Last Saturday I was seated in Java, Gigiri, with a friend I’ve recently made. She’s become someone who is the epicentre of my current affairs. If you happened to bolt in on that day, into the Java, you’d have obviously noticed my restlessness. You could, without doubt, conclude that I didn’t belong, not only by the way I looked but also from the way I sat. I was apprehensive, uncomfortable and out of place.
Looking at the menu, the only thing I’d have afforded, if I were to buy my own lunch, was the classic sandwich which went for 480 freaking bob. It was the cheapest meal on that side of menu. The other side consisted of drinks and beverages. I was hesitant as to what I wanted to eat, mostly because that neck of woods wasn’t my usual turf. There was too much display of common courtesy and common decency at every corner, making everything else complex. Before last Saturday, I’d been there earlier and this tap at the entrance couldn’t react to my push when I wanted to wash my hands. I had to fight it and that, as it turned out to me, was very awkward.
As an observant individual, I usually let my eyes wander in every direction in whichever environment I am in, especially when it is beyond my comfort. There’s this couple that came say two hours after we’d settled down on the task we were working on. A white couple, probably in their 30s. I watched them keenly because the lady resembled my baby mama in every possible inch, except the colour of her eyes. The entire time they sat there, no one talked to the other; they spent their time on their phones until they left. I wondered what their relationship was like, and why they were behaving that way, and if they were comfortable that way, or if they were finding solutions to better their affairs.
I didn’t want to begin this story this way because that is not what I intended to. But this girl that I saw there has often been appearing in my dreams. An Indian family walked in. From the looks of it, the parents looked well over into their 60s. You could tell the mother used to be a beautiful woman during her hey days because even at her age now she still looked excellent. I didn’t get to look at the father much because his back was facing me. I remember their two kids, probably in their 20s, a boy and a girl. They looked well-mannered and appeared to be having a good life. The girl wore this long sleeveless dress that articulated her well-fed, yet petite body. Her hair sat flawlessly upon her shoulders, her skin so smooth and lovely to look at. For a fleeting moment, a desire rose in me to walk up to her and touch her skin. She was the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen.
My mind wandered slightly to the possibilities of marrying such a woman, the kind of confidence I’ll earn just by marrying her, the kind of things I’ll have to do to maintain her, the kind of friends I’ll meet or make with her by my side, how my long fidgety arms will run along her smooth skin, how I’ll begin having meals with chilli. But I also thought of how different our beliefs would be, like if she considers a cow a holy animal and I consider it something I can grill and eat to satiate my beef cravings; I wondered if she worships Buddha or other things that I might find completely outrageous; I asked myself if we would understand each other in our communications; I pondered over my chances of winning such a girl into my side- and all that came is that, that would be a burden upon me because I’ll have to change the person I am, do more milestones of bettering my income and life, accommodate her beliefs and allow my conscience to participate in rites and rituals that I might not be party to.
In the end, I dropped the idea despite my constant wanders to where she was seated. I knew she didn’t notice me because she wasn’t facing me. She was immersed in whatever they were talking about as a family. Since then, she hasn’t left my mind. Secretly, I have been praying to God to let her out of my mind. Now more than ever, I am convinced that it would never work between us because our cultures are completely different and compromise won’t iron out those differences in a thousand years.
The year is coming to an end. It is allowed for me to say that it has been one fucked up year. Everything was bottoms up, haywire and callous. It has been tragedy after another; but the fact that we’ve come this far means we’re stronger than what life has presented to us. We pray that the year ends well.
Most of us are looking forward to the new year as if we already know what it has for us. Shit, no one has this figured out but we hope that the new year will come with it better tidings, and we of the Most High God, will ride on tides headed for calmer shores.
If you made mistakes this year, I want to absolve you of your guilt. I want to tell you that it was hard on most of us. Everyone was shaken. Everyone felt the need to live. So in such moments, we all had to make tough choices, unsure of whether they’ll materialize or not. In those occasions, we might have made dicey decisions that we might live to regret. In any case, we are here. Now we should think about the next moment and what we’re going to do about it.
May we leave behind the dark memories of the year, may we cast aside our fears, may we carry new hope in our hearts as we cross over to meet a new horizon, may we embrace change as it comes, may we open our minds to more learning, may we be slow to anger, may we put ourselves first, may we spread love to others, may we be swift in action, and may we stay strong in body and spirit.
The fire of this house died more than once this year. Many tribulations befell us, and in several occasions we were left blind and hopeless. We stopped dreaming because there was nothing more worth looking forward to. We sat around the dead fireplace in silence, waiting for the angels of death to take us because that would have been better than living minus a purpose. We relayed silent sentiments to the gods of fate to peel off the lids of misfortune that had blinded our ambitions.
For many days we thawed in discouragement at the cruelty of life, waiting for the final towing home where we hoped to find the essence of living again. We gave up everything and geared up our souls for departure, for the vessels of death to drag us to life of eternity as promised by the holy book that we’d begun reading in our final hours of our bleakness.
In trying to make amends during the final hours, we found encouragement. At least some of us did. Some bowed down to the final blow of fate and they never recovered. Some are recovering but are still weak to light the fire to kindle their once warm hearts that massaged this house with well-woven words… that left us awed. I am the lone survivor who has tried to keep the fireplace burning. You can tell that the energy that once manifested itself here hasn’t returned to the brim. Even so, I am grateful to have taken the baton and continued stroking the fire and adding more firewood to keep this fire alive, and this house warm.
In this moment, I choose to remember all that have lost their loved ones this year. If you haven’t, I know you know someone who did. Personally, I lost more than three people who were close to me. I want to tell those going through the same ordeal of loss that I remember you in my prayers. I pray that you may find strength to heal and move on. It is almost impossible to forget death of someone you once knew, you can only choose to cherish their memories and delight in having been part of their lives as they were in yours. Stand stronger and let the life that is for the living embrace you and you it in return. For there’s nothing we can do to change the winds of death.
I choose to remember the people who have stood by me this year during my many ordeals- during my sicknesses, during my case, during my times of anguish. I wish to tell them that their support is highly appreciated. May they receive abundant blessings from He who gives. I hope to be a better friend, to come to aid when they need me.
I choose to remember also the new friends who I made this year, many of who turned my life around. I’d like to tell them that they have brought immeasurable joy in my life and that they have helped me in many ways that they could never possibly think of. I wish them nothing but more happiness, abundance of everything in their lives, and may they keep growing in kindness, stature and generosity.
Although my folks might never, in their lifetime, get to know that I once owned shit, like this blog, I choose to remember them in this very moment for being supportive always. I’d pray for others to have folks like mine, folks who give a damn about their kids. I owe them much and I am thankful for all they’ve done for me. I pray they may live longer so that I can have more happy moments with them.
To all my friends who have hooked me up with a gig here or there, I appreciate you. Akina Frank, Yvonne, Karen, and many others, I say asante sana. Thanks for helping me survive when nothing else could give. Your connections helped me survive this long. You’re worthy friends and I intend to keep you closer than ever. Blessings.
Closing down shop and working as a broker isn’t easy for someone used to own shit. Everything changes in a heartbeat. Suddenly, you don’t have enough money they way you used to. You cannot afford to pay rent, or lead a good lifestyle as you used to. You can no longer support those you used to. Eating out of your home becomes expensive. People leave you. Others ignore you. Others talk about you. You cease to exist to others. Even then, I did get business here and there, and I want to thank each and every customer that trusted me with their business. I tried my best to deliver quality services, and when I failed, I tried my best to sort the mess out. I am grateful for those who brought business to me. I’m sorry for those I disappointed. I look forward to a new year that has better prospects.
Finally, I want to profusely thank each and every reader of our blog. Thanks for believing in us. Thanks for keeping us alive. Thanks for keeping the house warm when we were asleep or away enjoying the ephemeral pleasures of this world. Thanks for always taking your time to read and share our bullshit to others. I would like to take all of you out but it is fiscally impossible. So kindly receive our heartfelt gratitude. Even though you stopped commenting, we still appreciate your readership. If you find time, try to always leave a comment at the end of the article in the comment section. A little praise or criticism never hurts.
On behalf of The Mzangila Family (Mzangila Group, Mzangila.com, Mzangila Tech Stores, Mzangila Network & The Future) I would love to wish you Happy Holidays. We shall meet here in early January 2021.
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HAPPY HOLIDAY FOLKS!
Yours Father Christmas,
(Where shall we go, we who wander in these waste lands in better selves?)