People who live all by themselves

January 16, 2015

People who live all by themselves usually say they much prefer it that way. That at least is what they always say to others and probably themselves I reckon whenever they look in the mirror – they much prefer it that way because it provides them with the illusion of choice. This is how they have choosen to live.

It might look simple to live all by oneself, but I say look again….look carefully, it never is. It just seems that way. Like one of those iceberg rocks. That at least is what I call them – where only a small part peeks out from above ground. Enough to deceive one it can be easily be moved. But when one tries to shift it, there is hardly any give at all. Then one realizes there is much more of that rock beneath the surface – so one tries to dig it out only to realize after a full day of shoveling this small rock is part of a larger boulder that runs so deep and wide beneath the ground, it has to be at least the size of a car…..or house. Perhaps even a whole continent. It’s hard to say with iceberg rock. They just seem to go right down forever no matter how deep one digs. Then suddenly it strikes you like a diamond bullet right between your eyes. There and then. There is no possible way to move this rock and one fills back all the earth with a mix feeling of resignation and being some what cheated.

Many people don’t know about the existence of iceberg rocks. It’s not a term you can google up on. Most people don’t even notice rocks let alone ask how deep and wide do they go beneath the surface – but I have always harbored a curious fetish for things that most folk never give a second look. I know things are never what they appear to be. They can often prove deceptive. Besides there are a couple of of them on my land. Not many, but enough to remind me, its futile to try to move them – that’s really how it is when someone says he much prefers to live all by himself – all you’re really able to make out from that one statement is only the person himself knows the real reason why, but like all iceberg rocks. You will never ever know why….never….not even if you spend the whole day trying to dig it out from them.

Somewhere in Northern Uganda many years ago….in another life

The Chinaman cocoa planter of Gabundi estate looked from a hill in the distance as the Akholi tanks rolled into his plantation. He stood there on the same spot through out the afternoon, evening and even through the dead of night right to dawn.

There he stood on the hill watching it all…his farm razed, distant gun shots renting to the shrills of the fallen. Even his tall Matabali 40 something wired framed bodyguard, who had the unusual habit of carrying a karfu spear and a Kahasilli bow, instead of the de riguer AK47 – even he lowered his eyes along with the many braves who watched the carnage from a hidden thicket in the a distance.

They all lowered their eyes – when the saw spired wooden church the Shahidi has built for the Bavarian nun, Eva Mayer – the Chinaman Cocoa planter of Gabundi estate was good with his hands, he could hammer a steel girdle into a ruler. He could weld and so one day….he decided to built a Bavarian church for his one and only love – Eva Meyer.

Yet the Chinaman Cocoa Planter who stood that night peering into night never lowered his eyes.

He just looked on as the fires raged on through the night. From time to time, he would light a cigarillo or pop another Mentos into his restless mouth – he just looked on through and beyond the place he was in and beyond it, to another realm….another place….faraway from this place called hell….to a place that could only be called hope.

Many years latter a wooden legged Sudanese who had a habit of lounging in one of the many tea houses in the emigre quarter of Cairo. A man who claimed to be one of heroes of the Ascension wars would be heard murmuring in whispers. As that is how the Adamako tribe who once served the Shahidi would speak of chieftain – even a dead one – with his right hand over his mouth and in hushed whispers….the emigre that became his tribe would one day say when they sip their pipping hot Sudanese cardamon flavored tea,

‘He watched on through the night… they burnt down everything in his plantation…..he even looked hopeful……I wonder. Did he perhaps see paradise like a man who stands behind the veil just before it was parted…

Yes? He must have. The Shahidi. He looked hopeful. So very hopeful.”

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