Of Coming Home

He sat at his executive desk with all the trimmings of success trying to think of a polite way of saying he would not be coming home for the holidays. He had promised to visit his father for Christmas but then something came up, something always did but the Easter break was rather long, he couldn’t possibly be evasive all five days of it…. Maybe if he said he was going away on a business trip____

A soft knock at the door broke him out of his reverie.
Yes?” he inquired.

The frosted glass door slid slightly, opening a fraction. He could make out the silhouette of his PA behind the door; they all knew to never just enter his office, and when he said yes, he meant state your business and then go away unless invited.

Sir, I was just about to leave, for the holiday, will there be anything?

Thank you that will be all” he dismissed her and then as an afterthought “What will you be doing this Easter?

Sir?” she responded, slightly puzzled, he was never one make personal conversation.

Family, Sir, will be with family… that’s all we ever truly have” she finished.

You, know what? You are so right. Alrighty then; get my father on the phone for me. Have a happy Easter.

Thank you Sir, see you on Wednesday.

The door slid shut silently followed by a faint click. He rubbed his temples as if that could ease the turmoil inside, if they could see him, the shark in a suit, ruthless in the boardroom dreading a conversation with his father. The telephone on his mahogany desk beeped once and then a light started flashing, indicating a call on hold. He took a deep breath, to steady himself and picked it up.

Hello baba, yes, I will be coming for Easter.”

Once he made the decision, everything else, was simply logistics; this is how he got to be where he was, single-minded objectivity. He phoned his sons, and informed them they would be going to the country, to their roots, he made it clear, he was not offering them a choice, it was an order.  That’s what his own father should have done, given him orders instead of giving him choices maybe things would have turned up differently.

A few short hours later they were on the winding road leading them back home. The ride was a bit bumpy, he had opted to use his old faithful pick-up truck and not any of his new sleek status symbols with low ground clearance and low tolerance for pothole ridden roads. The roads were terrible indeed potholes the sizes of small graves, you would think a massacre had been done on the tarmac, and then later the road would become a strip road and then finally a dirt track.

Road copy

It was a logical decision taking his trusty truck he told himself, but deep down he knew it was also superstition, he remembered stories of how people got bewitched or cursed by jealous folk for flaunting their wealth. He did not believe in witchcraft, but he certainly did not want to put it to the test.

They had been making good time being fortunate to not get stopped by any of the roadblocks that seemed to be around every bend but then luck ran out. After requesting to see driver’s licence the police officer went on to ask to for a whole lot of other things and finding fault with everything

One of his tyres had low pressure; he spare wheel was not the regulated size, the red warning triangle was not the standard issue one, the safety reflective vest was the wrong colour shade, the red reflectors at the back of the truck were not the new hologrammed ones, the fire extinguisher was an aerosol fire retardant and not a fire extinguisher, and what had finally set him off, that the car as dirty…

But officer I had the car taken to a car-wash before I left the city_” he tried to argue

There are dead bugs on your windscreen….Dirt” The officer pointed and while he was saying that a bird flying past decided then to drop its business on the truck’s bonnet.

X sitting in the back seat snickered “I bet that bird is his and he trained it do that”

Shut up son, I am handling this” he said as he lowered the volume on the stereo which up till now had been belting out beats, as his son called them, after all it was X’s phone connected to the auxiliary port.

Ah and I did not see a valid listener’s licence for your stereo” The police observed

There was no use arguing, he knew it, you had to pay the radio licence whether you listened to local radio or not, he even wanted to ask do you want to see the licence for my Phone has well it has a radio on it but instead said;

“Ok just write me up the ticket Officer”

“Well, you have multiple traffic offences, you see, and the law states that we impound your vehicle pending a court case and tomorrow being the start of a holiday… that will only be next week Wednesday__”

He started cursing and ranting.

“Calm down father__” but of course never in the history of calming down has anyone calm down by being told to calm down, you can imagine how everything escalated and father and sons ended up handcuffed to a tree restrained ‘for their own protection that is’ and the car was being hitched to an impound tow truck.

“Dad..” X whispered to his father “ this is not the time to be all self-righteous offer the guy a bribe, that’s what you should have done from the start, how did you become such a shrewd business man if you cant grease a few palms”

“but he is the police__”

“Exactly! They are the most corrupt of them all, let me handle this, dad give me your wallet.” X requested “Officer, please step into my office!” He yelled from beneath the tree they were handcuffed to.

Not long after that they were merrily on their way, plus an extra passenger, turns out the officer was just finishing his shift and was headed in the same direction, so he was now riding shotgun and they didn’t get troubled by any other roadblocks as their passenger with a quick wave gesture got them waved through.

They got to the country just before midnight, a bonfire lit one of the thatched gazebos where, his father waited, years had passed since he left for the city, never once had he returned but now, now he was back… He hugged his father, no other words, none were necessary. They sat in silence of the crackling fire, all the unsaid words between them reflected in the tears that sparkled red in the firelight. Wood smoke does sting the eyes does it not?

“Tomorrow my son, I will show you your goats, we can slaughter a couple and you can take some meat with you, and when the police stop you next time, just offer them some goat….”

They laughed, sometimes you need to take the winding road ever leading you back home, to see how you never really left….

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry themed bribery… again the story continues you can catch up HERE

Of Bathtub Memoirs

Genre: contemporary

To look in the bathroom mirror of your old bathroom and not recognise the grownup stranger looking back at you…. That’s what it feels like going back to your childhood home and a stranger lives there now. The mirror used to be so high up I needed ninja skills to climb up the bathroom sink so I could see myself in it (I even fell from high up there once upon a time and my parents were sure I had broken something important, probably because I was crying up a storm and lay there all limb, as if I had broken all 206 bones in my body… Twice.. and that was also the first time I got my x-ray taken and surprisingly enough had not as much as a fracture, someone say miracle bone regeneration.) The sink is only knee-high to me now and the perspective gives me vertigo I feel like Alice through the looking glass.fuzzy.jpg

The bathtub seems so much smaller than I remember it. I remember being afraid of the bathtub after watching a late nite Friday the 13th horror show, I was convinced I could get sucked out by the drain plug then winding up drowning in some sewer but now it seems harmless enough and I cannot imagine how I even entertained such notions.

So allow me to soak myself in the tub and reminisce because going back to where you started is different from never having left, and the only way you can truly appreciate where you have been is to simply go back home and remember.

Everything seems out of place from the arrangement of the sofas in the lounge (the setup feels wrong, the orientation the colours) to the positioning of the beds in the bedrooms (I always had my head to where the sun rose,  because good feng shui to see saw the sun rise first thing when I opened my eyes when I woke up early enough that is) and the windows seem naked without the layers of frilly lace drapes (that I learnt my first lesson about fire and candles. Horrible experience taught me, one must never get too close to lace with a lit candle or look for objects under the bed with a candle for light.)

The rooms seem so much smaller now and there is a blank space where the once were shelves of books (A house without a library *shudders* )

I feel like a giant, I could spread my hands and touch all the walls in places I ran endless circles in, spaces I crawled into to hide from chores or punishment or afternoon meals (they were both a chore and a punishment and one could not watch cartoons on the telly until done with eating and homework)

Even the “great outdoors” that used to be our backyard, the trees are all gone,cut down maybe twas for firewood, maybe uprooted in a storm, maybe the roots threatened the foundation of the house I will never know. The trees are gone, except for the one I once caught my brother cutting up vigorously with his shiny red Swiss Army knife as if in target practise for the some zombie tree apocalypse, he said it was so that if thieves ever broke in and stole it he would recognize it as ours (I was so gullible I bought that story for years and he doesn’t even remember making up that silly story) My brother the cooler older sibling who “kept” a large pet spider and fed it insects he’d catch insects pull their wings or legs off then toss them onto the web and step back and watch….  (He always threatened to feed me to the spider when I snitched on him, as lil brothers are known to do) I wonder what happened to that spider, it really made a tangled mess in the backyard (which reminds me who cleans up all the webs Spiderman throws around??? )

The whole backyard is now a range less than the reach of my stone’s throw (I can throw further now ooops and might have heard a neighbor’s window breaking *tiptoes back into the house*)

Today I took a walk in my old neighborhood.

The dent on the gate is still there from when I went for my first joyride with a “borrowed” red Datsun 120Y (it was also the day I learnt to drive and got into my first high-speed police car chase which I managed to evade Grand Theft Auto style (you know how in learning to swim like pro: for dummies; you are thrown into a shark  infested pond, you either swim or sink and be eaten, well twas sorta like that, drive, drive like you stole it or be busted) with nothing more than a tiny dent  when I turned a little too fast into the driveway. ( I thank whoever invented red nail polish its a life hack for covering up scratches on a red paint job)

My favorite house by the corner at the end of the drive looking picture perfect, manicured green lawn and cosy as I remember it, and yes I still want to live in a house that looks just like that but with Wi-Fi signal and minus the chocolate fountain I am over that I might consider a champagne fountain or beer on tap 🙂

The old playground is still where it used to be (not that I expected it to move or anything) but it’s now broken,  how do you break a playground you ask?

park.jpg

I guess you let drunk teens (at least I hope it was teens and drunk ones too ) hangout there and now it’s filled with bottles, broken bottles, beer bottles, some look like prescription cough syrup bottles and so many used condoms you would think an end of world orgy has been going on here

And every surface and wall is covered with graffiti, badly spelt graffiti, swear words and “was here’ affirmations (I am pretty sure that’s not what they meant when they said leave a mark in the world ) obscene anatomically incorrect stick figures.

Look at me now King of the jungle gym standing on top of it.

jungle

Facing fears

A trip down memory lane and yes I am still afraid of crossing the same train bridge I was afraid of when I was only this high *makes height gestures* but in my defence it is really a scary narrow bridge even now ( there is a sign that warns Danger Narrow Bridge we thought that was the name of the bridge : Danger Narrow) The courage it took for me to run across and pretend to that my heart was not beating in my mouth from fear that I would fall to my death.

DSCF6554.JPG

Danger Narrow Bridge

Looking in the mirror and a stranger looks back at me, but in many ways familiar

Visiting my childhood house and a stranger lives here now but yes it still feels familiar and comfortable and yes it feels like home…

Home is where the memories live.

~B

 

#Blogbattle Entry Theme this week is memory lane trip, prompt Bathtub

Of The Great TV Licence Conspiracy

TV Licence

I answered a knock at my gate, only to find it was a TV Licence Inspector and he was like ‘Sir I would like to see your VALID TV licence, if you do not have one; you can either renew it because I conveniently am authorised to issue out and renew licenses or I can write you ticket and you pay at your nearest police station so in addition to paying your license you also have to pay a fine within 7 working days or risk prosecution……

I might not know law but isn’t that a form of blackmail or extortion setup thing going on?

Anyway as I did not have cash on me nor did I want to go to jail I had a bright idea***:

I said to the guy “toita sei” meaning “what shall we do?” and he said “imi manga mati toita sei” meaning “what do you think we must do?

***This is the same conversation path you would delve down if you were seeking a bribe, I know people who take detours to avoid roadblocks with ZBC radio listener’s licences officials because they won’t pay car radio licences…. Oh I am firmly against bribes and corruption by the way

So I scratch my head looking thoughtfully into the distance and said “well… I dont have a TV…

His reply “I see a satellite dish on top of your roof you therefore have a TV…

And that’s when I was like “….but see if I have a sat-dish, doesn’t that mean to you I care not to watch your local TV and that’s why I might not pay TV licence (if I do have a TV and I don’t pay that is…) or maybe if you had better programmes and I did not feel I was being subjected to propaganda or endless repeats of stuff I watched growing up….

Yes I understand it costs money to get quality programming and if we don’t pay our TV licences then you can’t give us quality programming and well I don’t want to pay for substandard TV until I know I am not paying for shoddy viewing… and we reach an impasse… what for must happen happen now?

hmmm how about, can you as yet bar my TV from getting a signal….. Oh you havent gone digital yet ….. so I must pay simply because I own a TV…… besides how do you even know I have a TV hey wena jus because there is a fridge in my house doesn’t mean there is milk in it, just because my hair is the way it is doesn’t make me a witch-doctor I dare you to go look for my TV AND IF YOU FIND IT.. I will gladly pay the license, but IF YOU DONT…”

The inspector just walked away shaking his head…

I am now keeping gate locked and getting an attack dog and a sign that says

{Survivors will be hospitalised} !!!

I forgot to show him my phone and say “You see this phone it’s got…

  • a TV,
  • a radio,
  • a multimedia player,
  • a home theater system with flashing disco lights
  • the power of the internet and live streaming at the tip of my fingers
  • and other things I don’t know because the manual for it wasn’t in English

Do I need radio and TV license for it too?

~B

PS I where can I buy a TV that doesn’t have TV Tuner, not a TV but is simply a monitor? I wouldn’t have to pay a TV Licence for that now would I?

PPS would you rather have a month of Premium TV subscription or unlimited WIFI internet service?

Of Coffee As Usual

IMG_20160703_153546

If you were having coffee with me I would say thanks for the visit it’s been an interesting week well maybe interesting is not quite the word, let’s just say eventful or dare I say business as usual.

We live life a hashtag away from anarchy.

I was watching the international news and couldn’t help ask myself what’s happening in the world police officers killing people, people killing officers and robotic bomb thingies killing people….

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you is this how the world ends in anarchy, chaos and riots on the street? I overheard a voice in my head saying to another voice  “Sometimes monsters don’t look like terrifying creatures with grotesque forms conjured from nightmarish dreams, sometimes monsters look like you and me and wear uniforms with shiny buttons and polished shoes.”

Earlier during the week public taxi drivers staged protests about the number of police roadblocks on the roads asking how they could earn a living when they are constantly being fleeced by the police and this ended up in running battles between the riot police and the drivers leaving commuters stranded.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Wednesday was the day the internet stopped, well for us anyway and only for a few hours. Internet service providers apologized for the interruption in service but didn’t explain any further leaving people to speculate that maybe the government had a hand in it because this coincided with the day that was scheduled for a mass stay away to shut down Zimbabwe. The stay away tagged #ShutDownZim culminated from a social media rant tagged as #ThisFlag urging Zimbabweans to stand together as bold citizens and a send a message of solidarity to the government by staying away from work and thus shutting down the country for a day. The ZBC Main News bulletin (which just happened to be delayed by almost ten minutes and popular opinion on the interweb is that this was to “cook” the news) went to great lengths to prove show it was business as usual in the country… and the phrase business as usual was used more than five times throughout the  news reading.

The official ZBC twitter account even tweeted that the stay away was a flop.

Flops

If you were having coffee with me I would say that THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued out a statement warning against the abuse of social media and here is a copy that is making the rounds on the internet:

POTRAZ.jpg

It’s a bit of a scary statement and has the thin veil of a threat or gag order as we chat over coffee as usual cant help wonder if this coffee post can be construed as causing despondency or unrest, and I want to ask what about freedom of speech? That’s a rhetoric question don’t answer that we just having coffee as usual.

If you were having coffee with me it would not be coffee as usual oh no we are still having herbal Zumbani Tea. Guess what, I happened to notice it being sold in a local shop and it costs quite the pretty penny me thinks I just might start packing my own and selling if anyone interested do get in touch ^_^

Zumbani

So what’s been happening in your part of the world? Here is to a great weekend and a great week ahead

~B