I have been listening to Tupac again. Over and over. Bought a Tupac DVD on the streets of Juba with the last Sudanese Pounds I had in my wallet that someone with a decade on me in age said is the most beautiful wallet he has ever seen, to watch and listen to Tupac.
I have been listening to Tupac again. Do you sense the unease beneath? I’m coming home in under two weeks, uncertain if I want to but for one person. Or perhaps two. I have been here coming to five months and I have hardly called my best friend in all that time. I have the phone, I have the time sometime but all I do is sit and look at it and not call.
I have been listening to Tupac again. Unable to decide if So Many Tears or Unconditional Love are the best cut tracks Tupac laid, yeah Trapped is so different, raw good hearted youth more innocent than Nas’s beardless beginnings. Looking for distractions. This love for girls with dimples will kill you and you’re being a fool, got everyone so convinced and you know there is no Rosetta stone at the end of all this.
Trapped, yeah I identify. Something changed that day when you decided to ride the night, your days are numbered but known for backing down, suddenly when the situation is hopeless you are refusing to step back determined to claim a costly triumph. Spit in the dirt, trapped in a corner, there is no way you’re going to lose and you must now learn to hurt all those who love you because they are in the way and those sirens that are calling you to shoal waters have the sweetest voices you have ever heard.
I keep going round and round, baby, not because I don’t know what I want or because it is the only thing I know how to do. I keep going round and round, Tupac in my head, because it is you I have to let go and it is going to hurt you more than you have ever been hurt and before you are through with it, you will never be who you are and I’m wondering how I came to this, that I should be the one scarring you. You will never know how many times I have been at Oasis Camp, in the dark, watching the Nile, knowing I have got to go and you’re not going to know I’m gone until I’m gone.
All life is defined by love and the pursuit of love. The lovers and those who are loved. You can choose which one you will be, go against your nature and remake yourself. In windowless rooms in a house that burnt down in Juba and I survived, lost a friend whose white teethed laugh I still hear and sometimes when I see a stripped shirt something balls up in my throat still. A stripped shirt and Gilbey’s all I have left now. I have been listening to Tupac again. I have been to nearly all the places we went with other people now but I have failed to forget and I know I can stand any loss now because I will never love again. I’m doing all the things we said we would do, in the night in my room the simcard of your burned phone in my hand, wishing I had listened and done them earlier.
People wait for me to enter a room, my mood their lives. Yeah, Caesar knew the Idles of March was coming but he still strode into that Senate corridor on feet that between the toes had known the mud of many lands, striking hands with daggers waiting that had never left the city, and he was not afraid. Yeah, I have been listening to Tupac again. Come and get me if you dare.