Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Red"


What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I have a presentiment that the end is behind that door and that beyond when I turn that gnarled, heavy silver knob I can never come back? Will I falter, will my legs fail me and will I plead for more time? Will I try to make a bargain with fate and wager for one hour more?

What will it be like on the day I die? Will I be dressed appropriately? Will I wonder if my unruly hair needs the comb one more time and before I walk into the room where I will die, see in my mind’s eye her frown that I do not care about these things, on the day I die?

Will I be thinking of lunch or the first time I stood lost on a road looking for the Omo sign post she said pointed the way to the road that led to her home that warm afternoon on a Sunday? Will I be thinking of how her cheeks dimple when she smiles and how oooh so much I love them and she cooks the best fried spaghetti I have ever eaten and how I want all this to be finished so that I can seated on the floor with her under the window back when were young and poor and used to insist we took tea suppers with buns because it was novel and exciting by candlelight and she used to laugh, will I be thinking of this on the day I die? What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I die instantly with help seconds too late and the doctor still struggling into his surgery gloves or will it be a slow, lonely death in our country house two days before our grandchildren come over for holidays and I’m alone waiting at the back of the house, crumpled on the stairs remembering my father’s eyes and the day I first saw him as a man and cried? What will it be like on the day I die?

What will it be like on the day I die? Will it be sudden, something I did not expect, looking up from my reading Keats poems to see the driver swerve into the way of a speeding timber truck and think, “Here it comes and I’m not ready. Here it comes?” What will it be like on the day I die? Will it be on the hour of my choosing, unopened Bond 7 bottle on my bedside table, loaded magnum in my trembling hand sorry that I have to stain these white silk hotel bed sheets on the day I die? What will it be like on the day I die?

Will I be sinning, in the act of my final betrayal, caught, stunned like deer in headlights, keeling over another blank sheet of paper like Flaubert, remembering as my eyes glaze at my tin of never-used- expensive pens Austin Bukenya’s sad whispered confession all those years ago in the British Council Uganda offices at Rwenzori Courts, “I have not written as much as I should have,” when I was still young and promising on a starry, chilly night that seemed to go on forever? What will it be like on the day I die?

What will it be like on the day I die?



OFF THA HOOK: Suicidal Thoughts by The Notorious B.I.G/ I Seen A Man Die by Scarface

19 comments:

Goddess of Sorts said...

1. you must be one of those 'men in love' i see in the movies and read of in the books.

2. when i die, just know, the moon did it.

3. "The touch of death is like a lover's pinch, desired even though it hurts." [paraphrased?] William Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra

Darlkom said...

You wrote this! It's amazing.

Just Rich said...

It'll be the "how her cheeks dimple when she smiles" one, for sure.
My favourite musing on passing on to the next world: "Maybe when you die, you come before a big, bearded man on a big throne and you say, "Is this heaven?" and He says, " Heaven? You just came from there." - Kirk Douglas

Iwaya said...

@Just Rich: there's a blantant clue in that post that you shoulda been the first person to spot!

@Goddess of Sorts: wgat men?

@Darlkom: aw shucks!

minty said...

I most dislike the one of the speeding timber truck. Or I just think about it everytime I travel the Kla-Jinja route.

you should ditch such thoughts - but keep writing such deep things

Just Rich said...

"To come right down to it, if I take the kind of things in which i believe, then add to that the temperament that i have, plus the one hundred percent dedication I have to whatever I believe in- these are ingredients which make it just abuot impossible for me to die of old age." R.I.P. Red.
(if you hadnt mentioned it, i wouldnt have thought twice about who was in the picture, despite the title above)

scotchbiscuits said...

that old man who dies alone in his house makes me sad. worse even knowing alot of people die that way.
beautifully poignant post though!

Carlo said...

touchy. i'm weeping at the beauty of it, forget how sad it is. rock on!

Degstar said...

@no one in particular,
I would like to go in the midst of the throes of ..ahem ... the little death.
preferably with my life of 60ish years

Degstar said...

meant to say, my WIFE, of 60ish years, not my life ...

Eddie said...

you must be crazy...how dare you talk about death...

the point is clear,we are all gona die but its not decent talking about it....

Cherie said...

call me daft...but that profile pic of yours took me for a ride. all this while i thought the orange thing in the background was a guy and the bandana in foreground was another person. i just figured it out when i stopped by yo profile!

Am not blonde!

joshi said...

deep...got me thinking about the day i die..usually i thought it wud be on the final lap of the grandpix and i wud burn in a ferrari...

@cherie...ure not blonde..woman i just remembered u owe us pics!!

Joshua said...

Hello! My name is Josh. I just started writing the Uganda Roundup for Global Voices Online (GVO). The idea behind GVO is to get the word out about stories from parts of the world that don't traditionally get alot of space in mainstream media. GVO is written by bloggers from around the world; it's a pretty spectacular award winning site. It also happens to be one of the top 150 blogs in the world in terms of number of hits, so if your work gets posted there, alot of people are going to read what you have to say.

GVO has never had a Uganda roundup until now, so its a cool oppurtunity to give more exposure for the growing, but still small, Ugandan blogosphere. I like covering posts that shed light on life in Uganda. I try to find a balance in my GVO posts amongst book reviews, quirky stories about your morning matatu ride, and news analysis and opinion. I'd personally like to see more news related posts, but I think this will develop in time. The rule is: Do ur thang. The only criterium I have are (i) snappy writing and (ii) content that the global public might find interesting.

Also, I think a Happy Hour is in order, and I think Ernest Bazanye should give some remarks because he is endlessly full of mirth hilarious self deprecation. I'll be out of the country for a few weeks, but stay tuned for a Ugandan Blogosphere Happy Hour in late November.

Finally, check out this list of Ugandan blogs that I think reach the above criteria. Make a comment if I've missed any.

http://inanafricanminute.blogspot.com/2006/10/global-voices-uganda.html

Shoot me your email if you want me to send you updates: goldstein.joshu@gmail.com

Peace.Josh

countryboy said...

gwe iwaya, wats up wiz that kafunny pic or is it an avatar??
& man, don't b there & laze on, we need fresh stuff

Eddie said...

Will I be sinning, in the act of my final betrayal, caught, stunned like deer in headlights, keeling over another blank sheet of paper like Flaubert..........

Still i stand to my words, its not attractive talking about death, though some people even go a head and buy book their coffins..

Cherie said...

@Iwaya...assure us u're alive! Prove it!

minty said...

ditto cherie's. Because we don't believe all the action's shifted to madandcrazyaboutyou.

Be silent said...

i have a freaky friend who dragged me to the Mortuary i hear she wanted tosee stills and she is a blogger....
death freaks me out