In the squeezing of a lemon

Two things. I have exams running this  week and the next. Plus there was a ghost comment on that previous story, that it had no legs. So I went through it again, and found it to be so, bollocks if you ask me. I think my juices don’t pour well(again). It’s getting embarrassing.

So I hit up our usual guest, Bwana Mwaniki Nyaga to save me.

You talk to this jamaa and you get the impression he’s wearing an old coat next to a fireplace with a pipe in his mouth and a thick philosophy book in his hands. He uses words like indeed on his texts, while the rest of us say walai. But he comes through. Give the man a time frame, that’s all he needs. He also needs to start getting his pieces out there, he has depth, he’s good.

Mwaniki, si you endesha this ship for us?

By Mwaniki Nyaga

A banana peel resting at the edge of a table draped in carmine cloth. It’s shaped like a fan, but with the propellers all hanging loosely from its sides. A dead fan perhaps? Maybe if it was still attached to its parent plant it would have bloomed into a strong high-flying propeller that children could play with at the beach-side.
I stare at it from the side of my half opened eye. Who eats bananas at night? Jennifer Aniston and….sigh…my sister. *Queue in the Jennifer Aniston Horrible Bosses scene* … haha. She says it has serotonin, a sleep inducer.
So was she here in my room, in the dead of night? Listening to me mumble theories on how door knobs should be turning up anti-clockwise…Or did I catch her trait and also start eating bananas before bed? I think I wouldn’t want to ask; because one, she might end up revealing my night-time mumblings and if not, she’d chuckle and say “Welcome little brother, it’s now a peel nation!”
I had to uncover myself and brave the steely piercing cold dawn air in order to deliver the peel where it belonged…in a bin, somewhere. I hear the smell brings on mosquitoes. Yikes! I particularly get irate with constant buzzing in my ear. So, I had to carry it, all dangling on  my half-asleep hand to the bin at the end of the long flight of stairs.
I’ve never particularly fancied the dawn. Especially sun-less dawns. The ones where the wind is still asleep making everything else in nature seem vapid and unaware. Such dawns remind me of the brevity of life, and how things could change in the squeezing of a lemon. How I could be head-banging in a mosh pit somewhere in the City of Love and next thing I see are blood drenched bodies in front of my eyes. Is blood the colour carmine? The bodies lying still, eyes perhaps still wide open, portraying the joy they felt being in with the music, their souls in synchrony with every chord and beat.
How does it feel to not see? Is it like the darkness you see when you close your eyes? When you sit in a parked car, seat leaning and the time 3p.m., when everyone else is in the office, you might “hear” the sound of silence. That sharp buzz that builds up in one’s ear. I think that is the feeling one gets in the eyes when death creeps in. The sound of darkness.
Sometimes I feel it in my sleep. I feel like if my eyes were to open, the perception of vision would be lost to me. A sort of coming together of fear of darkness and an embrace to it. To want to get soaked in the matter that darkness is made of. To lie and float in it, breathe it in and exhale its remains. The yearning to experience the matter that darkness is. I had that this morning, before I woke up to the sight and smell of the peel.
I witnessed the death of a man. The throws of violent motion as soul is detached from body. I wondered  what feeling the man experienced in those final moments. Was it a moment filled with cathartic relief? The body giving in to its imminent mortality – a surety that it would have eventually died? The feeling being as soothing as drifting off into slumber. Or was it chaotic. The body resisting the soul from ripping itself free? The man’s face was mute, not much emotion to go on by. I couldn’t read him, nor his eyes – still wide open, staring at the endless blue of the sky.
Such a moment as rare or unbelievable as it might be and such vapid mornings, leave me feeling unaccomplished. Like I ignore the beauty of everyday life. Like I should be getting up to watch the sunrise or cease activity at the moment the sun is on the verge of setting. That beauty and purpose juxtaposes itself within the interwoven chaos we’ve made out life to be. It’s amazing how context affects consciousness. How, while standing there, keenly awaiting the sun to rise, one realizes that such a moment is bloated with meaning. Witnessing the transition from night to day opens us to perceiving the passing of the moment. It forces us to be present, constantly searching for meaning within something as natural as the rising of the sun. And after such a moment has passed, aren’t we left with thoughts of how pure or sublime it was…left there, craving for a recurrence? We unconsciously yearn for such and strive to author them in routine. I think though, that such moments are right there for the taking, if only we are aware enough to open our eyes and plug in.
And thus I seat here. At the edge of the staircase, next to a bin, half full of kitchen refuse – see…half full…even organic waste could be a place of positivity…haha – waiting to catch the sunrise the first time this month. I think this is something that deserves my losing sleep over.


7 thoughts on “In the squeezing of a lemon

  1. Mwaniki just has a way with words like “…to open our eyes and plug in” so plain but laden with meaning. Interesting piece.


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