Of Anniversary Coffee With A Writing Challenge

If you were having coffee with me……

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I would tell you that if you haven’t figured me out by now you really should know that I am is a story teller….. I tell stories. Life happens and I tell stories.

Well technically I write them, but in my head, as I write, I tell the story, and I imagine, you really are here, listening, my imaginary audience, I even imagine how you will react the way you are shaking your head right now and then reading this paragraph again from the start…. Its freaky isn’t it

I know right.

…..and there is a fire, there’s always a fire, the Story Gods are appeased by the flames, as it has always been. Fire is my spirit animal.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that you are a voice in my head, correction, one of the voices in my head. Don’t be alarmed I am not a crazy person, and stop It!!! Stop trying to imagine what goes on in my head.

My head for your own information is quite fine, I had it examined today even. I looked in the mirror and I thought to myself I look fine right? And my hair is quite long!!

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My brothers agree with you too.

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If all the people who thought exactly what you are thinking right now (yes I read minds sometimes besides you are a figment of my imagination remember) if all those people were doctors I would be telling you this story from the comfort of an asylum and I would be asking you why straitjackets don’t come in any fun colours…. A rainbow coloured strait jacket Id rock that.

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also dont believe my brothers they are no better, they just dont write

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If you were coffee with me I would tell you that if my blog had gone to High School it would be matriculating or writing its General Certificate of Secondary Education O levels just about now.

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As an anniversary gift to my blog I shall present it with a blogging challenge to write a blog post everyday for the month of September. The general theme of the posts will be #MyAfricaMyWords and you will get an insight into who I am, why I blog and the place I call home.

Brace yourself  and do drop by to read, hang out and encourage me…. If you would like to take part in this challenge, consider yourself tagged… You Are In. Bring a friend.

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Look out for the following hashtags on social media #30DayAfriwriter #BlogTemberChallenge #MyAfricaMyWords

~B

Ps I have been day dreaming on the future of storytelling I wont be impressed until someone invents (you know how some phones have that speech-to-text function) a thought-to-text function you simply think out the words and they are plucked out of your head to magically appear on the screen including the relevant images ……

You should come visit my head.

Have an awesome week.

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Of Coffee And The Untimely Visitor

If you were having coffee with me, I would say it is a pleasure having you here. I may not tell you enough or at all that when you drop by for a visit and we chat; sometimes you say a word or two sometimes I do all the talking; I appreciate you.

g0agdOne must always let people know how much they are appreciated because…. Life has a funny way of unravelling even the best laid out plans. That’s life, It Happens and it goes on……

fragile things

Fragile things

God’s a connoisseur of fragile things and decorates His cloudy outlook with ornaments of finest glass

Dr Sleep, Stephen King

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have just come back from my friend’s funeral. It is hard to bury a friend, but even harder to watch a parent bury their child. A parent’s grief is heartbreaking.

My friend was one of those outgoing people who easily made friends with people and so the funeral was well-attended; considering burial was at an out of the way farm they recently resettled to. Getting there was quite the adventure, since we didn’t know the directions and the driver and conductor of the bus we took; had never heard of the bus stop we would get off….

By a stroke of luck strangers also in the bus, going somewhere else, happened to overhear our conversation and knew my late friend’s family; they weren’t going to the funeral, hadn’t even heard of the death. They gave us directions, of where to and how we would walk when we got off the bus. We left them quite distraught that they couldn’t come with us and asked us to pay respect on their behalf.

If I learnt anything, it’s that things have a way of working out, our life is littered with many coincidences, maybe its fate, destiny, karma or simply The Lord’s mysterious ways.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that my friend used to joke that they would rather have a party at their funeral and liquor to poured on their graves than have tears shed for them. So we had a colourful send off as we paid our last respects. If it wasn’t for the coffin sticking out as a stark reminder of the untimely visitor who waits for each of us at the end of our path….one would not have been faulted for thinking people were singing and dancing at a party. A few feathers might have been ruffled as the older generation felt the younger generation was hijacking tradition and turning what’s supposed to be a somber affair, into a circus and that the liquor might have been flowing a little too freely, but all in all I think everything worked out; it usually does.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I was shocked to learn of the death of Chester Bennington from the Linkin Park Band. I heard the news in a car I got a lift from; coming from my friend’s burial, death never takes a vacation….

I have been a huge Linkin Park from when I listened to their debut album Hybrid Theory almost 17 years ago; and it was an escape and an outlet for all the words inside I had never said, and now, now I write.

Chester Bennington’s death was a suicidal hanging after battling addiction and depression. Mental health awareness is something that must be spread people, are out there fighting a darkness within and no one ever realises it; not until its too late.

Once upon a time I wrote this: Of The Strong Silent Man

#RIPChester

#RIPChester

Linkin Park has launched a tribute website Chester.linkinpark.com with links to help you; In case you or someone you know needs support…

If you are in Zimbabwe Click here to  see a post with local places you can find free support and counselling

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that you must always be reaching out to your friends because you never know, a simple “hello; how are you doing…” could save a life.

~B

PS The first thing I did when I got home was to check my garden I have gone for a couple of days and I kept wondering how the plants in my garden were doing since I wasn’t there to  water them…. I guess they are growing on me…

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Photocredit: chester.linkinpark  Dj Khaled

Of My Father’s Watch

My Father’s Watch

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My father had a watch, a Seiko Kinetic automatic watch, stainless steel with 17 jewels. You know the kind you don’t wind up, and as long as you wear it regularly, somehow it self-winds, and ticks on and on and on…. It came in a black velvet box with a warranty card that declared a lifetime guarantee, I have always wondered how long a life time guarantee lasts, whose lifetime do they mean when they say lifetime guarantee…….

My father had a watch a Seiko Kinetic; he wore it every day from the day he got it, a Christmas present from some duty-free shop at some airport somewhere. I do not know how much it cost but I am sure it wasn’t a price one sneezed at… He wore it so much that the skin beneath it was lighter toned than the rest of his arm. When I try to remember him, I remember him wearing that watch. He never did but  I can imagine him saying to me “Son, a gentleman must always know what time it is, you do what needs to be done, on time, when it needs to be done, in time, and then after,  you can do what you want with all the time you have left , but first you do what needs to be done…”

The only time he was without that watch, was when my little hands were throwing dust to dust and everyone was crying.

My father had a watch a Seiko Kinetic, he made me a promise that when I could tell the time like a grown-up he would get me one for my birthday. But death, the untimely visitor came knocking, knocking down even the best laid plans, just like that….. If he could have given me a last present he would have given me that watch for my birthday; I dont remember if he was the sort of man to give grand speeches, maybe I was simply too young to have really known him or had proper father to son talk but if he could he would have said

“My son, we have only life, love and time in this world, The Creator gave you life, you can find love all by yourself and as for time I didn’t start the clock, no one can turn it back, I cannot give it you, only this clock to watch it tick away……..”

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I have a watch, a Seiko Kinetic, it used to be father’s now I have it and I watch it ticking. The hands of every watch, are clippers, trimming us away tick tock tick tock. The hands of time an illusion lulling us into believing we can tame time, control it even, but every second used is discarded,

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Discarded

rushing off

slipping from my palms,

through the gaps

in my fingers like a leaky jar…..

TIME

never stopping in this moment

 

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What happens

to all the seconds

tipped into the bin of the past?

Discarded

then gathered up into a tapestry of memories and history……  

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I have this watch, a Seiko Kinetic, I don’t know if they still make them like this because today marks the day I have watched it tick for 21 years, before that it was my father’s watch. I look at it and I ask myself how much time do we have, not how many hours or seconds in a day but how much time, do we have….

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……The watch keeps on ticking and it doesn’t care how much time we think we have because in the end, it is never enough, it always runs out….. That’s what gives life meaning to know that time runs out…….

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My father had this watch, this Seiko Kinetic, I have it now, I watch it tick and I make every moment count………….watch.jpg

~B

Of Fifty Strands Of Grey

Titanium pearl
Metallic graphite
Silver dusk
Ash black
All shades of grey and counting

                                       How many grey strands do I have in my beard?

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50 strands of grey that’s how many I counted from my beard before I stopped counting…… The thing about counting your greys…, you know how a witch’s spell is spelled, the way naming it makes it real, it is just like that.
From the day you look in the mirror and discover your first grey, then you pull at it, all nonchalant, thinking it’s a strand of linen or an errand fabric, that has no business on your person, only to discover it hurts when you pluck it (you never forget that day when you realise you are aging) and you count it ONE. You panic a bit and then eventually kid yourself into forgetting about it, that it was a special limited, one-time only freak of nature, a once-off.

Every morning you spend longer than you normally do, starring at your reflection not because you like the way you reflect….. and just when you relax and start to think, “Phew! Dodged that bullet”…. and then there were THREE and then NINE and then 27 progressing in some weird exponential curve increasing every time you count the grey ones…….

It’s all perfectly natural and happens to everyone at some point in time……. You age you get greys….. Except only when you get grey at a time way to early, I mean don’t we learn in biology 101 how you get grey as you age and die…. OH NO!!! Does this mean I am dying ?????Yes we are born then we die but in between all that, life happens..the thing is I am too young to die and too old to die young……..Its like having midlife crisis at half the age it normally happens… OMG quarter life crisis

I discovered my first grey(s) in my late teens when I was still struggling to grow the fuzz on my face that I called a beard….

I used to pluck out the greys with a tweezer, until I discovered that it is also like counting them, for every ONE you pluck a new crop of grey will pop up in an arithmetic progression that boggles the mind……. at that rate by Christmas my beard would have been so snow white, I could cast for Santa Claus minus the big tummy of course….

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Suddenly other people notice it too….. It is so cute(not) how someone will ask you “hey do you know your beard is grey?Erm oh really I hadn’t noticed…… Or “How old are you…?” It is so hard not to be insecure when you are self-conscious about your “uniqueness

And then someone introduced me to dye…. The beauty of synthetic colour…. For a while I had the vibrant rich colour as advertised on the pamphlet, but only for a week and some change and then would need to dye it again…. I was always careful not to swallow any dye, to avoid dyeing slowly on the inside you see… but I ruined more than one good tshirt with splashes of colour. This one time I accidentally dyed my beard a most curious shade of blue, the instructions on the bottle are in Chinese so, yeah that……. It was hilarious watching people trying super hard not to stare, stealing glances at me..

Ladies who never step outside without wearing make-up….. I get it now….
I even discovered a handy use for a mascara brush, well I think that’s what it`s called the one, some ladies use to brush out their eyebrows or is it eyelashes??, to look like maybe they were born with it….. anyhoo that brush is handy as a dye applicator especially when you are going for that pencil thin beard that looks like its painted on….2014-04-02 13.59.46.jpg
….But unfortunately just as the spell, as counting and as plucking, when the dye wears off, you wind up with even more grey (or maybe it seems that way). So eventually I took a leaf from page in my mum’s book….

My mum has had rich shiny Silver hair from the first day I became aware that this woman gave birth to me…

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She embraced the genes she was created with and carries her uniqueness like an armour; small wonder, even now, some people actually ask her what dye or tint she uses because her hair is that striking, she laughs and always says “I was born with it.” Her hair started going grey when she was in her teens and I guess oh those genes passed on to me…..2015-04-19 15.51.25.jpg
I shave and I trim but I don’t dye it back, I walk around with wisps of grey on my chin and I feel sophisticated. There is an old wives tale about how if you start to go grey early, it is a sign that you will die, a wealthy man…. Some people do a double take and ask me my age and say “aren’t you too young to look that old” and I smile and say “I have wisdom far beyond my age, I am simply an old soul remembering all the things I forgot…..
It’s still weird, when someone compliments me and asks what kind of dye I use on my beard, I am not used to being noticed I am normally a wallflower, watching, but am getting used to the shift from looking at, to being looked at…


Its my birthday today, I looked in the mirror and noticed I have way more grey than I used to but that’s ok, I’ll wear my grey like a badge the color of wisdom, I feel sophisticated ageing gracefully on my way to becoming ME

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whats a birthday but an excuse to eat cake?????

What is this, on my beard why that’s lil bits of wisdom far beyond my years.

~B

 

 

Of Coffee and A Bubble Bath

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If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if you had bathtub with running hot water. I miss having a bubble bath. It’s so been so long since I filled a bathtub with water and just immersed my body in it and simply soaked.
We havent had running water in what feels like ages I do not remember the feeling of turning a faucet and water just gushes out as if by magic, little things one takes for granted. There is a sign that hangs by the toilet door;

“If its yellow let it mellow,
If its brown flush it down”

Words to live by, considering you have to carry a bucket of water from outside to go to the toilet.

If you are having coffee with me, hope I haven’t ruined your appetite, but that’s ok we are not really having coffee, see, I ran out of fresh water and the bucket in the kitchen is full of water that smells like medicine, I added those water purification tablets to it and now you can smell the chlorine in it, haven’t been brave enough to drink it, I guess it would ruin the coffee. That is why we are having juice, I hope you like lemonade, I squeezed it myself.

Speaking of Lemonade have you heard or watched Beyonce’s visual album, titled Lemonade? It made a lot of hullabaloo on the internet. #Lemonade I haven’t watched it, The website it streams from is not available in my country, I wonder if all those people who say they watched it really did or they were just reacting based on other people’s reactions. If life gives you lemons make lemonade.

If you were having coffee with me I would say if life gave lemons you really need to stop doing drugs because life does not go around giving people stuff. I love the way you laugh, at least I hope you are laughing and not choking on your lemonade. Funny story about the lemonade, I bought the lemons from a street vendor with a tshirt printed LIFE at the front, isn’t that ironic. I wanted to talk to them point out the ironies and laugh about it, but municipal police arrived and chased all the vendors, because, well, its illegal to sell stuff on the streets in the CBD. If life sells you lemons buy them and make lemonade.

but if life gives you potatoes:

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If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, if someone bathes themselves from a bucket, placed in bathtub, is that taking a bath or having a shower? Questions that keep me up at night. I have lots of those, I really should start a blog tag about such. But bathing from a bucket has this satisfying conclusion with the final rinse when you empty the remainder of the water on water on your head and it drips all the way down, presto you are squeaky clean.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask if I can take a bubble bath at your house, I promise I am good at conserving water and I will even bring my own herbal foam bath with essential oils. If all you have to bath with is a bucket full of water, its not a good idea to add bubble to it because how will you rinse up, I have seen this I have done this you dont want this.

If you were having coffee with me I would show you this cute picture of my niece (she will kill me when she is all grown up), a baby in a bucket.

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~B

Thanks for the visit.