Crisp white paper, blue ink pen, a card board, some 80’s classical music in the back ground. The wind kissing the cheeks tenderly and the balcony becomes the ideal place to pen down your thoughts. This is not the normal diary you write under the bed sheet, religiously from the age of 5. When you realize that ranting cannot save all the anguish under the skin on some topics were too tacky to discuss with your “sitaki tambia mbaya” preaching mum. This is a letter, to the beloved one. The one you can only feel, remember, think of but never have a chance to touch. For me, it’s the only way I try to be in touch with the people I miss. Those who left too soon, albeit some without even a good bye. For those who managed to say bye, I am the kind of lady who just can’t handle good byes. It’s one evening, it’s not the usual spot at the balcony, and this is on the couch. Its cold and am all wrapped up in blankets, a beer mug turned coffee mug by my side, steaming with lemon tea, my favorite drink. I suddenly feel so lonely. I miss my men. All I can do is maybe write to them, despite all aware there is no connection between our worlds.
Dear My Men,
I miss you my dears. Ohh! I am sorry I could not bring myself to start with salutations. How are you doing? I guess you are all very good. I imagine there is milk and honey in your land. I guess there is merry making, partying, laughing and peaceful co-existence in your land. Dear daddy, you went quite early so am sure you are so used to the place. I can’t bet on it but maybe you remember so little of my siz and I. The last time you saw me I was your little girl, and still I am. But the other people call me a woman now. I am sure my little brother; your dear son has updated you. Even my grandmothers now ask when I will be bringing “cows”. I tell them really soon. But Daddy, am not quite sure you would be asking the same question, at least since mummy has not started asking. Probably you would be pressurizing me to go for a third degree or some professional training. Maybe you will be sitting down with me during the 9pm news to watch the NSE trends and advise on how I should invest.
I never knew if you loved football or not, but being a man, let me assume so. Please be informed that Germany won this year’s world cup. Your local football club Ingwe is doing badly. Tell my brother the same. Let him know that Fellaini shaved and every Manchester united fan hopes Van Gaal can bring the magic to Trafford.
Daddy I now have long hair and can finally understand how painful it was to maintain my ponytail until you and mum decided to get rid of it. My eyes got worse and I now put on spectacles. Though I think I would look more approachable without them. They bring out the seriousness in me too much. Don’t be surprised that I now put on dresses. Yes I do though I am yet to fully embrace them. Ask the baby of the family and he will tell you how good I look in them.
On to something worth laughing about, though am sure Dessy already told you. I have your dental formula. Its funny I know but I love it. I am not even thinking of braces. I want to hold on to something that at least am sure is 100% yours. Did dessy tell you that we moved houses? Or maybe you saw it. Yes we did. I think it was the best decision especially that we now all moved out and it’s only mum at home.
I hope you are taking good care of Dessy . I miss you two guys. My best men. I sometimes wish you were here but I Know God had better plans. I imagine if I walk down the aisle, as per the preferred norm, I would not have the joy of being walked down by either of you. I even don’t know how it will feel to have some other man chair my dowry negotiations. I have never known what it is like to have an earthly protection from a dad. But maybe it’s what has made me even stronger. God has been good to make me stronger every day. Daddy I sometimes wish I could just call you and ask about men stuff. Those things I only know daddy would have understood. I sometimes go shopping and see a fine bottle of whisky and just wish I would buy it for the man I love/d. I would have wished to see your face. From mum, I know you were not the emotional type so maybe would wait to see your face as you sipped it. That looks of appreciation on your face.
And to you Dessy, I was so looking forward to having a trophy bro. I remember mum and I discussing what a muscular man you were turning into. Maybe I would get you some “ill” fitting shirt, a pair of shorts (yes you had great legs) and maybe loafers. We would go out and I would bask in moment seeing the female version of #TeamMafisi.I can only imagine. I miss you lil bro. You knew I don’t know how to say bye, but yours really got me off guard. I remember that last call at around 4 pm. It was a little business like. I have lost track of my dowry worth (you only had that tracking system). Your dream of calling your baby girl Lizzie was cut short. But maybe I will just do that, call my baby girl
Lizzie, though most people want Annette and I to give birth to sons so that mum can have a chance to see more boys around. If so I wish they will all have a big heart like yours and maybe have less female lovers though (pun intended). By the way, I have no one to share t-shirts and shorts with. I miss your guilty face, hehehe! Especially when you came past curfew hours. I miss the way you would coax mum into relaxing after some tongue lashing. I miss your tales of your girlfriends.
It’s hard to talk to anyone about how I miss you. No one in the African traditional society was to talk about the dead frequently. But on paper, I have no limitations. After daddy, you remained my man number one. You were a boy turned man after my own heart. I miss you. To me it is not a cliché that nothing will ever fill this void. I knew we were so attached when even our own mother could not distinguish our voices over the phone. 18 years on and I still miss daddy, the person I spent less than 7 years with. You can only imagine what happens to you, a man I spent nearly two decades with. It’s not easy but as each day passes on, I learn to live with it. I just hope daddy had not forgotten you. Maybe you were taller than him already. I think he still keeps his hair afro. I think he still likes his chapatti. And his Nyama choma too. I just hope you are all fine. We are fine too. Don’t be worried. Though pained, we are all ok. Mum still loves her chicken and siz her sweets. I still do my pasta . The only thing is that am now trying more feminine pair of shorts.
I have done enough of gossip here my best men. I wish you all the best. Don’t be sad, God knows why and his work is always perfect.
Aseyo (or Ngudu is still ok for you daddy )