Life mists us up…
And sometimes life felt worth living, and sometimes it didn’t.
It was harmattan, and death was in vogue; the world happened, rhythmically. Everything was automated, even biology.
Wake, fog, expend, expire, dust…lather, rinse, repeat.
Our late adolescence was full of non-sequiturs and six-syllable pharmaceuticals — some people were given to certain things.
Petrol prices were high and Kate still wanted to cross-country. Walk the sand dunes with bare feet, frolick with the footloose almajiris, see the Gurara falls, dance the atilogwu, peep into Efik fattening rooms, trace the details of Bini bronze heads. It had to wait. She hated me for it, and I still loved her.
I bumped my head and bled on the floor on Saturday night, it was the midnight snacking, guilty pleasures. Sometimes I feel like St. Peter will refuse to call my native name out at the pearlies — out of principle. I loved the name so much — Chukwuemeka. So, idolatory. Also, it would be a tongue risk for him, too many consonants (do celestial tongues bruise? or do I get a heavenly nickname?). But I’ve read the Bible and I’m a good man. I feel Luke was like me, a poet. His gospel had bits of me in it.
Two days ago, a girl told me she saw me die, said I was responsible for a sin in the park. I kept smoking my cigarettes. I wonder how fitting it would be if we should all go out through exit wounds, in gunpowder, maybe.
Nnnena was a closer approximation of me — uncultured insanity mixed in with a generous sprinkling of Abeokuta’s festive naivety; but Kate didn’t like Nnnena. Nnenna always tried to keep in touch. I wrote her a week ago, no reply. I wrote again yesterday, ditto. Touch and go.
I was in the kitchen this morning, dicing tomatoes. I cut myself accidentally, blood littered the counter and it reminded me of Black, the dingo I bought in traffic. Black died before she could give birth to puppies, and we never said anything about it because that was life. The blood on the kitchen counter had swollen into a pool, I almost reached for the band-aids but I thought of the Kurt Vonnegut book I was reading for my thesis discussion — I had given him a life not worth living, but I had also given him an iron will to live.
I disagreed: sometimes it was worth living, and sometimes it wasn’t.
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