19-20

The longer the journey, the more profound it’s challenges, the more it changes all who endure it.

It’s been a few days since 19 celebrated its birthday and turned 20. I’ve never been one to enjoy birthdays so I was never hyped. I often found myself questioning what all the fuss was for. The days didn’t really change. All we changed was a piece of paper and figures, then convinced ourselves mentally that times had changed.

But this time was different. I’d looked on so often as many embarked on a 365 day(sometimes 366😂) journey for the better. Or otherwise. But a journey nonetheless. So I told myself it’d be different this time round. That when the train made a stop, I’d hop in and see where it takes me. I had a translucent idea of where I wanted to go, but I had a clear memory of where I didn’t want to find myself again.

At this point, all I can say is that it’s been an interesting couple of days.

See 19 was a peculiar visitor. I found myself enjoying it’s company at some point, maybe I got so caught up in its bliss that I ended up paying a hefty price for the ignorance that came with the bliss. And when I looked up and around, I stood in a dark unfamiliar corridor. I wasn’t sure which way I’d come, let alone which way I wanted to go. I was in limbo.

Ever wake up to darkness, in daylight with a heavy soul, a tattered mind and your heart in a million shards? I don’t think so. I’m probably wrong. I’ve figured that just as we perceive things differently even in light, it’s lopsided to assume that we perceive everything the same way in the dark. Along this dark corridor, as I felt my way through the darkness, I resolved to take a selfish step in life. I resolved to take my pain, and share it.

So one afternoon, after a lovely Sunday meal, I walked up to mother, and as I took those steps, I saw tears in her eyes even when she wasn’t looking, before she even heard what I had to say. It’s like for a fraction of a second, I was faster than time and could see a minute into the future. And it broke my heart in ways I didn’t know possible. But I needed to do this. After all, I had chosen to be selfish.

My tongue sat heavy within and tears blurred my vision, it was probably for the better; that I didn’t watch tears flow from her own eyes. And when I’d explained to her how hard it was to get out of bed every morning and face the world having to hide who I really was, what I really was on the inside, she sat in silence and listened. I went on to tell her that the days dragged by and the nights brought pain. That I sat up for nights over months contemplating life and desiring it’s end, only to cry myself to sleep. All this while she said nothing. Nothing until I told her I longed to pass and leave all behind.

A soft sob and a salty stream of tears trickled down her cheeks before drizzling onto the cold tiles. And through tears, all she said was

I understand

The words shattered my resolve and it got me thinking what parents endure. Of course not every parent enjoys the misfortune of hearing such words from a kid they thought jolly and lively, but hey, we all hear things we’d rather not.

I think I’ll forever remember 19 because on that day, I did the hardest thing I’ve had to do in life. But from that rock, flowed a steady stream of support, a stream that covered a wound I thought would never heal. You see, since then, my phone often rings. And at the other end of the line awaits an anxious yet genuine voice of a mother burdened heavily with the demands of the world. A call too random to predict yet much needed. A call that simply reminds me that everything is going to work out. Maybe not as soon as I’d like it to, but as soon as it needs to work out. At the very least, twice a week I hear these words from mother,

It’s going to work out. Just play your part

So you see, 19 held that valuable lesson for me. I often think that it didn’t have to be too dramatic about the whole lesson, I mean there’s easier ways to teach a lesson, but you know what they say, “the end justifies the means.” And when I eventually walked out of the corridor, I decided to celebrate 19 and go with the crowd, I promised myself a change with 20.

Fast forward: barely 2 weeks have gone by since committing to 20 and all I can say is “yikes”

In under a fortnight, I feel like I’ve felt all there is to feel.😂😂 I know. I know. I’m probably exaggerating and being dramatic. But the truth is that it’s been a peculiar 14 days.

I’ve had days when I’m bursting with hope. Days when I’m confident that my story doesn’t end here. Days where I’ve felt like I can take on the world. Days I can stare my insecurities in the face and yell back at them. Days where I can pat my friends on the shoulder and reassure them that’s it’s actually going to be alright and mean that shit. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but some time. Days where my flaws didn’t so much as give me a thought. And damn, did I love those days. And I’ve had nights, on which my mind has been devoid of thoughts that would otherwise keep me awake. Nights where somnolence has welcomed me without having to have me traverse a labyrinth of chaos. Nights on which I can say I’ve had peace.

But like in every war, there’s battles you might have to lose. So there’s been days I’ve looked for the sun and only been stuck with an unclear memory of its warmth, a confusing state of de javu, a state of knowing yet not knowing. Days I’ve only barely held myself together in a world that’s tried to tear me apart. Days when I’ve asked myself if I was really doing the right thing, if I’ve ever done the right thing. Days I’ve felt unworthy, like a stranger to this realm. Days where the actions and inactions of others have had me questioning if I’m worth anything at all. Days when I’ve wanted to get on a plane (lol as if I could afford to😂😂) and go to a place where no one knows me and start afresh; leave everything and everyone behind. Days when I’ve felt shattered by things I’m not even sure of. Days where it’s taken every last ounce of life in me to face the world. Days of desolation and dejection. And nights on which I’ve been consumed by my own thoughts amplified by my insecurities. Nights on which I’ve had to beg myself to hold on in between tears. Nights where in my house of cards has caved in on me, leaving me exposed.

Somewhere along the comfort of peace and the recklessness of battle, I’ve found comfort in those words:

It’s going to work out. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but just play your part. It’ll work out

And often times I’ve found myself at a peculiar crossroads. Maybe I’ll be scrolling through Twitter and I’ll find a tweet about the latest Rolls Royce and watch a follow up video and get upset by the hefty price tag 😂😂 (lol, like I’ve got any business looking at those right now). Or I’ll find a tweet from “Thee Bagaine” about how soon 14th February is (lol, for the record, that day doesn’t not exist on my calendar because of personal reasons😂😂) and much as I’ll laugh about it, the thought does cross my mind: will I end up alone? Why are my dms so dry?😂

But then again, maybe I’m too young to judge myself for not being able to afford a $492,000 Rolls Royce. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not using age as an excuse because I’ll be damned; people my age out there, even younger can afford the car times over. And that’s okay. Warren Buffet in an interview said that people underplay the role of “luck” or “fate” or “fortune” or whatever you’d like to call it in determining how far you make it. He said that no matter how brilliant he could have been, chances are high that if he was born in sub-saharan Africa or in a war-torn part of Asia, chances are he’d not be who he is today. The system just wouldn’t let him be. I choose to look at what he said simply. It’s okay if the people around you are “moving” faster than you are. If their “hustles” are paying off better than yours are. It’s no need to beat yourself up about it. What matters is that you aren’t sitting back comfortable with what you have yet you want more (unless there’s some generational wealth waiting for you😂😂 even then, money is a tricky possession and often leaves easier than it comes, so you still need a plan). Point is, as long as you’ve got your eyes on the prize, let your mates run ahead of you, you’ll get there too. If what you’re doing isn’t playing out, take a step back, visit the drawing board, ASK for help, then get back out there and run your race, I promise it’s going to work out.

Just like it’s too soon for me to say I’ll probably end up alone😂😂, someday, someone will see that I’m just trying to build generational wealth with them for the rest of my life.😂😂 Yes @Thee-Bagaine😂😂😂someday, someone will see and I’ll be happy like you😂😂

PS: DISREGARD THAT PRECEDING PARAGRAPH 😂

Ultimately, I believe it’s going to work out and just like that, I’ve decided what I’m going to do with 20, I’m going to solidify my mantra that it all works out in the end while building on my patience levels while I wait for what’s to come.

Lol, it’s 3:23am.

Till next time. Be safe🙏🙏

Superficial Guilt

Today, I paid a bribe.

I’m not comfortable with the word “bribe” so let’s just say I “redistributed” wealth. I’m not sure what wealth means anymore but yeah, I took money, and paid for a service that shouldn’t be paid for and got worked on faster than I should have been worked on. Maybe I’ll blame the system for not being fast and efficient enough to get such simple tasks as issuance of National IDs done quickly.

I made it to the office at 8am. But in a makeshift tent in a compound that was once a residence but had since become an office, I could see at least 30 people that seemed to have been here much earlier than I’d arrived.

I was worried, thinking about queueing but then my contact called me and asked if I’d reached. I told him that I was in the tent on the outside and he absentmindedly told me not to bother; to walk straight into the office and announce myself as his client. I felt eyes pierce through my back as everyone knew what was happening, yet there wasn’t much that could be done. At the entrance to the office stood a policeman with a peculiar expression. He seemed to scan me from top to bottom then he scoffed in seeming disgust.

Where do you think you’re going?

I stammered, a little shook by the anger in his tone. How could someone that’s never met me, that I’ve never wronged, be so angry in the morning. If anything, I’ve learned to accord people respect, not because they deserve it, but because it avoids unnecessary conflict.

So I casually told him I’d been sent and by whom. With a shade of shame, eyes downcast, he mumbled an apology and ushered me in begrudgingly. I could still feel the aura of anger he wore around him like a fence. But hey, I’d probably never see him again and besides, I’d paid “my ka money” so I didn’t have to care. But I did.

On the inside of what used to be a living room, were a few tables here and there, a pile of dusty plastic chairs, a few comfortable chairs and a long bench.

People waited in turn to be served but every now and again, the attendant would walk away and get lost in conversation in what was and still is a kitchen. He took his time while there and every now and then, his loud laughter would echo through to the room in which I was.

There were about 7 people sharing a 5 seater, so I volunteered to stand till my turn came. Maybe I did it to feel less guilty about the 30+ people I’d left on the outside, or out of respect for the 7 people already on the inside; I don’t know why I did it anyway, but I just stood there.

Among the 7, were 2 ladies carrying toddlers. Once in a while a child coughed or attempted to cry and in return, the lactating mother fed him or her ( I can’t be sure), seemingly out of frustration for I could hear them curse beneath their breath. The room was stuffy, but hey, I can’t go around complaining like I was a member of the royal family. So I stood and watched these strangers, who in turn stared at me like I’d evicted them from a piece of land and they had nowhere else to go. Anger, disgust and helplessness, all blended together.

The policeman approached me and asked me if I’d like to sit. And as I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t necessary, he disregarded me, hissing at one of the strangers on the chair and asked him to vacate the seat so that I could get comfortable. By my estimation, this was a man well over 40, and here he was, disrespected and belittled. I’m not sure what I felt, but I stared at my self appointed guardian angel and wondered what kind of person he was. Why he did the things he did. And try as I did, I couldn’t help but judge him. Then in a moment of thought, I decided he was probably just doing his job.

So I asked the gentleman to keep his seat. My guardian angel then said to me,

You should enjoy these privileges while you have them. And make sure to make the most of them. You don’t know how lucky you are

It took me a minute to process what had happened, what had been said to me and my own thoughts all at the same time.

I was cut short by the attendant who had just gotten off the phone. He signalled to me and asked me if “I was the one who’d been sent”.

He then proceeded to work on me, taking extra care with the details of my paperwork and asking me to confirm every step of the way. All this while, the 7 people I’d found inside looked on, they didn’t even bother to protest what was going on. It’s like they were used to this state of affairs. I wondered at what time they’d left their beds, what they did for a living. What of the other 30 that waited on the outside?

And as I started to feel like a terrible person, I remembered why I was there. And in a moment of selfishness, I said to myself that that’s just the way things were.

In under 15 minutes, I was on my way out. At the exit, my guardian angel waited for me, he dryly asked me if I’d been worked on as though he’d not been in the same room. Then he proceeded to ask me for “breakfast”. I tried to smile as I slipped a note into his hands and I saw a bit of light return to his eyes. The anger was gone and the hate along with it. I told myself he was just trying to earn a living.

The tent outside was now bulging with people, like an introduction ceremony. Only that the bride to this ceremony had eloped with her first love and all that was left behind was an inexplicable sadness.

Behind me I heard someone say,

Life is unfair

And I couldn’t agree more. So I stepped out and as I ordered a SafeBoda, I was drawn into thought once again. I thought of all the times I complained about how hard life was. I thought of all the times I felt like my life was not the way I wanted it to be. I thought of how much more I desired. And how badly I wanted it. And of all the times I forgot to be grateful for what I had.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take delight in knowing that someone out there is having a harder time than I am. While it is true that I find life difficult at times, people in lesser situations than I am find life difficult too. And those in better situations find life difficult as well. But that doesn’t invalidate anyone’s struggles.

Your struggles are as real as you and me. And just because someone has it worse than you do, does not mean that you’re not dealing with something.

While it is important to be cognizant of one’s “blessings”, it would be fatal to overlook one’s struggles. It’s only when we acknowledge what we have and what we lack, that we can start to build a bridge over the gap of what we want.

So I learnt that my struggles are valid, despite being able to afford the bribe and being unfair to those that couldn’t, despite being selfish in accepting the services that I paid for and despite myself.

I decided today that before I complain about what I don’t have, I’ll look first to what I have, then work towards what I don’t.

And given the chance, I’m pretty sure you too, would learn something from this. I hope you do.

New Year, New me??

Before 2019, I never really thought that the concept of a good or a bad year existed. One of my favorite writers, Mark Mason, in one of his books( forgive me I forget exactly which one) basically says; as humans, on a scale of 1-10, our general mood is on a 5-6(which is on most days for most people) and we have factors that can either lower those numbers (things like bad news, being rejected, failing at something you put your effort in etc.) or give them a big push up to like a 10 even(vacations, being in love, getting compliments etc.). He goes on to state that regardless of wherever you are on the scale of happiness , it can never be permanent and we will always revert back to the normal 5-6 range. You can’t always fail at everything you put your effort in so you won’t always be on the lower side of the scale and you can’t always be on vacation eventually you’ll have to return back to whatever it was you needed a vacay from ( and unless you’re Dan Bilzerian, trust me most people can’t afford to vacation forever). So that’s how I always saw things till midway 2019 when I saw my parents leaving home late in the night to pick my brother from school because the school nurse said he wasn’t feeling well. But as fate would have it ( it can be a bitch sometimes btw) that was his last day among the living. That changed my whole view so if anyone ever asks me if I’ve ever had a bad year, 2019 takes the award home everyday of the week. But it wasn’t a total waste because I pulled a couple lessons from the whole terrible ordeal which I’d like to carry into the new year which if you’re anything like me or had a terrible year as well I’d like to share with you (that’s if you’d like to I’m not forcing you anyway😅).

First and foremost I think sometimes we just have to accept things and situations for what they are. If you’re familiar with the philosophy of stoicism then you’ll know one of the practices of the Stoics is to never let whatever situation in which they find themselves in life get to them. Be it that they are going through tough or great times. Marcus Aurelius in his short writings later published into a book called “Meditations ” states that every person goes through situations both good and bad and only a smart person will know that whatever situation they are in, another person has gone through and depending on the situation you’re in, you should be able to understand, as a cognitive being, that each situation tough or great comes and goes and accept whatever situation you’re in because it shall pass. So if you’re in great times, everything is going your way, accept it, don’t be suspicious of why all of a sudden things are going great. Odds are, you’re responsible for the great situation you’re in and if you’re going through bad times, it is what it is. Everyone has them and the moment you realize it’s a bad situation is when you start to realize how you’re getting out of it. After all, Bruce Lee once said, “don’t pray for an easy life but pray for the strength to get through a difficult life”.

Secondly do whatever it is that you think will be great for you and don’t think so much about what other people have to say. Again I have to refer you to the stoics. The main principle of stoicism is to care about things within your control and not to dwell so much on what you can’t control. Your actions are what you control and your thoughts on what you think is best for you and everyone else’s opinion shouldn’t worry you because it’s something you will never control. So if it’s something that you always wanted to do perhaps it’s that business you wanted to try or it’s that person you wanted to ask out, just go for it and if it fails at least you got your answer and you know where to refocus your time and energy bearing in mind that what others may say or think about us won’t matter anyway. Besides I’ve come to realize everyone has their own battles to fight so we shouldn’t be so entitled to think they are spending every waking moment of theirs thinking or talking about what you’re doing.

lastly and I think most importantly be there for your people. On the Joe Rogan’s podcast, evolutionary Biologist by the names of Gaad Saad ( I may have misspelt his name) says that since the dawn of time human beings have been social animals not only as a means of survival but also because we can actually die of loneliness. That’s why we always need to be around people who, while we may share a few differences, both physical and ideological from us, at the core we can relate to each other’s experiences and mainly have the same value hierarchies; be it a tribe in the primal days for survival or your very own squad who you always look to be around because for the most part it’s always a good time around them. Don’t be the person incapable of being there for your own people when it doesn’t suit you and don’t be oblivious to the friends who clearly need a helping hand when life is clearly not at the best of times for them. Always share opportunities with your people man ( can’t stress this enough) everybody has to eat. It’s good when you make it but even better when your people make it with you ( the 🐐 Drake said that) and make sure you always show and tell your people you appreciate and love them, celebrate their wins as yours and make sure you encourage them when they experience losses.

I know it’s always easier said than done but I hope I get to follow these 3 lessons ( I hope you do as well😄) and I hope it’s a great and blessed year for us all🙏🏽.

(M. Ian)

Would like to also thank Emmanuel Opendi for allowing me use his blog 😂.

Infinite Reasons

Are we heroes of forgotten words.
Staring into space
Watching obliquely as the sun and the moon run off to clandestine meetings
Not knowing our places in the universe.
Having no idea whatsoever as to the events of tomorrow
If anything
That shit is scary.
But you know what isn’t?
Falling for you every morning.
Falling to a place of love and comfort
Falling for a life of bliss
Of days long gone, I’ll forever narrate a tale
A tale of the first time our eyes met
In a room full of people
Yet you stood out
Like a daisy among tulips
I can’t efficiently tell how nervous that made me
Mind up and about in frenzy
Heart beating to the craze of the moment
I couldn’t hold your eyes in lock.
Oh those dreamy eyes that hold paradise
And maybe that’s it
God took His best skies
And safely tucked them away
Deep within your eyes
Skies that do not turn grey with fear every time the storm threatens
Skies that stand firm in violence of blizzards
Two skies with the composure of the gods
And maybe, just maybe
That’s why there’s an eternal flow of beautiful peace in the depths of those eyes
So that each time I steal a glance
I find peace in their magnificence
If I’d known then, that I’d live for the soft glow in those eyes months down the road
Then maybe I’d have cherished the moment a little more
I’d have taken a second too long to savor the delicacy that was that moment
Nonetheless
As I write this
I have those eyes framed with a 24k gold finish
Like an artist treasures his finest piece
I hold dear that moment
And dear to me you are

So tell me then
Was it the print on that dress you wore
The dress that made you stand out
Like a rose bred for royalty among lilies for nobility

No. No.
That’s not it. That can’t be it.
That’s part of it, only the surface of it if anything
For you are like this vast ocean.
And I’m just a turtle at sea
Slowly but surely appreciating the ocean
Finding beautiful islands here and there
With even more breathtaking scenery than I’d hoped for
Unable to mask my amazement with every discovery
I’m sorry to say
But I think I finally found you.

So no, it wasn’t the print on Your dress.
It was more like the heart that thudded tirelessly beneath layers of clothing
A heart of gold with a diamond finishing
And majestic caramel skin
Skin bathed in the finest water from the drinking well of the gods
It was more like the words you speak
I mean don’t get me wrong
Your strawberry satin lips are to die for
I bet they taste much better than the fruit Eve traded for paradise
Just like the warmth of your embrace
An embrace I can run into for an eternity
Yet never know monotony

You see
I never said much about your dress.
Maybe for one simple reason or for one whole complex reason altogether
I’d say you’ve got on a pretty dress
And almost, as if a reflex
You’d downplay it; saying it’s an ordinary dress and you’d quickly divert the topic
Maybe it’s because you’re always basking in compliments
And you don’t know how to take those anymore
Or you don’t know how genuine they are anymore
But that’s okay
I hope to understand
And that’s not even the half of it
Your laughter ignites something within me
It’s like a large piece of the first flame burns within
The way your sacred lips curve
To let out your smile
Oh that smile that narrates color into a monochrome life
A smile that sends the world into frenzy while pausing it at the same time
A smile that tames the wild yet portrays untamed beauty
A smile that redefines perfection yet is glorified in imperfection
And when all is said and done
I don’t want to be your knight in shinning armor
For Knights with shiny armor ride on hope
They’ve not known battle
On the other hand
I want to be your beat down knight
With cranky armor scathed from all that’s been survived
And you see
The knight in shinning armor might only know how hard it was to get you
The beat down knight on the other hand
Knows both how hard it was to get you
And what it is to lose or almost lose you
So maybe
Some day
We’ll stand under a night sky of a thousand stars
Fingers interlocked and perfectly clasped together
Fears cast aside and worries at bay
And in that moment, while you pick out star after star
I’ll tell you why you’re like the ocean
And I’ll tell you why I’ll love you on the days when you’re as calm as a sleeping toddler
And I’ll tell you why I’ll love you even more on days when hurricanes rage upon your surface
Because when all is said and done
You’re the ultimate bargain.
And under a thousand stars and a full moon
I’ll tell you why you’re my sun all through

Precious Notes

Hey
Its me.
I’mgoing probably the last person you were hoping to hear from
But oh well
Here we are .
On some days
I wish I’d write to you under better circumstances
I wish I’d write to you about how great we turned out
I wish I’d write you a long list of achievements
And a lengthier list of the so many things I’ve crossed off the bucket list we made all those years ago
But to be honest
I’ve had a few setbacks; okay, few might be an understatement
Major setbacks
And that’s okay, right?
Truth be told
I’ve lost my way more times than I’d like to admit
But I guess every step in the wrong direction has led me to this particular moment
I’d not be here, up at 6 am,
With a burning sensation in my chest from all the gin I took in last night
I’d not be able to tell you about the times I’ve screamed
“That’s my jam” and danced pseudo-happily to suppress the disgust I feel towards myself
Only to be up and 5am
And drown in a pool of misery I filled myself
So yes
Take me back
To a time when I was genuinely happy
Is that too much to ask?
Yeah?
I thought so too
Take me back to nights where I went to bed
And my only worry was the driver hooting at 7:15am that it’s time to go to school
Lest I’m late for the morning assembly
Take me back to days
When I returned home in the evening to smiles and hugs from mother
“How was school” she’d ask
And I’d tell her it was fun
And I’d genuinely mean that shit
Every time she asks me now
I try to spare her emotions
And say things are going great
But truth be told
Sometimes, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing
And I’m scared as hell about where I’m going
On that note, say hello to Mr. Insecurity
“My friends probably have their lives sorted out and things working out for them”
And yes, I know I shouldn’t think this
Considering interpersonal differences
But on some days, it can’t be helped
But you know what
“We move regardless”
I’ve grown into that skin
Where I’d whisper curses beneath my breath
I now repeat the chant
“We move regardless”
The biting irony is that I’m not moving
But there’s a false blanket of bliss that comes with saying it out loud
If I can breathe life into my fears
Then maybe I can breathe life into such a small-big lie too
Take me back to a time when I cried because I was beaten
Or because I’d gotten an injury
Maybe fallen off a bike or something
Back to a time when I didn’t stare at my phone hopelessly
Waiting for a text or a call that will probably never come
From a place where I’m probably no longer welcome
Take me back to a time when the problems I have now
Were a problem for future me
And while you’re at it
Actually prepare me for such nights
No one gave me a Pep talk
No one said what I should do to help myself
No one gave me a heads up
And it sucks that we’re so many that didn’t get that help
No one told me what I’d have to do
When my subconscious strolled into a supermarket
And emptied shelves of anxiety and depression into my shopping cart
And now
We have hot cups of guilt
And thick slices of regret for fun
Regardless of the time
But that’s okay
It’s not alright
It’ll never be
But it’s okay
What matters
Is that on nights like this
I’m able to cheat time
I’m able to look back on a time in my life when I was actually happy
And I’m able to scribble a little note like this to little me
And I’m able to tell him
About the tough times ahead
Maybe in a different life
He’ll handle this life thing better than I did
And I hope he knows
That on mornings like this
When he’s alone
And in a very dark place
And with tears rolling uncontrollably down his cheeks
And he feels like he has no one to turn to
And he’s tempted to drain his sorrows
At the altar of intoxication
I want him to know that it’s alright
Maybe not in the moment
But at some point
Some day, it won’t have to be like that
But until then
He has to hold on
And for what may seem like the longest time
He’ll have to be strong for himself
Because, the harsh truth is that
Everyone gets sad some times
But that doesn’t have to be the end of your story
Your story has only just begun

A Vacuous Thought

You’ve got to believe me
Despite my own disbelief in myself
But I look for her face
All the damn time
I’m not even sure I can help myself on this one
Within strangers
I’ve hoped to catch a glimpse of her face
Strangers smiling in their cars
Time flying by fast
Yet I somehow manage to freeze time
Just long enough to see if it’s her.
Oh yes
I am hopeless.
And that’s okay
How could one know Hope
After losing Hope’s reflection in this realm
Oh how far I’ve fallen
If I met me
I’d probably not recognize me despite myself
I remember the first time I saw her. I’d heard so much about her beforehand. I can’t make out if I was nervous or anxious; I’ve always had trouble setting the two apart. Not that it matters. But there she had been, standing out effortlessly. As far as I could tell, she was simply minding her business. Yet the world had somehow slowed down. Time dragged a little, it’s like the seconds lingered around a little longer like they too wanted to witness her a few seconds more and I knew in that moment that I was “f**ked”
See when the hook holds onto flesh, there’s no turning back. The more you fight it, the deeper and stronger the hook’s grip gets. So there I was, a captive waiting to be reeled in. It was a long time coming, but it got to that anyway. I still don’t know what I love about her. Yes, I’m not speaking in past tense.
I don’t know if it was her smile. Her strawberry satin lips that delicately blended with a godly shade of beige. And her teeth; magically complementing the work of the gods. Or maybe it was the way her smile formed around the edges, like a spark that starts a great fire within me. I guess Moses from the Bible would understand best the concept of a fire that doesn’t burn from his interaction with the Burning Bush. But yes, a great fire raged within, and only she could quench it’s anguish. And yes, I vouch for the fact that her smile could be the very thing that fuels Apollo’s chariot of fire. One can’t be sure. She smiles and life rushes into the room like mist sips through when you open the door.
Or maybe it’s her eyes. Her eyes and what’s within. A close look would have you thinking it’s a city of stars floating in a delicate mist. A closer look would have you conflicted; thinking it’s the whole night sky trapped in there. A twinkle here and a sparkle there and before you know it, you’re literally lost in her eyes and you can’t find your way back to where you started. Dazzled by her smile, trapped within her eyes; I know what you’re thinking. She’s perfect. But that’s not all, her eyes are way more than a prison for those that dare to look. An informed look into her eyes reveals the intricate unrivaled representation of celestial artwork. I don’t know what’s with her eyes but I could swear that they see right through me. Every single time she looks at me, I feel naked, exposed; like Adam had felt when he realized he stood nude in the garden of Eden. To me, she is the birthplace of sight. Yet I can’t seem to see enough of her. I can’t seem to hold her gaze within mine; my body is always cast into a frenzy. A violent feat that shakes the very core of my existence. Yet I live for the feeling. And it never gets old. Because while my soul is trapped within her eyes, my heart beats at peace. She is home.
I could go on and on about her and what I love about her and I’d only be done when I’d gotten down to the simplest of things. Her laugh enslaves me every time and oh does she love to laugh. She’s got this gracefulness to her like she walked out of a tale of nobles and their grand balls. I often find that I’m smiling to myself just thinking of her. Listening to her and her thoughts feels like holding the whole world within your palms. One would think it’s like holding a small globe. But it’s deeper than that. It’s being able to identify Prague, and being able to zoom into the beautiful city like you were there yourself. It’s like narrowing down unto Paris and conquering the Eiffel tower. It’s like sauntering through the Lafayette Mall, savouring the grand display. I can’t adequately describe it, but in a nutshell. She is an entire world and everyone deserves an entire world.
Catch me looking through the crowd at the mall hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
I’m simply a sucker for her.
There’s no other way to put it.
And when she finally saunters in
If she does anyway
Her beauty is undeniable
It fills the room like a storm of dandelions
Simply stunning
The sun has been trying to outshine her since inception
But he’s never seemed to get it right
Always a shade off course
Always missing something
It missed that touch an artist gave his best piece
She is the masterpiece
Oh yes.
Placed next to the sun
You could tell that the hands that crafted her worked with divine precision
They worked under a celestial eye
And the work came from a dedicated heart.
The sun was something,
But quickly turned to nothing next to her
If the world was an art gallery
She’d be the epicentre of awe
Yet she was nothing short of natural.

“Some Day”

All sorts of flowers blossomed here. The lilies of the Incas. The dandelions. The daisies. The Carnations. The tulips. Oh the sunflower. The daffodils. The Iris. The Gardenia. The orchids. All these tempting enough to have you falling head over heels.
But you’ve got to look at the Roses. You just have to. The assortment was nothing like I’d seen before. The Damask Rose. The Rosa Mister Lincoln; how perfectly the petals curled in and out of each other. The White Rose of York. The list goes on. It was simply breathtaking. But amid all this majesty, my sight chanced upon true beauty. I gazed upon a masterpiece. I couldn’t believe it; but I locked eyes with perfection. This was as good as it got.
There she was, my Yellow Rose. Towering above all the beauty around her, almost blocking out the sun. The Black Rose next to her seemed to whither and cower in her shadow. I felt my heart curl into a little ball. The fireflies that dwelt within it lit up like Singapore. I felt my soul gleam and I found myself smiling. My insides felt jelly-like; like my body couldn’t hold itself together. Perhaps this is what joy felt like.
She had five petals. Five brightly shinning petals. Five carefully designed petals. Five incredibly majestic petals. Five petals that were proof of absolute divinity. And the closer I got, the clearer it became that there was more to her than just petals. One petal for her smile: the gods must look down and drool in awe of this finesse. I could swear that her smile shines brighter than the full youth of a star. One petal for her eyes. Eyes that went with and forever stay with me. Eyes that told the stories of heroes and gods. Eyes that glittered and opened a gateway to a new Constellation. Eyes that hid a thousand galaxies. Eyes that hid a new world altogether. But that wasn’t all. There was a petal for her voice too. Time slowed down to what felt like an eternity as her tongue moved and her strawberry satin lips moved to birth her voice. A slow painless birth that froze time to breathe life into it. When she giggled, time stood still and encapsulated me, instantly putting me in a frame and hanging me on the wall; a moment to behold. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I kid you not, she spoke life into existence. One petal for her skin. Her complexion sent the sun into a jealous frenzy. Throwing a tantrum and raising temperature. He burned with rage at the sight of her. And while I’d think a touch of her skin would burn instantly, a touch of her skin was the most comforting feeling yet. It felt like a calm sea. It was the peace of the ocean. The perfect blend of light kissing perfection to give off an array of prismatic display. Her skin was a shade of sunset and sunrise with a stain of beige. Perfection I tell you. And finally, saving the best for last, was the petal for her heart. Nothing like you’ve seen before. Nothing like you’ve felt before. When I got to know her, I kid you not, I found the best version of myself within her heart. She radiated of love and comfort and understanding and patience. It beat fiercely. So ferocious I thought it’d burst. But it didn’t. It was elastic too. I know this because my heart beat from within hers. I’d only come to learn this after a while, but the wait; the in-between, was totally worth it.
That day, she’d said “some day”
“Some day” didn’t appeal to me initially. I thought of all the times I’d stayed up waiting for some day only to wake up to the same plight. I thought of how I’d lost all hope. Yet something about her fueled the furnace of hope. It gleamed red hot and I held on.
And much as those two words shot right through my heart in the moment, I’ve come to trust her timing. I’ve come to learn that flowers don’t bloom overnight and that you cannot rush the process. The small steps that come right before the great fall are entirely worth taking because you’ll miss walking once she’s taught you how to fly, yet you’ll fly nonetheless. Such is the agonizing beauty of time.
And now, staring at my Yellow Rose, all the nights make sense. I guess my breakeven was that moment where hope refused to be killed. It sure did feel like I’d die because of the hope, but I’ve never felt more alive.
Some day is here. Some day is beautiful. Some day is home. A moment of perfection frozen and replayed like a loop in time; only difference is the absence of monotony. A dream I get to live