For the zillionth time, he threw a pitiful glance towards the mirror. He was a lousy unfinished work of art. The upbeat reggae sound of UB40’s Kingston town softly reverberated on his speaker. The image was displeasing. He wasn’t a fan of the mirror.
How did he feel when he first saw the image of himself on a mirror as a toddler?
Excited? Astonished? Disappointed?
‘’Possibly, more of the latter…’’, he thought.
The damn reflective glass always seemed to spite in his insecurities. Maybe mirrors just bring forth the innate images we have of ourselves.
Suffice to say, the worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
‘’ Sixty-six, sixty-six…’’ in a futile effort he desperately mouthed to achieve a perfect, possibly lady awing smile.
Only fools fall in love.THE WISE FOOL
Cosmos was indifferent to the guy awkwardly standing in front of him, a couple of feet tall. A medium sized guy with mismatched features. The ill-fitting clothes brought out his frail muscles.
He had made an attempt to add some meat but each time his muscles ached. It wasn’t not worth his will. Mental strength always evaded him. He was very calculative which meant he had a knack of strategically choosing his struggles and pains. He looked every bit an eager nervous guy hitting peak puberty. A gut feeling told him that this was not his look.
Meanwhile, time was moving fast and he had a date to go to. The thought of it sent his outfit conundrum into oblivion. He momentarily peeked towards his phone and dreaded seeing a flash on the screen. ‘’I am sorry. I can’t make it.’’ Its broken screen smirked as if in foreboding of the possible eventuality of a shattered dream.
EVEN BEGGARS WOULD RIDE…
He had met her on a bus on his way home. It was those Nairobi evenings where everyone is on a superficial rat race. She was seated adjacent to the only seat left. Typical of Nairobi matatu culture, the music on the bus was ear drum busting loud. All you could hear was the music and your own thoughts. The bus was a bright blue with graffiti drown all round it with the word, CHARLEMAGNE, emblazoned on its sides.
I SAW AN ANGEL
Her lips had a deep red lipstick. She had earphones and nodded her head softly. Beyond doubt, her beauty grabbed his attention and held it ransom. He sat down and painstakingly contemplated his first words to break the ice.
His breath quickened as he thought of getting over his chronic shyness.
‘’As soon as the bus leaves the station, I will make my move ’’ he rationalized.
Heck! The bus left the station and was already in the outcasts of the city and his pawn move was checked. She remained aloof as she focused on the changing landscape beyond the window.
He scanned around the bus looking for hanging conversation topic. A burly oval spectacled man was furiously skimming through a newspaper. He looked every bit the type to lecture anyone who gave him an ear on what was wrong with the country. Therefore, jabbering on peculiar conspiracies by the big men whose stomachs never filled up. The bus swerved dangerously past the growing traffic. The temperature was exceedingly high. A flash of ingenuity hit him.
YOU ARE HOT
’’You are hot…sorry it’s hot…do you mind opening the window?’’ he squeaked. He wished the Bermuda triangle would appear and swallow him. In his fool’s daze, he had mixed up what he wanted to say and what he felt. She let out a hearty laugh. Her eyes squinted as her oddly perfect teeth vibrated to the rhythms of her laughter. He froze at this heavenly sight as she poked him on his arm and said, ‘’ You are funny…’’ At that moment he felt mighty. He could tell the foul-mouthed tout to keep the change of his bus fare and reversely shove it up his alimentary canal. The bus had now taken up a new destination to his dreams.
What is the date today?
‘’ Hey Cosmos…’’ she spoke as she approached him. She was elegantly dressed in a chic outfit. He chose to take her to an art gallery for their first date.
The setting was the Joseph Murumbi Art gallery located under the shade of the ghostly Nyayo house. The gallery had a fairy tale history which perfectly fell cheek by jowl to his budding young love. It was started and named after a Maasai-Goan who was Kenya’s second vice president. With his English wife Sheila, they were a connoisseurs with an enviable collection of art.
Her excitement was uncontainable. In addition, she was cheery, besides herself, for she was an artist herself.
GOD’S work of art
In a touch of destiny, the sun shone in all its awesomeness. On this day, she reminded him of the sun. She always seemed to have this spark in her, a contagious ball of energy which made you just want to bask in her glorious shine to eternity. The sun indiscriminately shines over us all, old or young, free or bounded. Moreover, it has an uncanny way of making each of us feel spesh. He felt the same way with her.
A selfish intent clouded him. If it was possible, he could keep all her sugar and spice to himself. He felt a lump of envy grow on his throat as he thought of anyone else feeling the same way about her. Guilt and helplessness came over him as he realized that even the sun could not be held down. It was against her nature.
She was a free spirit destined to roam the world only limited by her body. All he could do was to thank the heavens that he got the privilege to marvel in her beauty and hope that she made him her sunrise and sunset.
Her round eyes were pretty and distinguishable. They say eyes are the mirror to the soul. Certainly, her eyes offered a fleeting glimpse to the fiery core of her soul.
Continually over the weeks, as they mutually danced over the keyboard of their phones, he told himself that it was merely a masked show of sorry infatuation. Like the sun, it would pass away. However, the emotional opulence persisted. The sun had chosen to transiently shine on him. He danced to its rays and let it touch every part of him. The least he could do was express his love, spark the core of his soul with the energy and hope it became imperishable.
They moved from one art piece to piece. Their conversation drifted like a dhow in the deep sea as they appreciated the handful strokes that birthed the masterpieces before them.
Deep in his mind he was precariously balancing his thoughts. Amidst the feeling’s stupor, he had found an answer to a question which had bewildered him for a long time.
Why are art pieces ridiculously expensive?
It was dawning to him in bits and pieces.
Art was about how it made us feel. It subjectively brought out the feelings we had about ourselves and all that was around us. Consequently, we all perceive art differently.
Like a mirror with a constant form, art camouflaged based on what was in its view.
Right beside him stood the ravishing catalyst to this profound understanding. Her lips moved in slow motion as she described what she saw in the art piece in front of them. Indisputably he was smitten with her whole self. He could divulge his deepest secrets and desires to her.
Should he tell that he had already chosen names of his would be children?
He would name them all with the prefix letter N. You get the drift? The first girl would be Nebula. The mischievous but lovable twins would be Nebuchadnezzar and Nabongo. To sum up his enviable procreation , the sweet darling last born, suitably named Nefertari.
COMMERCIAL BREAK : See another post by this writer MENSTRUATION: CHANGING SOCIETY’S PERSPECTIVE
WHAT IF? JUST WHAT IF
She was innocently ignorant of what was going through his head. He wondered how she felt at that moment. Was she seeing and feeling what he felt? By her bare absence, the moment would be plain and irrelevant.
THE HEART WAS MEANT TO BE BROKEN.OSCAR WILDE
It was as if the wheel of destiny had led them to that particular moment. He wished that moment would remain in a loop and never end. Nevertheless, time awaits no soul.
He didn’t know then but just as unexpectedly the moment had blazoned, so would it end. Adding itself to the endless collection of nostalgic memories which we affectionately reminisce with toothy smiles end to end or with the shots of tears.
A ridiculous force of attraction towards her came over him. He cautiously moved his palm towards her arm. Everything seemed to moving stealthily betting on his actions.
He could feel the warmth of her palm as his hand got closer.
Suddenly, she moved her palm her away. Her phone was vigorously ringing in her pockets.
She picked it and enthusiastically answered, ‘’Hey babe…’’