You’re the hero of your own life only if you are content to lie to yourself. Every day is a decision taken, a choice made not to succumb to these self delusions. To retain a tenacious hold with the realistic earthy perspective of a poor mother who has a child to feed each day and all her dreams do not begin to bloom before she knows what her baby will feed on this whole day, from the warmed milk bottle to the fresh pounded pawpaw to be kept chilled somehow in the unseasonable heat. That range. Lover, it is not easy.
The mornings the sun warming my bare back through the curtains rising into the sky are fewer but the precious few that remain are all the sweeter, and the foreshadowing of a day at home tomorrow, no work, no need to set the antique alarm clock, make us smile and goose pimples rise up from your abdomen upwards, in anticipated pleasure, a whole bed’s morning. A return to the one room simplicities. My confident power returns with my ability to please you supremely. Now that I’m here. Now that you know you have me for good. All the things survived this year, you know better than anyone else, what it all meant, I’m comfortable with that.
The last time I saw you, in those last moments before I stepped on the Kampala bound bus, after you drove me through that unusually chilly morning into Juba Bus Park from Muniki, I wondered if you were okay. I wondered if I was doing the right thing to leave you there alone. Though you were supposed to be out of there in two days too and we would be meeting up in Kampala.
Parked beside the blue Nationdit bus in the black Rav4, I had my intuition that in the events that unfolded after, was optimistic. In you I thought I had found, miraculously, another best friend for life, when I had found my own Judas Iscariot. In those last moments before I allowed myself to clamber on that Sunday morning bus; I delayed my departure, going behind the bus park shacks to piss into a sewage street, taking care not to wet my black jeans. I thought of how that evening without me there you would not want to drive back to Muniki just yet but go to Konyo Konyo market for the rare pork we had found there and for Sherry who rejected so many times but you would not let go.
I should have known in your mind was forming that ruinous plan when on parting, you were taciturn. Emotional, near tears all the time you who had come pleading and your willingness to chauffeur all of us warmed our unwary hearts in that extreme heat. About to unleash a whirlwind of disaster. You destroyed nearly everything it had taken me almost four years to build, exposed in your terrifying ballast the tawdry life we were living. My own disaster before the international credit crunch disaster, you prepared me better than anyone could have to remember a personal rule months long comfort had begun to insulate me to: be ever ready to start all over.
They say Peter denied Jesus Christ three times when asked if he knew him by indifferent, dice throwing guards whiling the night away. Went on to found the church and became the rock upon which it was built. No one wondered if he wanted his master dead to be able to do this. Angered by the slight of Jesus calling John his dearest apostle, embracing him with all the fervour of a lover. Hungry to be loved too.
There was going to be forgiveness after Mercy Atlabara. Sweet, final southerness, your missed chance. You knew. I knew. You were told. The details were especially vivid because everybody but you had been there. Spite inspired, your retaliation was expected and its muddle headed assault prepared for to be thoroughly defeated as it was a month ago finally, dramas of another country crossing borders, Katwe Police station—looking up in horror from Silver Bullitt to see you with four policemen, smirking behind them in temporary victory. I was almost sorry for you.
Monday morning, I have never seen a man more defeated than you were...lying in bed, shirtless, sickly hairy belly up in the air, immobile in your shocked disability, the room stinking of your unwashed sweaty armpits, victory was never more savage or sweeter and I have developed an unhealthy taste for it.
create these moments
Tomorrow, zoo-side, in the canteen, the lake is glorious, and the teenagers awkward fumbling in the first flush, feet in the water, are like heart sepias underneath this controlled calm of you and I, the lovely surprise that sometimes I will catch still that look in your eyes, and I will call you just in the moment when you were wondering what I’m doing.
I found a pink paradise all on my own, wanted to leave, because you were not there. When you were there, there was nowhere else I wanted to be. There's no place better.