Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Reason


Monday, November 19, 2007

--- '007 some

“Tonight they take me back to St. Francis' Hospital parking lot. I have ear phones on to block out my surroundings, but it's not really working. I'm getting a phone number from Persis. Her scared eyes. I won't ever forget those eyes.”
Idling at 4:18am
11:23pm Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006
Scotchbiscuits

This has been my first great year of disenchantment. I still want the same things I have always wanted but I want them more urgently. Your history is being written in a hip hop rhyme and you still can’t tell? The years of willful obscurity are nearly ended and I’m not certain if I’m wild bearded striding out of the wilderness and the desert parching desert left behind or lost, cliff edge headed, a precipice waiting. All I know is that it was written. I’m not going back.

I have gained Entebbe, this year and the last merging. A girl with dimples when she laughs, I have sat in the grass under the tree shades with her lying at my feet in Botanical Garden, matching flip flops kicked off, she sleeping, me watching the waters invade the stony gravy beach and swim out again, Saturday hot noons, Pringles and passion fruit juice she made. Sunday evenings. I have walked with her into town, the lights in our living room bright with night surprise we’ll be back, to buy Mulefu’s grilled chicken because I want all her attention, and she surprises me still with her fingers slipping into mine while I make up a tale to make her laugh, Entebbe in her finger tips.

I lost her, briefly, in Juba star gazing. What was I thinking? It’s a lie when they tell you that anyone is replaceable. No one could replace her. You have been wondering why I have not been blogging? I was gone in wanderings, far from her, I’m coming home again. All I want now is the smell of her skin when she is stepping out of the shower, she wants her towel, and all I can think about, before I get up to hand her thick pink cotton towel, is how so lovely is every part of her, and she calls me her miracle. How strange! I forget about my white, long sleeved office shirt, crushing her protesting glistening water wet nakedness in a hug to me; home is the smell of her skin, my nose nuzzling her neck. I was so lost. I nearly lost this, this year.

She said she misses me, my mother, laughing shyly, hesitantly, and I would never have gained this but for Juba, the first time she said it, something catching in my throat, an aching I did not know I still had. She says it more. So does he. Now that I’m in Juba, and these tales of disemboweled murdered Ugandan men in market stall disputes for yellow jerry cans of petrol, women spread eagled gang-raped, all they hear; it had to take this. I’m taking more photographs of me than I have ever taken in all my life, there are pieces of Sudan that I want to always be with me, I want to keep memories for the first time, live long enough to have a scrapbook maybe, know what a pina colada tastes like, I have taken sparkling brown tea in shot glasses in Juba, laughing, looked into the barrels of pistols, laughing. The hand of a killer is like any other hand, the beer they buy just as sweet, coming to Juba to discover I want to live in Ethiopia one day, Sudan has returned so much I thought I had lost, Juba flat city dreaming, I will remember the endless dark pools in your eyes.

Café Viva, Kampala, opposite Constitutional Square (you can call me when you get to City Square), Saturday evening, my new DVD player and laptop bags weighing me down, Michael, do you remember? It took you and Kaiza to ground me again, the city quiet preparing for CHOGM, talking about our own quiet revolution, only you two still know me in the way nobody else ever has, living on the reserves you banked. The years pass but you’re still my home guiding stars, in constellations I have no Magellan telescope to understand; be with me always!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Memories of Saturday Night Live

Saturday happened. Juba. I was the main man. It’s Monday now. People calling me are still going...

Friday, November 09, 2007

The writer I would rather read when I’m not writing…

She reminds me of Scotchbiscuits, she reminds me of Yuda (who stopped blogging), there’s a bit of Dante in her, Wine&Thunder and her connect, her vulnerability is Ishta’s when she’s musing, I think Minty might write like this if she wanted, I know she has Sam-Lady’s pathos, she has the bite Petesmama will sometimes surprise me with, even at her most revelatory she’s as elusive as LissingMink and Ugandan Insomniac can be, but she will take a stand like the two Dennis’s and not back down, while she can be frisky like Darlkom, she can also leave you sweetly musing like Jovialjitterz does, she is one of the very few writer’s I would happily give up my time to be reading. She is PuttySauce

"i was driving home from Bantam Lake tonight, and i instinctively reached over to the passenger seat to grab lauren’s hand. her hand feels right in mine, like New Haven feels right on a bike, like how a mug of coffee feels right cupped with both hands on december mornings. i hadn’t really thought about her hands since our third date which we spent memorizing every curve and fold of each others’ fingers in front of a movie at my place. later, we progressed to other curves and other places, but it was something about her hands that told me that i didn’t need to rush, that we’d have plenty of time to unfold each other. her hand in the car reminded me that we were incredibly lucky to have found each other.

it was even more than that, though. in that moment as my fingers had found and wrapped around hers, i had come out (for the first time....'"

lauren’s hands and the weight of the world

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Robbed Properly for the First Time

"Todays agenda, got the suitcase up in the sentra
Go to room 112, tell em blanco sent ya
Feel the strangest, if no money exchanges
I got these kids in ranges, believe them niggaz brainless
All they tote is stainless, you just remain as
Calm as possible, make the deal go through
If not, heres 12 shots, we know how you do
Please make yo killings clean, slugs up in between
They eyes, like true lies, kill em and flee the scene
Just bring back the coke or the cream
Or else, yo life is on the shelf, we mean this frank
Them cats we fuckin wit put bombs in yo moms gas tank
Lets get this money baby, they shady, we get shady”

Niggaz Bleed, The Notorious B.I.G


This happened.

I had strange, inexplicable dreams all last night, woke up near the end of this never ending night to the first rains pounding a slumbering Juba, a dry land’s thirst slacking, could not sleep again. Maybe this all has to do with the fact that my first night I was coming to acceptance that my first precious camera had been cribbed from me, happened the day before, in a humid office in the center of Juba, trying to do what brought me here, work, everyone but me gone to bars for a view of the Manchester United versus Arsenal show. Alone. Oh yes, those classic American gangster films do not exaggerate, the robbers do come gunning through the door, with a rolling stone menace and hooded sureness, for my camera, two of them, and I have not been this helpless since I was a school going child, at the back of the class, silently tearing in dreaded Maths’ classes. In her week old virginity she was still on my work table, a feast for my eyes, planning to go out and take more memories of this Juba land, she’s gone forever now, my dreams too maybe.

Well these dreams that never cease, my dark night morning restlessness was not about my beloved camera only, I did not even dream of her who I did not think would ever leave me. Maybe this has to do with the fact that all cajoling failed until I was in the wrong and she asked me, now that we are no longer talking, can you be my FaceBook friend? It had been months. Oh CHOGM greed, I forgot her face, transfixed drooling in the money numbers of this deal, how will I ever apologize fully? I said YES! The least I could do in my happy Sudan exile, hiding my shame from her eyes, would be her FaceBook friend. It’s something at least. Serving my term. Oh bittersweet joy! She’s still one of the few people teaching me something new, like within every momentous Café Viva meeting with Kaiza, I should have been on FaceBook years ago! I’m spending even some of my working hours holding tight on a wild crest wave of the web, exclaiming, discovering new delights, oh so many friends and possibilities in these FaceBook connections. Shelfari, now FaceBook discoveries within fingers’ caressing weeks distances of each other, I’m blessed beyond what I deserve! Laughing, there are so many people I know here, maybe I’m not so alone in this world, like some moments standing in the darkening evening, outside our office, waiting for hours to be picked up by my colleagues gone reveling, I fall into sulky conjurings, the blue painted mosque opposite us, I think I maybe.

There is Savage on FaceBook with some pictures I will never forget, Ivan bringing back vivid memories of Pacino brutal young in that Scarface poster, aren’t we all waiting to see the rise and fall of Denzel Washington in American Gangster? Few movies have had me counting the down of months like American Gangster, Jay-Z was here too, there’s so much at stake, I want to know can creativity be sustained all my life or have I become corrupted beyond redemption, I could not sleep on this night. Maybe I will lose my job, maybe I won’t. Hemingway told me not to think too much about it now I cannot sleep but I’m not thinking about it. Went into Aristoc Booklex before I came back, last Friday of the month for me, boarding Zeraf Coaches later in the night for the bus trip back to Juba, they were all out of Hemingway short stories or novels except for A Moveable Feast, my stomach for a moment fell away, had Hemingway abandoned me too? I enlisted Mao, the Unknown Story and heard not a word from 27th Comrade since! Joshi clued me onto Savage’s pictures, hours after I was robbed, giving me reason to laugh, stand up choking on a swallowed bean going down the wrong way down my throat because I eat while I work—or look like I’m working—you made it better Joshi. You too Savage. It was from you the first thunderstruck realization sunk in that I’m now of the kyeyo band, Stephen Crane help me out, that cowering mass whose heart always misses a beat, breathless, will this police man be friendly or hostile? I have been thinking of us all in foreign lands far from home, I could not sleep, we are so many, the saddest Kampala evening for me was when I learned Dennis Matanda was of us now too. How many more of your prophets will you kill? Undo is holding on at least, Lira-lost to me, in Uganda still.

This is my second month in Juba. I have been robbed every month I came here. Lost the Nokia I was so proud of, had not been mine more than two months, the Kampala afternoon Ivan helped me buy it still vivid, preparing to leave Uganda for the first time in my life, Mutaasa Kafeero haunting. Sometimes idly rummaging about in my black leather bag she bought me, I still find myself, hope growing, hoping to find it again still there when I turn this folded black trouser just the right way, lying there, a photograph of her still my screen saver. I still miss my phone. I already miss so much I have lost; did it have to be my camera? I will try not to be bitter. I still love Juba.

Nobody told me this, expatriate musing and dreaming in the sitting room red sofa the windows open behind me on this morning when I could not sleep, the first three months in a foreign land are the hardest. It’s taken me so long to miss anything of Kampala, I was not missing her. But suddenly on this night of a night I did not expect to come, in a week when I had also seen with my own eyes, a pistol pulled out in an argument in a Queen of Sheba bar I was in and plonked hard on a dark forehead mule-headed, finger on the trigger, pistol puller one of my new Sudanese friends, I missed her more than I thought it was possible, desperate to hear her voice, she seemed to know I wanted hear her to say “Yay, yay” when I called her, shaken. I was so grateful for her voice. For her. Oh this expatriate loneliness. As long as there are certain people in this world, I will never be truly alone, thankful for this comforting illumination, I’m still in Juba for as long as I can remain!

“You ain’t harming me!”
Brooklyn’s Finest, Jay-Z & The Notorious B.I.G