My neighbour’s dog is dead. Yes, It died today.
It of the wild 5:00 am barking sprees, as though it were auditioning for Canine Idol and needed to practise its tuneless staccato song. For some reason, the left side of my head ached more than the right side as each verse of gbof-gbof-gbof marched through my ears waking me up. An unsolicited alarm clock.
It of the stinky poo dropped generously like presents for whoever cared for gifts of the intestinal variety. Watching a dog strain to release poo reminds me of labouring during childbirth.
There is a careless abandon in that grip of contractions, a primal need to expel what must be expelled from its body. No graces or airs whatsoever, Nature’s call must be heeded regardless of who sees, hears or even smells.
I once heard its carer speaking Yoruba to it “ò kí n gbórò?” (can’t you hear), like one would scold a naughty child, as she shooed it into its kernel but it refused to cooperate immediately. I mused, did It understand her? I’d assumed the dog “spoke” English only.
Indisputably, Death’s supreme power lies mostly in its permanence.
She bade farewell to the last visitor, it had been a long sad day. They had come home straight from the church service while the others accompanied Naomi’s body to her final resting place.
The house was quieter now so she could hear her emotions clearly – Sorrow and Regret. The former was expected and the latter despite its futility amplified the former.
In the Seventies, people weren’t so careful about these things, love was all that mattered. If they had both known about their AS genotype would they have still gone on with the wedding? She tortured herself with questions requiring answers past their sell-by dates. Expired common sense.
The past is another country, even if she were magically issued a visa to travel back could she even consider a life without him? It was hard to imagine now, their paths seemed so intertwined after 25 years of marriage. Still, how does one let go of a twenty-one year old daughter forever?
Oh! How she blamed herself, with each painful crisis she was taunted by the sickle-cell disorder that lived inside her daughter’s body rent-free. Her sweet Nana, so full of promise and with a radiant future bursting at the seams with dreams. What does one do with the memories of a child?
While driving through traffic, she bobbed her head along to the rhythm of the fuji music playing on the radio. She let her gaze wander aimlessly and spotted the car on her wish list. It was two cars away, painted a sleek silver. “Too basic” she thought, hers would be a customised metallic bright pink chrome.
So bright that any Lastma officer with silly intentions of harassing her with “Oya, stop! park!”, (more…)