A Parallel Life


As promised by Warhia last week, here is her second post.


I live next to a cemetery. Deliberately. I love the serenity and the constant reminder that life is perishable. If anything, it ensures that I am in constant pressure to live fully on any given day. The outside of my abode is a roughly unfinished concrete wall, completed constrution for the most part but its finish is as an afterthought; rugged. Inside, it’s warm. Working on an in betweener kind of lighting; not too bright not too sad. Scant furniture. The beige 8×8 floor rag with uneven black patches as the centerpiece. It is where you will find me most of the times whenever I’m indoors – on the floor. Because I think better and clearer on my backside and cross-legged. I love traveling light so when I moved out of my previous aboard, I donated the furniture I had. No, I do not intend to replace any. The floor cusions thrown all over the sitting room are the leather couches in your imagination – cozy but unlike leather, far much warm and doesn’t smell like a cow. A three feet hewn log is the sole furniture which doubles up as my coffee table and desk. It belongs to H, the other life in this house, whom you’ll meet quite soon.

In normal people’s houses right there at the center but against the wall is where a television would have been. There is a 6 foot book chest, also roughly hewn, roughly finished. No shiny varnish just a basic two layer of walnut wood stain. Four complete shelves with the bottom shelf undecided between a partition or not. It is currently undergoing recovery and has scant texts. Max Lucado. Francine Rivers. Teju Cole. Bodie and Brock Thoene. A hymn book. John Kiriamiti. Two worn Bibles whose repair is way overdue. I sort of prefer them like that for they remind me how messed up I am. I no longer carry them to church since I once dropped one of them and had to chase the loose sleeves up and down the parking lot. Three unfinished manuscripts , a current ongoing works in progress to be forwarded to print in due course. A pair of loop earrings sit put at the top of the chest. Huge ones that an infant can whip a serious hula hoop round their waists were their pelvic bone able to withstand the motion. Like my keys, they are the last thing I grab on my way out and that I fiddle with to cover my otherwise nude ears. Four black one-metre thingies sit put on strategic corners of the house. Thinner nude cables connect them to each other. Tomahawk speakers. Just about the only electronic  itemin this house. It is mostly off save when I am doing laundry or when I’m nursing a mind-block, which is most of the time.

Against the off white walls are windows whose beige curtains remain drawn at all times. Not too heavy not too light so they let some light in as well as  keep some darkness in. This creates a semi illusion of a semi haunted aboard. Nothing creaks save the front door. A hinge wails for the oil I have been making a mental note to work on. Mental notes are bad things and gather dust and rust. Impossible layers of dust. I intend to work on both the door and them mental notes today before sundown. Nothing much to write about the bedroom. A wardrobe with scant change of clad for a lady. An occasional white here a seldom sky blue hue there but mostly, it’s black against more black in between the browns and a jungle green. In a previous life they are called earth colors. I see it as blending in. Doing your thing without necessarily living behind visible breadcrumbs for the dogs to come sniffing.

The kitchen is not a gourmet chef’s delight and boasts of minimal utensils and H’s bowls. A non finished mug of putrid tea the sole occupant in it stares at me as if I were an intruder. Even utensils do find order in their chaos. I shall not linger here anymore. That way is the bed room. You will walk into something that lingers on the bedroom door for reasons best known to itself. Nothing much to right home about. A bed. Curtains that never get drawn open. Basketful of undone laundry. Though I live on my own, there are two pair of slippers. One of the pair is blue, I figure it is the closest the sky will ever be in my house.

Meet H, the only other life in this homepage. He’s barely three months old ball of fur. H because I am yet to decide what to name him between Micah and Halla until then, H it is. He doesnt purr much. I am stating to come into terms that perchance that H is orally impaired. No miaows either. He speaks Feet.  Fluently. When hungry he stands on his hind feet on my feet and plants his fore feet on just below my knees. When I call him, he sleeps on my feet. Bathroom break or wants to go out, H mills around my feet until I pick him and put him out. When he wants a treat, he rubs on my feet paying homage by a nip here a lick there. At the foot of my bed, see that subtle dent? H. I recently got him a roughly hewn three feet high log for his claws. He has a slightly crooked tail, the aftermath of a banged door. That was his first and last yell/scream/sound from him. White, with grey streaks that look like spluttered ink drops. Something startled God during H’s creation.

I am a teacher. Home schooling teacher. I figured out that since for some heavenly reason  I cannot seem to wrap my otherwise little head as to why children that do not belong to me seem to be enthralled by my skirts, I might as well do something about it. I wish I could wear pants to confuse them. So I home school in my own house. Not more than two to three kids. Occasional afternoon. Think of me as a homework tutor for the parents who are too busy for their kids. Two hours per day in the afternoon. They come for Math, I sit them down for some story telling session. I think the stories they have been getting for me lately help them with their Math for they keep coming back three times a week. Clock work.

When children do not wander towards my house my home schooling tends towards a different level. I tend to a thorn bush recently acquired. Now you know what all these dark specks on the palms of my hands come from. A gift from a previous owner of this house – not quote. More like discarded.

Oh you think there is hope in this here flower pots?

I wouldn’t mind.

Are you dark expletives serious?

They are just plants, I reasoned.

Do you know how long I have been trying to get those flower pots off my hands?

Mama thought if I had them they would slow me down. She said I take a moment and smell the roses I was like WHAT!. She’s something you don’t want to meet! In fact there is this one time she..

Too many parameters, my mind quietly responds and initiates into a temporary hibernate.

He spoke too first and animatedly as though words do not sit very well in his belly.

He hated them, the thingies in the pots and the clinginess that was his mother’s nature. He rumbled on that that he can’t afford to be tied down and life was too short to take time to smell the roses. Besides, he wasn’t cut out for this mushiness brought about by flimsy flowers.  He must be the kind whose funeral will have no flowers. Though with the huge enthusiasm he oozes, I doubt he has given death a thought, legacy notwithstanding.

I couldn’t refuse or I’d break Mama’s heart which by now must be mere fragments since I have never done anything good for her. She is too needy! So I agreed to keep them thornies just to shut her up and have her leave me the more expletives alone..

I agreed to keep them dying pots thornies just to shut him up. Though I cut him mid sentence while at it ending up putting him out like the burning end of a midnight cigarette. It felt good. Almost.

Even as he hugged my stiff self as though I was the savior of his eerie life,  I was left plagued with a gnawing in my bones that still has me unsettled and wonder if by talking to him, was viewing myself before a mirror…

Can things be that bad that I have no time to smell the flowers?

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