I remember not crying during the entire spectacle. I remember begging my tears to come out but they refused. Instead, they turned out into thoughts which were as painful and an equal dose to the tears I should have shed on that very impulse. Hence, these thoughts have continued to churn within me years later, making me restless, never completely calm but always with a hint of peace, always with a longing for it. This is because for the longest time these feelings have been slammed in the depths of my soul, where they have been next impossible to be passed in order to be realized. Only today did heaven grant me the consolation of tears. These tears that are falling like a faucet mourning you and now it’s sting behooves me to write about you. Whilst this does not in any way lessen the pain that surges through me, it does actually take away a little bit of it’s terror.
So that as I perform an open heart surgery on myself, to translate and externalize these emotions on paper. To slip through that bleak moment in my life. To recall each detail of that fateful day. It is pain that seeps through me. This pain that makes me erase and substitute words trying to find an equivalence of them in writing. This pain that makes me tear pages from my notepad, screw them in balls and toss them into the dustbin because they fail to render the impression of my real mood. However, to give these pent up feelings utterances, puts me in a precarious spot, where my past memory is self communicating with my present making me go through the same suffering twice as if in real time. That even though you carried some pieces of my soul into the blackness of time, there is no other possibility other than to call my scattered parts to unison, to see myself in the midst of this debris once more.
Well, as I recall it, it began with panic bouldering through me. Perhaps a shadow. For it felt as though there was something sinister wafting in the air making the atmosphere ponderous and hard to read. Then my phone pinged with a message notification disrupting the hush that engulfed my vicinity. Upon opening the message, I immediately laughed at the absurdity of what I just read. However, this somehow made it more serious for me. For when I read it the second time, then the third time and God knows how many times thereafter, I felt a disequilibrium of sensations simmering within me. Neither then nor now have I been able to make what I really felt whilst processing that news. At one moment, it was dread then it was not. It was horror then it was not horror. In the end, it made a hazy combination which played an unsettling terror in the most unflinching eerie and gutteral manner within me
So that at the designated hour when we lay you to rest. When every other person around me is wailing and there is commotion and noise. I remember being unfazed, enveloped in a moment of utter blindness. Where two forces within me were scrambling at the same time and none was willing to give way. Where I was torn between what I felt and what I saw. Where my tears failed to burn because seemingly I had lost whatever consciousness I brought to my biological functions. Whereby, in the following days, my sorrow staggered each time I wanted to walk, stumbled everytime I resolved to stand and that too, yelled when I so longed to quieten. And when that phase stretched into weeks later, that anguish isolated and thrusted me in a sullen activity. Where normalcy was restored in a way that I appeared unscathed whilst deep down my heart was being bruised and punctured really. Where my wounds stopped to fester outwards and instead began to plunge deeper in the substance of my being, disrupting the coherent rhythm of my life.
So that months later, I think about the fragility of life. How it gives in abundance and takes away in equal measure. How we are forced to say yes to it even though it has proven to lack it’s charm and meaning. I contemplate about the souls whose hopes have been puddled over. I see the naked faces of those who have resigned and surrendered to the continuous abrasion of life. I muse over them who continue bleeding and still have the stamina to participate in this life as though they did not just suffer an apocalypse. I imagine them who have perfected to tuck these tragedies hidden far away in their bosoms so that they transmute to become their unspeakables. I ponder on their resolve to do so because to say them aloud is often met with one being misunderstood. I resonate with their decision because some events in life ought to be experienced firsthand and this I mean to treat oneself as an object of study. To learn the nooks and crannies of one’s own woes. To plunge to the bottom of one’s own distress and learn not to take things at face value. Then having done so, will you be able to unlock the mystery and understand a little bit of another person’s soul.
So as I quietly move back in the current, I accept the rawness of this reality I am living. I observe the patterns of my yester days and today. I notice the image I have of you is growing blurry, dwindling, fading away as the present falls sharper on the past. I must say that this comparison grieves me. However, it is this distinction that tells me grace has held me and here I won’t break. It tells me that sometimes this grief will lay dormant undisturbed, then resurface when I least expect and that too install itself at my weakest moments. Nonetheless, it affirms that I have sailed through life most henious puzzle and now I stand to lose nothing for as it is, death continues to triumph. It wins everytime because some parts of me are dead even though I continue living. Perhaps, this is why I am agonizing the difficulty of completing this writing because somehow I do not want to put an end to it. Unfortunately, stopping is the only alternative.
For finally, here I am, giving up hope on reversing time. Where I abandon you for the dead. Where I say goodbye. Where I let you go and let you become these words I am writing. That albeit they are marred with pain and blotted with sobs, may they become memories of the fondest love. That I may always seek their embrace and soak in their warmth each time I miss you. And when I am ached with helplessness in longing for your presence, may they relive those beautiful moments we once shared in this thing called life. For as it is, you my love are still an integral part of my existence.
( In memory of my two friends; Laura Okumu and Lauren Okana)
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