I leave the hospital at around quarter to 8. The Indian Ocean is just noisy at this point. The moon is in a giving mood- so bright. It gave me a view of the turbulence at full tilt. One wave of handsome amplitude catches my eye, I follow its path, it gains momentum as it cascades across- but it hits a cliffed coast and dies. Another wave rises…you can spend hours just watching this. The same way you can stare at the moon for hours. You can observe its grey powdery terrain, and also testify that its surface is a perfect cocktail of light and dark planes. I came to learn that the dark parts of the moon are called maria. Don’t you ever forget.
It’s a cold night and the wind is gusty, I can feel it all over- it’s touchy feely. Nature is asleep. I choose to get back home in a tuk tuk. A yellow tuk tuk. I could easily tell that the driver was Kao- NOT because of his yellow “vehicle”; and also NOT because he was chewing on some roasted maize cob. He was just Kao.
There are usually two voices in my head. That’s normal. Like my fear of chicken and escalators, absolutely normal. Sometimes the voices argue. On that night, they misbehaved…there was so much noise my head felt like on of those crowded municipal halls. My deepest darkest fear was knocking at my door. And it felt like my deepest darkest fear would get tired of standing outside, let itself in, stride into the kitchen, make a mean coffee, then sit offensively on the couch. There’s nothing I could do to stop it.
I’m still sitted silently. I watch as the driver slithers his way through narrow traffic spaces, dangerously flirting with the brake and gas pedals while feasting on half a roasted maize cob. There’s a thin slice of watermelon on his *dashboard that he also keeps eyeing. He’s really good. I’ll have to ask him for his name.
My face was calm, but inside, I was disturbed. I was listening to the voices in my head. They were having their biggest fight.
Voice number one was defeatist. “It’s only a matter of time.” This was his chorus.
Voice number two was hopeful. “She’s the strongest person you know, she WILL beat this.”
I had had enough. The voices had to shut up. I had to pick a side and stick to it.
Us humans have a habit of shelving our deepest fears and embracing hope- I’m no different. So the hopefuls seized the day. I chose hope, divorcing myself from any defeatist train of thought. I decided I would embrace it every single day. And with such naïve 5-year old thinking, I got through very rough days.
Maybe there are voices in every one of us- and she needed her peace. I decide to go back to school. Hope is a dangerous thing I tell you.
I’ve made two huge decisions. And with my mind somewhat at peace, I plug in my earphones and play College Dropout – the album by Kanye West. I manage to smile- it’s what g.o.o.d. music does to you. (Kanye fans, see what I did there?)
Long story short, I reach home three songs later and pay for the ride. Once he’s about to leave, I want to confirm that he really is Kao. [Lest you guys start thinking that I enjoy picking on Kaos.]
“Unaitwa nani ndugu? Umenifikisha vizuri. Nashukuru.” (What’s your name my brother? You drove well. I’m grateful.)
He smiles and says, “Aaah, Mimi ni Mboniface. Mboniface Mutisya.” (I’m Boniface. Boniface Mutisya.)
The yellow tuk tuk. The maize. The WATERMELON. And the misplaced letter M.
Wacha tu! 😅
* * *
“Keep picking your nose, you’ll find gold in there, someday.”
Sarcasm. So good, you can smell it.
And she would come to call picking one’s nose “gold digging“. Imagine.
There were cold threats,”I better not catch you gold digging…”
Or sometimes, “You really like this gold, don’t you?”
This is how she got me to stop picking my nose, years ago- with her smart mouth. It’s a bad habit, gold digging. *Turns on double entendre siren*
You will meet such beautiful people. People who will always know what to say- with their annoying sarcasm, wit and effortless humour. They will tweak you. Fine tune you like the strings on a guitar and understand that you respond to a certain key. It’s with that type of patience and understanding that they bring you (the guitar) to a harmonious conclusion.
They will elevate you. Make you feel like you’re not just a statistic among the billions- that you will and shall conquer the world in your own way. Call you out on your bull
shit– because they have earned every right to do so. Simply put, there’s nothing they won’t make you feel. You will meet such people because it’s fated that way. (I have struggled with this previous sentence because I’d always been a non believer in fate- things changes.)
Do you have such a person in your life? A parent, maybe. Best friend(s)? The list is unsurprisingly endless.Y’all are smart enough to figure out where I am going with this. How big is your circle? Do yourself a favour and never let go of such people- no matter what. Especially when push comes to shove.
You will love them, you can’t help it.
For all I care, putting such people on a pedestal won’t cause the sun to start setting in the east. It’s okay to pedestal some people. Because they are angels sent from high waters to come to this world and help you smile at life. There exist perfect people for other imperfect people-period. Life slaps you, they will help you smile. Life hands you a compliment, you smile broader and stupidly, like a minion- minions have the best smile.
Pauline Subira, my beautiful mother (with a beautiful name to mean patience in Swahili) was such a person. She was such a person to everyone who knew her, and most importantly, she was such a person to me -before heaven decided they needed her back..
Enough about that. Despite her being the person I like to talk about the most, I’ve decided to put her on hold (f0r now).
Let’s give this Circles and Scars trilogy a befitting farewell.
I have a lady friend who keeps calling me “this-is-Ess” just because I have a blog. . She means well. But I also make fun of the fact that she can’t pronounce ‘parallelogram’ correctly. Hehe. She also throws wise words around like pigeon food and has always wanted to feature.
Her name is Esther Gatwiri and she has a message to all those who are scarred.
“(Fresh or old), your scars should not define you.”