The Other Side of the Bed

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She woke up to the sound of his key in the door. There was no sleep to rub from her eyes, not these days. The clock beside the bed blinked green. It was 2 a.m.

She listened as he shut the door and kicked off his shoes. She would find them askew by the door in the morning, discarded by their owner. Something she knew a little about.

She followed his footsteps …on the stairs? He never came straight to bed! Not before supper! This she had learned earlier on in their marriage. Sourly, she thought about the food that sat in the microwave and regreted that it would go to waste. If only she could go and pack it in the fridge, but she couldn’t ..

Her train of thought was cut short by the opening bedroom door. She closed her eyes, even though she was turned away from him. She stiffened and pretended to be fast asleep.

She sighed with relief when she heard his muffled footsteps heading towards the bathroom, stopping only to drop his clothes on the empty floor. The closed bathroom door allowed her freedom to breath.

What had they become?!
Her hand went to her head, as if in pain, but that was not the part of her that ached. Her chest tightened in anguish and the tears she had been holding onto threatened to spill.     

She quickly huddled herself into a ball just as he emerged from the washroom. He didn’t put on the light. He allowed her that courtesy.

He slipped into bed. He didn’t touch her. Not in the way that put people on the family way, but he didn’t touch her. Sometimes when she’d close her eyes, she would imagine she was alone in their bed. And their marriage .

How had they become one of those couples?!?
They never talked, apart from asking for the jam or the mashed potatoes or the day’s paper. They were both always so busy. With everything it seemed, except each other.   

She couldn’t think of when it had all began.  One minute they were deep in love, lost in each other’s eyes, whispering forever and a day, painting heaven and brewing passion. The next, they couldn’t even have a conversation.
Had she stepped back? Had he?

His breathing had slowed to a steady rhythm. He was asleep. She turned, careful not to wake him up. His face was calm. The green light from the clock cast over the contours of his face.

Her heart clenched as she remembered how much she loved that face. How much she still did. And knowing that hurt the most.
No, she hadn’t moved away. He had. He had stopped fighting for them. He had stopped caring. He had stopped loving her.

Her hand flew to her mouth to stop the cry of anguish that threatened to tear out.  
He was leaving her. She had no doubt about it. Why? She had no clue. But she couldn’t make him love her. She had already tried.

All she could do was wait for the day his suitcases would be by the staircase. For the day he couldn’t meet her gaze. For the day he would do what he had already done a long time ago; leave.

She touched her face to find it wet. She was crying. She wiped the tears away gingerly and without anouther thought, she took his arm and wrapped it around her, her back to him. She felt him wake up and held her breath,waiting for him to pull away.

He didn’t. He tightened his hold on her and kissed her forehead. She didn’t understand, but if this was their last night together, she didn’t want to spend it trying to understand.

That night, she slept through the whole night for the first time in a long time, and in the morning, she didn’t wake up to an empty bed. Now she really didn’t understand.  But when she looked into his eyes, she finally did. He hadn’t come back. He’d never left. He was just on the other side of the bed.

internal-silence_Humanity-Healinghttps://mwendethedreamer.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=460&action=edit

I sat alone on the park bench. The midday sun, which would have been a nightmare, was tempered by a modest dose of cloud cover, making it a perfect day for a picnic. I watched as Nairobi succumbed to hunger’s demand., the streets immediately teeming with starved suits with a time limit.  Deftly, I reached for the Uchumi ham sandwich I had bought earlier, and settled in for the afternoon’s activities.

Perky Stella walked, nay, skipped down the path, her arm hooked firmly around her beau of the week. The poor sucker looked scared to death, constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure that no one he knew was around to see the sight. And it was a sight! Stella was a compact beauty, who, from my observations, hooked her prey by feigning to be honey’s sweetness and the sun’s warmth. But the girl was far from sweet! Sure, she meant well, but if life was all intention, Eden would be a realtor’s dream.

She gave a small wave as she walked past me. I smiled as much as one could without exposing chewed matter. We’d never actually had a conversation, but there’s a bond between people who see each other everyday for more than four months, albeit from a far. I had a feeling we’d probably be pretty good friends; where she’d come cry over what he did and I’d give an exasperated sigh and tell her she should stop giving a show and just let him get to know her for who she was.

As the stink of ‘perk’ slowly diffused away,  Funky Karl, made his way up the path. Ah, Funky Karl. Just the thought of him makes me smile. So the sight of him in pink kitenge loafers, jean cut-offs and  shirt so tight, he was halfway through tearing it with his muscles, made my day. You see, Karl at first sight looks like these uber cool guys who know that they are hot. (Ladies, don’t we just hate those?!) So here’s the really cool bit; that’s exactly who he is!

For the first two months, he would come over and wax lyrical, spouting the nonsense that normal girls would melt, boil, dry on the cement floor, over. Finally, we came to the mutual conclusion that I lost a screw during assembly and we were better off as Park buddies.

He stops by the smokie cart and then walked over with about ten smokies. Just a snack before lunch of course. He sits beside me and launches into a monologue about , well, everything. Don’t think him rude. That’s just his way. And I didn’t really mind much. I’m not much up to talking..hadn’t been for the last three years.

I could remember the very last words I said. Well, they weren’t exactly words. Sounds, I guess. Shouts. Screams. I didn’t like to remember. Silence had become my constant companion. Life wasn’t that much different. No one used to listen before. Now, i just didn’t even bother.

‘Are you okay?’

Funky Karl has a worried look on his face. Its a new look for him. I attempt a smile but all i succeed in is stretching my face. It’s such a poor attempt, we both crack up.

Am I Okay?

Had I ever been ?

Quiescence

Kryptonite

Its not easy being different. It means that no one understands. No one can listen. Really listen. Especially when its something that everyone knows off. Its like the sun to us mortals versus the sun to a blood-sucking, fang-bearing creature of the night. Its like a haircut to the average guy versus a haircut to Samson. Its kryptonite. My kryptonite.

I know how to be strong. That’s how we were brought up. Be strong, they said. Don’t cry, they said. And so I didn’t.
I know how to be unmoving. Grounded firmly on cement-block values. There’s no going anywhere without them, and at no careless speed.
I know how to fly, to navigate shark-infested waters, to save the world in one blow. But.. but.

Even Superman wasn’t quite as super as he thought himself to be.
A rock. Imagine that! A simple rock brings him to his knees. Reduces him to less than a man, tormented by an unexplained pain.
Kryptonite. My weakness. My Achilles heel. My unraveling. My rock, and my hard place. My edge of sanity. My undoing. Mi corazón.

Tales of an Old Maid

Its been quite a long day. First, I made the grand discovery that I, am old. Ancient. Mummified. Soon to rise from the dead. 
I no longer identify with the ‘younglings’.

I sneer at their verbal t-shirts, and their colorful shoes. Their gigantic caps are beyond me! Fashion, you say? Pah, I reply with disgust.
This language they speak … English? Nay! Jamaican English.. what does that mean?! Don’t ask me; I’m old.

Apart from the chalk-on-blackboard kids, life is grand.

This is the part where I’m supposed to go off about my new beau or new crush, right? Well, not today, and not for a while, either.

Quirkyalone
I came about the word a short while back and oh, the joy! There is an actual word for it! I am a degree less weird because I can identify it with something that didn’t originate from my head.

It being, the state of being single and happy. I hear your collective groan but I ask you to just keep an open mind.

To some people, relationships come naturally. Like a dog to water, they paddle through it like they belong. For some reason, everyone is expected to take to the water, which is quite unfair, don’t you think?     

Some of us are cats; we might as well be allergic to water.  We’re just a match not meant to be.

That’s not to say I’m completely opposed to dating; it’s just best taken in measured doses. If at all.For everyone’s sake, of course. The one time I tried, I crashed the car into the first wall I saw so I guess that tells you something.

For now, I am blissfully single, enjoying the benefits of time for introspection and watching the game from the bench.

On behalf of fellow quirkyalones, I will say that yes, we are quirky. Mainly because we refuse to conform to this standard mould that is expected, and also because we are quirky in the very sense of the word. 

But lets face it, quirkies are like the best people ever! We’re kooky and are not afraid of making a fool of ourselves from time to time, so laughs ahead! 

So if you don’t mind, let me get back to playing bridge and knitting sweaters.

The Illusion of Happiness

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She walks into the room and time stops. All form of conversation is suspended. All thought, forgotten, except her, the elusive creature. She is a vision in her silk champagne gown. It flows gently against her caramel skin. The room sighs longingly.

Elegant. Graceful. Hearts clench in their chests as her lips curve into a captivating smile.
Ties are fastened, breath is checked, dummy conversations are carried out with adjacent mirrors. Here, everyone has a chance to meet with her. Court her, perchance.

Toasts are made and everyone gets a chance to spin her around the room. They make all attempts to charm her and she smiles and giggles into the arms of another.
No one hears her say a word, but in earnest, they don’t even notice. A chance to hold such a diamond, even for a split second, is more than they had ever dreamed.

I sit in a corner and watch them as they fall over each other, trying to impress her.
‘Come home with me,’ one says.
‘Forget him! I will make you the happiest woman alive ‘ another one said.
It was amusing in the beginning but now, it was just sad.
They saw the glamor and promise of grandeur, but they were blind. Literally blind. They were slaves to their own imaginations.

They made cat calls at her, the waitress, which she obligingly responded to. I admit, her dress was quite lovely, but far too tight for a lady her age. Her face was pulled back so much that she had a constant look of surprise! Her skin was so stretched out, you could see the veins running through it. She was indeed a vision; a vision of what a zombie would look like.

But not to them.

I envied them. I really did. They had hope, albeit born out of ignorance, but hope all the same. They saw rainbows, I saw rain. They saw butterflies, I saw flying caterpillars.

I walked out before I crushed their dream. Let them have tonight. Let them hold onto it. They wouldn’t believe me anyway. No one wants the truth when they can have happiness.

Hello August.   

Burnout

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Caring hurts. Such is the folly of the human heart. It brings such joy at first, to be vulnerable,  but with time you realize that you’ve stretched your neck across a chopping board. You’ve given someone a butcher’s knife to hold over your head, hoping they wont drop it.

Its a thrill, knowing you trust a person. But the hand gets tired. Distractions come along, and though they may not mean to do it maliciously, the knife falls.

Disbelief comes first, then anger. Anger can burn for quite a while . But staying angry takes such a toll. Eventually, you tire of the rage game and tell yourself ‘i will never….’.

Being human is such a chore. Sometimes it becomes too much too bear and its just easier not to care.
Its easier to sit in this chair and not move. It’s easier to try not to do anything to disturb the air around me. Its calm and peaceful as it is. No need to mess that up. So I’ll just sit here and be invisible. Its easier.  

Couch Potato Series: Tujuane

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Tujuane.
You either love the show or hate it. I’m sure everyone has their own thoughts, which they readily share anytime the show is brought up, but here are my two cents.

For those whose humble abode is carved out of the side of a mountain, tujuane is a Kenyan dating show which follows guys through their first date.

I watch tujuane for a number of reasons. One, it offers a glance at the structure of society. The divide between the hustler and the Barbie, the shao and the urbanite, wannabes and those who’re comfortable being themselves.    
Aaand.. the comments tweeps have on twitter are a blast. You’re better off ‘reading’ tujuane on twitter than watching it.

I’ve watched pretty much every episode of the show but I haven’t seen a ‘good’ date yet.
I get that drama gets more views but camuuun!!!! We’ve seen almost 50 dates and well, its been disheartening.
Here’s a thought to the producers; why don’t you give us at least one good date??

A date where both people can speak decent English, not the nail-on-chalkboard jargon that has us grammarnazis, writhing in pain. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Get guys with wit! We need some interesting conversation!! I’m not saying write a script, just get people who are intelligent and have a sense of humor . That’s good television, if I ever heard of any.

I agree with everyone who’s been calling out for older guys on the show, as opposed to the 20 year old young’ns. Sure, its fun to see them fumbling around, but with time, it gets sad and depressing then downright irritating.  I’m pretty sure we’re at the latter stage.
Sincerely,
Couch potato.