A girl I used to know.
"Uh-huh, I was a shame, my crew was lame
I had enough heart for most of em
Long as I got stuff from most of em
It's on, even when I was wrong I got my point across"
Sky's The Limit, The Notorious B.I.G
I saw a girl I used to like. It’s been a long time but for a split second there you were again, opposite Makerere University, right where the shiny boda bodas wait. There you were again. Like I used to know you.
Jean strapped girl, tee-shirted lover tucked in but if you looked closely not quite, the back hanging out in a challenge, a hint that she was not cowered. Not naughty that I will go out with you if your offer to fund my need for pork and beer down in Wandegeya but that I have a pick of the man I want, I will pick who I want like a man does.
Walking like no girl I had ever seen, let’s not fool, not bothered by perfecting a wriggle like women learn a man wants to see his woman walk. She walked with a different swagger, comfortable, make way for me--I can put up a fight like a man but if it comes to it am double-armed, I will not hesitate to use my womanly advantages to win.
My kind of girl, once-upon-a-time. My first girl, even. The greatest subversives are the takers on the lam, I learned. Retreat and learn. I will always remember your kitchen efforts, not your field, Friday evening when you did not want another night roistering, let’s get quiet, cook a home meal, sweetie, let’s be like everybody else. Your frustrated tears at your burnt table offerings quickly bursting into throat pealing laughter at my determined verdict this was the best meal I had ever eaten, on my fourth glass of water to the two mouthfuls of black smoking rice I had swallowed. Friday night freak you!
I saw a girl like you again, ah! I can afford the boda boda ride now comfort easy. I can do the car thing. The house thing is sorted. I can eat wherever I please and I’m realizing it was all in the attitude, your Tuesday stolen hamburgers coming back. Yeah, you were right, sky’s the limit with me. I never understood how regal you were, everyone calling you crazy. Yeah, I called you that too, a couple of time or two, tomboy even, why wouldn’t you let me protect you? Yeah, I saw you.
All my dreams will die. I will be broken. The best minds of my generation will go mad or leave, some already are leaving. I know though you will be the last. You will never compromise, you will never mellow, damn I couldn’t stand your stubbornness when you turning away what we wanted so desperately because it came at us wrong angled, you were the craziest! But no one would tangle with you.
I know this too. I know I will see you dead long before my dog’s day comes. You were not born in the wrong country, wrong century, wrong society. No, not any of those. I know this now. It’s not that. I remember the grasp of your hand on my arm. You would never let, are never letting go. There. A fuckin’ shame. They are going to get you before they get the rest of us.