My eyes popped open.
I reach out for my phone and jumped up with a start, it’s 6:00AM…
Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong this morning. My alarm failed to alert me, and so I woke up late, I tumbled out of bed like a drunk man and staggered in the direction of the kitchen, only to slam my face on the wall. I reached out for the light switch by the door, it failed to come on, It was only then I remembered that Nepa had come the previous day and cut off our power supply for refusing to pay the last bill which they had deliberately hiked up. Knuckle heads.
I never learnt how to turn on the generator simply because I didn’t have the energy to pull the generator rope, besides, there wasn’t any fuel.
I groped my way around the kitchen, and out of memory reached out my right hand and felt for the counter, then the electric stand where we keep the matchbox. I knocked off some cups and cutlery, I finally found it, lit a candle and proceeded to fry some plantains and eggs for my child and pack her lunch box. Read the rest of this entry
Slowly, as though in a dream, my vision at first blurred, focuses on the wet red tomatoes across the roadside in front of me. I am fascinated by the beads of water with tiny bits of sunlight glistening on them. I stare at the woman screaming at passersby to buy her tomatoes and ata rodo, she reminds me of a female Buddha, with her slits for eyes and rotund figure.
I cannot remember how, and when I got here, I do not know why I am seated here on the pavement, next to the gutter. My freshly starched white kaftan is smeared with mud, shit, and all sorts of rubbish.
It is rush hour and everywhere around me I see tired, angry and anxious faces, impatient to get home.
Motorist blare their horns in competition, commuters stand in endless queues waiting for buses.
I feel removed from the scene before me, I feel numb, I feel nothing.
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Mother died two days ago. I stood there helplessly watching her as her breathing gradually slowed down and her heart stopped beating. A strange calmness came over me, everything seemed to be in slow motion, and I took stock of the scene before me. Everything around me was chaotic; everybody was suddenly playing a role in this bizarre nightmare that had suddenly become our reality. Mother was on the hospital bed, suddenly looking like a peaceful child who had fallen asleep, her hair woven to the back in the exact same hairstyle I had on, her wrapper tied loosely around her waist, she had no blouse on. On her right side sat my sister Agnes, pulling at my mother’s hands, crying hysterically and asking her, imploring, demanding of mother, all at once to wake up so we could go home. Read the rest of this entry