Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Many Muses



This is for Tshila, who will never read this; Café Pap, Friday evening, impatient to get out of Kampala again; I was listening, when you were talking about him. Your eyes made me cancel my coffee order.

I love women more than I should ever confess. But not all my muses have been women. The women have lasted the longest though. This is no paean or maybe it is. I don’t know. The drink doesn’t help me sleep anymore. The black Suzuki I loved is off the road, I can’t park by the Nile anymore playing Beera Nange by Tshila trying to sleep, trying to decide if I want to drive on to Akok Riverside Hotel or into silent town to Juba-Raha, must stop at Queen of Sheba. Insomnia is romantic only on paper, take some dawn drinks with me, no city has haunted me like Juba haunts me. I’m certain my staked future is somewhere in your taciturn lazy sitting afternoon, dark brooding faces watching me drive by, after lunch when work ceases, waiting for the Muezzin’s 6pm call to prayer. Juba, your still innocence is like a five year old girl’s cheek kiss. No one will ever love you like I love you. Sleep sometimes still comes in your embrace. Beera Nange…sija kwerabira olunaku lwe wangamba nti oyalagala oku beera bwomu…ebigambo bimbuze…mukwano…all my prayers are for you…all my muses are gone.

I was in love with her because she was in love with me. I will own up now. I still listen to Michael Learns to Rock sometimes because we did some things to Breaking my Heart that many lone dawns have failed to banish from my mind. I still start awake some nights. For her. Her hold so strong, so long on me that when five years later she wrote me a letter, I left the school I was in midterm, left home, traveled two towns further than I had ever been to be with her for a weekend that became a fortnight. Getting drunk to Breaking My Heart I did not think I would ever love a girl again, learning why the gods say goddesses and men must never love. She was responsible for all my heartbreaking sins. Teaching me it was okay for a girl to ask me out. My near eternal Achilles heel. I still need to be drunk, after thinking of her, to sleep.

Perfect dimples belong to her. Before there was Poetic Justice, before there was Janet Jackson, there was her. Teaching me I could be a more effective rebel who wore my green tie and tucked in my white school uniform shirt, the girl for whom afternoon classes were skipped, I did not think of forever but I knew it would never end. I have been everywhere again where you took me. Since us. Muse before I knew what muses were, caught unprepared. Will this longing never end?

I used to be terrified of formidable women before she was my muse. Let me rephrase that. I used to be afraid of women preceded by their formidable reputation and she had more than one. Knowing her before I thought she would ever even bother to know me. I had never actually seen her, did not think I would like her, until the day I did see her, compelled into her presence. I will never see anyone lightly scratching the tip of their nose without thinking of her.

I never thought I would be worthy of her attention. Starting at the bottom in the scales of her eyes. The strange quiet one who never went for lunch not because he did not wish to mingle but because he could not. To this day I do not understand why she let me use her seat and her computer when no one else seemed to notice I was in the room when I was, a perspiring silent absence; I have heard of music collections but none moved me more than the one she had on her computer, the wails of those songs telling stories her severe black suits would never tell as well. Of all the muses I ever had, she was the muse I have needed the most. You were my courage belt.

She has by far been the best muse I have ever had and I’m afraid I’m losing her. I know I’m losing her and I cannot blame my being in Juba roaming for the distance that is growing between us. I have been in the passenger in the taxi backseat pulling away many times enough to know she is the one being lost to me. I’m the one with the wistful smile, my muse falling into what seems true love, she will never be mine alone again, she is no longer mine.

Last time I saw her, in Kampala briefly, I took a week to go see her because I knew she would leave me standing in the reception area where she works, the time would never be enough again, 5pm for others she still has meetings to go to. My many splintered muse had it together finally, not knowing whether to push my chest out with pride because there was she was, so in-charge, or no chest slouched shoulders leave the premises, she has forgotten me. I stood there, losing her. Not quite sad.

I stay up nights now thinking of another more than I ever thought of any other. I know it’s happening again, I’m laughing, it’s silly, really I should be beyond this, but it’s happening again. I make her laugh just to hear the chuckle in her laugh, I call her up when she does not expect me to be calling her to hear how she sounds before she realizes who is calling, I’m trying out new nicknames, thinking of places where we are going to go, talking to her by phone, by email, and yahoo! messenger, her favourite slangs’ entering my everyday speech, I want to know every thought she has ever had. I have never been able to talk to anyone for hours like I can talk to her, she is the muse I did not expect. The one Muse heart and head are willing to agree on but for circumstances; it’s like I have never gazed into a girl’s soul before her, I’m a kid and man before her. Not falling in love with her is harder everyday.

9 comments:

Jasmine said...

making me wish i was in love.

Esquire of the mountain said...

This is a classic...

antipop said...

iwaya my man, you sound like a broken man....
and thanx for spoiling my micheal learns to rock.
now i will never listen to "breakin my heart" the same way.
damn you!

els said...

love is in the air...I'm breathing in deeply

Mudamuli Ntikita Ntikita said...

I discovered Tshila some time back on two Tv stations and I fell in love with her immediately. I like her spirit and she is so warm and outgoing. I wish I was like that.

Tandra said...

hmmmmm

scotchbiscuits said...

:)

Aegeus said...

dayum! man! i am lost for words...i read non stop start to end captivated by the intricate yarn you spin so well....

polskalover23 said...

before i read this i never believed that a man could actually love a woman. I thought it was just acceptance of feelings.I've never seen so much passion and feeling in a piece of writing.thank you for proving me wrong.i wish i could meet you one day.