (I’m assuming that is the god of triangles. if it isn’t, don’t correct me)

Her eyes are slanted, snake-like diamonds on her face, glittering in blistering heat in the withering Ugandan sunshine. Her prominent bones jut, collar,pelvis,femur, knee and elbow, and I imagine in a fight that is all she would need to fight. She’d be a fury of endo skeleton, a raging mass of feathers, light warrior supreme.

Next to her, is me. Madam Pudge, I am plus size for the politically correct. I am where all her meat migrated to. I am the USA of fats and Carbs. the American dream. there are second generation Gluten families residing in the suburbs of my stomach, and they’ve been here for a while.

Do I describe myself too harshly for you? Do you cringe as you read my words? do you think I am being too hard on myself or do you chuckle to yourself, saying ‘good she knows?’ Does it even matter?

It doesn’t. I am just as beautiful as she is, and as we walk, she knows that, and I know that and it doesn’t even matter. Because as soon as you get to know someone, after all the preliminary fake smiles and name forgetting and then meeting again randomly and deciding that you do like this person, after all of that;

You stop seeing flesh. what you think of someone transcends the color of their skin, or the white stretch of elastic when the dress is too small on someone. it transcends stomach fat and shortness. it transcends bulbous noses and gnarly nails.

They become so familiar you see them as souls, as they were originally meant to be. this is why someone says ‘you’re such a sweet soul’ instead of ‘I love your body.’

So as I sneak looks at my best friend, it comes as a surprise that I haven’t really looked at her in a while.

By God she is beautiful.

 

Girls of all kinds can be beautiful – from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box…Think outside of the box…Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.’ Tyra Banks