It’s been a while since I loved a song, got the video after the MP3, featuring it top of all my Microsoft Windows Media player playlists and when my computer had glitches, dashed to Wandegeya intent on purchasing the highest quality possible DVDs to ensure I saved it before I took the computer for an overhaul. In my case which often means everything is deleted and I have to begin over again, somehow the kind of Internet viruses I attract often leave the defunct anti virus mechanisms in place panting for retirement.
The last song that inspired this kind of awe, this kind of love, and turned into a whole album worth of great tunes was Bleeding Love, falling hard for that song in a little Juba internet café I used to frequent for the incredibly fast connection Kampala has yet to get and the obscenely witty owner whose idea of a drink was an Overmeers can of wine, Friday night to Sunday morning partying. Bleeding love on the flat screen opposite my preferred internet café seat, the montage on screen replayed everyday before my eyes as I saw love and lust confused-blooming, seeing last chance hopers tumbling off the Nationdit buses that plied the Kampala-Juba highways, the hopelessness of the muck-shoe swallowing of Konyo Konyo Market with denizens relieved to be lost in a part of the world that did not exist on any geological maps, through these hells in the dysfunctional wonder of our black Rav 4 revving.
I have not loved a song, a singer even, since all those months ago. A year it is coming to almost. Guilty admissions in-perhaps not allowed myself much to care, or love—still learning to live with the stranger who slipped across the border with me that July Sunday panicked flight back into Uganda, and all the dishonuor and honour. Battling the baying for blood demons that came with me, my fear turning to coruscating rage-Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde battling, no longer a danger to myself only, Jinja-riding on a boda after 11pm—only her tear-stained face bringing back from edges I was determined to scramble down, scrapped and bleeding knees ignored. A bad time I did not want to consciously go through and began to undo all I had painstakingly created, confidence and ego gone.
“Man, I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is.”
It was Usher Love in this Club without you, Entebbe nights when I was in town and you did not know, frenetic clubbing nights that failed to induce desired delirious unconsciousness, mirror-staring in the toilet cubicles starting the journey back. Beginning over in all sorts of ways, finding forgiveness when it was least deserved, that the unlikely recovery began. But something still missing. Till this Sunday, you Kampala-going alone, I sauntered over to Kenneth, the video-lib guy with a stuttering crash on you who amuses you with his fumbling in your presence, found Jesse McCartney-Leavin’—video and song perfection.
All kinds of firsts tumbling through. The first wonder being how I could on a Sunday noon when I was going to be home alone with that temptress next door, I was borrowing music videos, not having found any music worth listening to for months—the old classics appeal stale. Wonder 2, two weeks since I gave up the coffee my fingers tingling to flow with an onrush of inspired wordage and doubting it would be yet another flat squat, strolling up from The African Village bar that neighbours Kenneth in the Entebbe sun and this is my town once again, in the comfy blue tee-shirt the woman who has appointed herself your Senga has asked you who it belongs to. Wonder 3, not since Timmy T’s One More Try and R. Kelly’s Slow Wind and to an extent Justin Timberlake’s What Goes Around song and video watching and simultaneously listening to a song, poppy, and loving it and knowing that a year from now I will still want for sentimental reasons to listen to it again, white boy with a near Jay-Z swagger, this is how to win the girl of your dreams.
“Just tell him you’ve found somebody who does it better than he can.”