(Sunday nights, the way they play out for me, are made for introspection, for acoustic music, for coffee mugs and John Mayer, for windy evenings and phone calls to family, or mental notes to make phone calls at least.
In between significant mental exhaustion and a bout of Typhoid, I feel the need to keep up with these confessionals.)
Featured Image Credit : Ogechi Onuoha (whose face has nothing to do with the musings, really)
I knew you didn’t board two buses over a time span of two hours on a rainy Saturday evening just to have conversations about melanin and cultural awareness. The lust was palpable from the moment you adjusted your lenses as you alighted from that banged-up tricycle.
Expelling your contact details from my phonebook and hoping that your ghost leaves my mental landscape, is like trying to convince a Jew to wear a t-shirt adorned by swastikas. I’d find it easier to mix up the words of The Lord’s Prayer than forget any of those numerals.
No, the antipathy is nothing new to me. We could be in the process of something as complex as reciting a nursery rhyme or reading out the twenty-six alphabets, and somehow my voice inflection would still manage to attract a significant dose of disaffection.
So silence chokes us in a vicegrip for so long, and I miss you, and I am guilty, and I don’t know what to do, and I say nothing, and there’s more silence, and then I hurt some more, but still I can’t speak because I don’t know where to start, and so life keeps happening, and the gulf expands, and then you drift some more, and I watch helplessly as ships set sail.
The photo finds its way into the marathon of texts, and my eyes beam, but before the smile gains momentum, there’s an Instagram post bearing the same visuals, with a little filter to boot. How am I supposed to feel special?
He showers you with gifts and smothers you with kisses, but does he know where to go when it comes to navigating your contours? He buys decorations for your walls and lets you drive his car, but what does he know about nibbling the insides of your thighs, heck, what does he know about your 3.42am mood fluctuations? You say he’s “too perfect”, and that’s the point, really; my flaws and scars were the balancing act, they made the spaces between your toes fit nicely.
What kind of mother stops finding her way to her son’s dreams barely two years after her interment? What woman doesn’t bother to stay by her anxious son’s bedside on unsure Sunday nights where it’s hard to tell sleep paralysis from a demon’s chokehold? Her palm oil jollof is still missed, and on some late evenings it feels like it’s all a dream, a vision of the future at best, and that I’m still being chided for not doing the dishes the night before the day I saw no reason to care about Christmas anymore.
My longest conversation with her was forty minutes, but we had to apply the brakes on only your second phone call which lasted nearly three hours. Those two hours at the movies with you meant as much as all the weekend dates with her put together, and when you declined to send any more pictures because you guessed that her head would be resting on my broad chest, half of my heart sank. The sound of your breathing when you listened to me rambling about my Monday morning shivers was that of a lady who cared, and I found myself sharing two-thirds of the good news with you before she got to know. Remember when I dozed off in your room on the afternoon she sent the ten-minute-long “fuck your feelings ” voice note?
A dozen layers of gloss could not cancel out the coldness of your lips. You were absent even from your kisses, your skin stopped handing down the warmth to my fingers, and I felt the light in your eyes flicker out, long before that damning Tuesday evening message that had me drop on my knees beside the bedroom wall, before the late Saturday morning when you took out all your things and left in your wake a room whose emptiness transcended the evacuation of belongings.
That night where we moved our hips silently so as not to wake the guests, you said that a seven-day period of silence translated to banishment into oblivion. It’s the fortieth day since we last played the “begin with last word typed” game. I attached meaning to those rainy evenings where we strained our eyes and necks to watch movies on your phone, and those early afternoons where you worried about which plant should be watered. You probably don’t look forward to me fighting to make the bus that drops me right at your neighborhood’s junction anymore, but I hope your daughter doesn’t ask about “uncle” too much, and I hope she is quicker at scooping her ice cream now.