Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hit The Road, Jack!

You’ll have to work to picture this. Or maybe not. Maybe you have been where I have been. Like me, the sun is going down (at least I think it is, the window curtains here are always drawn), the working day is done and you should be in a taxi on the way home, slumped in the jump over seat because you were among the last ones to get in. You should not be here. You should not still be in this room alone at this computer, with nothing to do, looking for something to do, with nothing on the whole wide web you want to find. You should not be here, at this computer. This computer especially. Because it all started here and it looks like it will all end here. At this computer.

Back then, the year was sprinting to a close and you were one of a hundred forehead-wrinkling faces you used to meet when you walked instead of taking a taxi or hitching a ride. When you walked out of your house, on a Saturday morning when you had stayed home and now you were walking into the little trading center to try and find something eat. You were one in a hundred faces you used to meet with a face that told your story so well you never had need to speak of your trouble. Because the woman collected on a three-legged stool wrapped in a yellow flower patterned kitenge could look up at you in the morning market, haggling for a better price for her bananas and know your story. The folded ashy wrinkles on her fingers counting the coins of your balance telling you she knew, she knew, you did not have to tell her.

That year, the end of that year, was like the last sun burnt leaf dropping from the diseased guava tree whose fruit you never ate, dropping, dropping but never reaching the cracked dry ground that for months had had no rain and it was never going to reach the earth. Blowing in the swirling dust the afternoon wind was whistling tunes that made no sense. That year, the end of that year. That year, the end of that year when it all begun and you were seated at this computer, the last here, with nothing to do, nothing to care about, not caring you were not caring, all that gone but a bed with a three year old blanket waiting, a bottle of half drunk Richot on the bedside table, and the radio bought from the steps of the Old Taxi Park on a night of candle-lighting wonder that needed new National cells, the unsealed packet of Benson & Hedges, with two cigarettes mouldering in the dust under the bed, waiting.

That year, that year when it all begun when you wanted everything to end at this computer, with a simple email received 7:47pm Saturday. That year, that year when you decided instead of ‘Delete’ to move the key to ‘Reply.’ That year, that year when your Sade heart “I have already paid for all my future sins,” bandaged, a child in Kisenyi unseen kept without asking the one passion fruit that from the bunch had rolled away, replied. That year. That year when you replied, in the tail end, when September was October was November was December, that year.

That year, that year of walking everywhere, that year. That year of Kampala road phone shops shacks at the back with your next phone and the last one distended on two legged tables for your inspection, that year. That year, that year of Thursday Comedy Nights, last Monday of the month Jam on the Green 2am Caesar singing walking home, that year. That year, that year when blog was a fog, that year, when you decided not to ‘Delete’ and replied, that year. It begun that year. That year. Sitting at this very computer and all the voices are in your head. It begun here. Now it is ending here.

Quote Byron and look at the feet of clay of your heroes because we’ll go no more a roving so late into the night though the night was made for loving, Undo standing still. It ends here. Brian, I have never been here though this place is near my home I’m glad you have brought me, beer at 1 in the noon, DVD magic flopped on the carpet later Mum gone till tomorrow, it ends here. Savage candor Landor Busingye now I know why Herbert was such a friend, in the silent passageway rehearsing lines well I have loved you well as much I knew how, it ends here.

Room 202, morning, can’t you hear the people rushing past outside no only silence here and the sound in our throats of beating hearts and water dripping in the sink in the bathroom of the red topped tap you did not wind to the end, it ends here. Stars Pub, plush seats, Saturday 9pm, what did Kaiza say will you remember, yes you can call on my phone the office just loaded my phone Celtel is cheap, it ends here. I need a drink.


Set Play Rewind: The End by The Doors

13 comments:

countryboy said...

amen!!u sure need drink after delivering that 'baby!'

Princess said...

This piece seriously blew me away!! You're an amazing writer.

I agree with country boy..this post earned you a drink!!

scotchbiscuits said...

what will you have? Icy scotch? without the biscuit?
badass post.
You have sweetest reminscent pensive so totally engaging in an unbelievable way posts.
now I need a drink too.

The 27th Comrade said...

Being a Communist, the bit I like best is that one of `Room 202'. Frig!!!!!! We've moved next-door to George Orwell's `Room 101' (1984)!
And a fine man-o'-letters pointing the way!

eddiie said...

You talked of stars pub...did you?

Lovely Amphibian said...

one word: WOW! i mean it.

Minzo said...

Absolutely brilliant post as usual.

Zack said...

Godspeed dear -in all!

Just Rich said...

I could swear pc's are slyer than we realise and they sometimes switch the "delete" and "reply" buttons before we even know whats going on. They play us like puppets!! Hmmmm, i smell a screenplay somewhere in there.
Enough of that; i've heard some talk of drinks. it'll be a fanta lemon on the rocks for me. Stirred AND shaken. Take that, Bond!

minty said...

Really terrific piece. You suck the reader in so deep it's hard to extricate oneself from the chasm.

CountryBoyi said...

wow, minty!! u shd b one of them literally critics!!

eddiie said...

Aaaaah!!! sorry i forgot waht i was supposed to write...

Meleasa said...

Wow! You are a brilliant writer! I have to struggle to keep reading some of these blogs (mine included!) but this was just brilliant.