Twelve days into the new year and I’ve already reneged on some promises, bungled yet on some others and pretty much mumbled and fumbled my way through a few tight spots! 2018 was supposed to be different.
Hold up! Before you pass judgement, before you blink through those beautifully long eyelashes, before you snort through that blingy nose, before you gasp ever so dramatically, please, just please, find a mirror quick. Be honest, have you been true to all your commitments? Yes? Wow.
You must tell me in detail, what that’s like. It must be so refreshing! Is it anything close to the feel of cold water to a parched throat? Is it closer perhaps to watching someone else guzzle it down – the water you crave? Watching them gulp and swallow while your tongue darts over cracked lips, longing for a sip, nay, a drop. Watching a drop travel from the edge of their mouth to the tip of their chin, down to the parched abyss below. Is it perhaps closer to watching them hold the bottle over their heads and pour half its contents? Watching them shake it off whilst trying desperately to choke down the resentment you feel?
Wait. I forgot. That feeling is alien to you. I’m the only one still locked in the err of my ways, entangled in a threesome with Mr. Lost Opportunities and Ms. Rue-the-lost-opportunities. The twins. Such promise I see in their empty eyes…
Twelve pages into this new chapter.
How is it possible that I’m still lost in this nude pile of dissatisfaction when I could be tapping the rather elusive, (probably) mythical older brother – Opportunity? This guy! He wears the faintest scent (matter of fact, he stinks sometimes); he isn’t the sharpest dresser, his clothes are often mismatched and his color choices can be outright drab. He walks with an unattractive shuffle. He barely speaks. And when he does, it’s in a raspy, barely audible voice. He opens his mouth and my insomnia is instantly cured!
He is also the world’s worst seducer. No love hearts in the mirror. No stolen kisses in the crowded elevator. No secret admirer notes under your pillow. He will not ask you out. He will not take you to dinner. He will not hold your gaze while his feet engage yours in a game of footsie. He will not captivate you with stories of steamy exploits. He will not care if you yawn from deprivation. He will not drape his jacket on your shoulders when you shiver from the bite of the evening breeze. Even when your teeth rattle, he will not bring his to the soft of your earlobe. He will not pull you tightly to him. For heaven’s sake! How much drear can one guy hold!?
Okay, I apologize for my rant. Let’s start again. Let’s go back to the dawn of hope. The start of 2018…
The night sky lights up in a million colors. Well….seven, technically because that’s the most colors we’ve got. But a million sounds more dramatic, right?
Where were you when the clock struck 00:00? Were you sipping on a Tusker and vowing in that drunken stupor that you would drink less, starting now? Did you sink your teeth into that delicious nyama choma and vow, as it hit a spot in your soft belly, that you would hit the gym immediately? Well? It has been 12 days…have you done that? OKay, bad example. It is, after all, January; pubs are lonelier than secluded monasteries in the mountains of Tibet. Gyms are as privileged as Airforce One. You are not POTUS. The fat in your belly is not POTUS. It is a target, unprotected against the open fire of January’s special brand of scarcity.
So…no, we will not discuss your bar and gym absenteeism, Okay? Cool. Good talk.
Now that we’ve established the realm of your spotless record, can we go back to my less than stellar start to the new year – all judgment kicked to the curb? Awesome! Where was I? Oh yes… My reneged-bungled-fumbled-mumbling!
I didn’t go anywhere on New Year’s Eve. By anywhere, I mean anywhere Instagram-able. I’ll spare you the details, but in the dying seconds of 2017, I wrote a mental list of all the things I wanted to leave behind. It went something like this:
- Multichoice and the reruns I can narrate with my eyes closed.
- Boring Friday nights.
- Weird messages in my DM.
- A sneeze that starts like a cyclone then peters out just before the big finish.
- Words that dance out of reach at the exact moment I need to use them.
- Songs that taunt me all day long with a tune that’s there but not quite there.
- The hot story I’m are dying to tell my pal but all I can remember is ‘There’s something I wanted to tell you…what did I want to tell you…?’
- The lies. The spur-of-the-moment ones that make me feel badass; the reckless ones, the evasive ones, the foolish ones, the harmless ones, the ones I tell myself, the transparent ones I so badly want to believe because – well, because believing the alternative would require that I sever a link; a link I’m still desperate to cling to.
- Embarrassment by choice. The people I meet again and can’t for the love of God remember their names. It is worse when the fellow clearly knows me. Not just my name but real details like How is you dog Tyson? And your sister? I’ll answer the questions with what I hope is guarded enthusiasm. How does he know all this stuff? Is he a stalker? But he looks so happy…I cannot let it slip that I don’t know who he is! Meanwhile, it’s very obvious from his face that he knows what’s going on but he’s letting me squirm some more.
- The twins aka Mr. Lost Opportunities and Ms. Rue-the-lost-opportunities.
When the list was done, I was well into 2018. Nothing had changed. Nothing had ‘remained’ in 2017. So I did the second list. A much shorter one:
- I will not watch reruns. I will put my time to better use.
- I will laugh more. I will be silly. I will let loose.
- I will be more direct in my approaches, more honest.
- I will rendezvous with Opportunity. I will seek him out. I will study him. I will endeavor to see beyond his hostile exterior. I will take his less than accommodative demeanor. I will court him. I will make him mine.
- In place of the twins, I will have lessons. I will have courage. I will have zeal and excitement.