If we were having coffee right now …

If we were having coffee right now, I would have my order of caffeine at hand, mixed with enough caramel to make the kick bearable. I would take my triple chocolate muffin and whatever scraps of paper I was carrying around that day, and I would sit them right next to yours in a quiet corner of the cafe. I’m guessing it’s been a while since we last saw each other, so we would ramble along for a little while, so much to say yet so little time. I’d be happy we finally found the time to have our sit down, your schedule is as busy as mine, sometimes they simmer out for long enough to grant us our fix of caffeinated froth and friendship.

If we were having coffee right now, I would have to tell you all about my writing, about my thoughts, about my make shift epiphanies and everything that is new with me. Its no secret that I decided a while ago to write my way into old age. I would inundate you with stories about the poetry slams and open mics that I’d been to and all the ways it was very much the drug that made the chaotic mesh work of everyday bearable. The thrill of working those crafted syllable into the air, the silent crowds hovering under this mist of my uninhibited truths. My writing is going well, it’s not great but it’s good. I would have to mold it into some kind of palatable excuse for my vanishing for months at a time.

If we were having coffee right now, I would have to tell you about my latest challenges. About how I might be veering away from the baked goods that we loved so much, maybe I’d still be a vegetarian at the time. I would tell you why I’m leaving these things behind, it’s wouldn’t be because I loved them less, but because my limbs had started to feel heavier, and running after some semblance of freedom is tiring work. All the training I’d been doing has highlighted the thickness around my bones, and a heaviness in my heart, a few less cakes, a few less pints of our weekend elixir and a few less dances in the company that pioneered our friendship. This should not confuse you with lack of presence. Name the time and place and I’ll be there with my dancing shoes on and you will not be robbed of any part of the man you knew.

If we were having coffee now we would most likely be in our home town. Since moving away from everything I rarely show my face in the old neighborhood, but you’ll always be reason enough to swing back to the familiar stone faced towers that played the back drop to so many summers. The place that has catered to so many memories, too many “one drink” outings that spiraled into an insomniacs paradise.

If we were having coffee right now I would be counting the hours in empty servings of coffee that would begin full but would end as hollow cups filled with the residue of laughter and reminiscence. If we were having coffee right now I would dread any goodbyes. I’d be watching you piece together the phantom days that tie the faded goodbyes to our pleasant hellos, always weary always wise to the traces of the epilogue of our dear dialogue.

One more coffee for the road. Sadly there are no to go cups of you to help perk up the lethargy of your absence.

No Farewells from me.

Just goodbye for now.

Writing 101, Day 6: Character Building

Pardon me as I brush aside the cob webs of my blog space once more. My contribution to day 6 of this blogging challenge is finally up. I was asked to write about the most interesting person I’ve met recently. This was a hard one, this was an interesting one, this stretch my writing voice gave me a good old kick in the backside. After a lot of thinking, and a little bit of writing, I think I have something. Enjoy.

I remember pushing through the crowds. The air was worn and warm, weathered by the long days we worked in those crowded castles of concert. The spent air was heavy our necks, it ushered us all down the cluttered warrens of Bristol. Together we marched, our weary bodies angled in growing clusters, coursing through the city towards the train station. The working day was done.

I always look back to that day, puzzled with what ifs. Because I know, there was a moment that gifted me a glance into a precious moment. I would be one piece short of a stunning mosaic, if for some reason, the winds of fate swept across differently. If I stayed with that first wave, I wouldn’t have missed that train. If I hadn’t missed that train I Wouldn’t have been spending that hour amongst the silence that settled on temple meads after rush hour, I wouldn’t have met Kyza.

I didn’t mind the long waits at the platform, the book I had been reading was getting good, the words surrounded me with every page, an opportunity to leaf through those heavy pages of the Bhagavad-Gita was more than enough to settle my mind. I found it hard to really separate the world around me from the world on the pages while I was at home, there was life outside those four walls that fed my forever active mind. I don’t know why I thought the task was mine, but there was a code of character and human habit that seem to puzzle and tease me, begging me to crack it. Those daily commutes and spontaneous outings became a home for my curious mind, and became an opportunity to decypher the code.

I was greeted by a voice, “Awesome book!”

I wasn’t sure who she was, where she came from or what she was hoping to gain. There is a degree of isolation I’ve grown to expect from city folk, I’ve watched them and never have I caught them watch back from there tailor made realities. I guess that seclusion of well dress isolation had left with the cloud of busy minds that filtered into the earlier train, thick with haste and importance.

“I always thought it was my secret.” She continued, “I didn’t know many people read that stuff, these days.” I clearly remember being alone on that platform edge, those gusts of wind that chased the trains through the station must have washed her in silently and unannounced.

You never know when something will slowly pierced the perfect bubble that you coax into a neat circle of comfort. My world was changing under the pressure of evenly spaced type face, ink heavy with seamless intention staining the white pages with ideas that threatened my bubble. She had arrived in the same way as those words had done, unexpectedly, and in the midsts of a silent wait to reach something I thought was home.

It was her tone that was warm, twisted in a germinating evening chill, finding me unaware and prying me back into the word of tangible things. At first there were only those warm words, then there was a face sat next to me, staring right back at me. Strange eyes hiding a familiar want. Her eyes shared the same beat of a winged curiosity fighting to see deeper than the colour of life. We coloured the silent station with the conversation of familiar strangers.

I could rumble on at length, talking through the vibrant hues of her diction. The vibrant purple of her reassurance that, “not everyone will see the sense outside their sensibility,” the flickering yellows that eased themselves into highlighting the words that had captured her as wildly as they captured me, “Its crazy what you learn was wrong, from everything you knew to be right” she said ” Personal paradigms are crazy.” I laughed. I loved this spectrum she offered up, although I felt for the blackness she stifled when she fought back her cynicism, where did she find the comfort to share, when will I find this rainbow again.

If you asked the other eyes that filtered through the station, they would tell you about the wiry young girl, with a head full of curled up copper. Homely, with skin tickled by freckles around the nose. They would probably question her timeless attire, they would question her awkwardly draped clothes, the way she did seem to fit inside a world were the metronome of popular culture marks time.

Those filtering eyes leapt in and out of the passing carriages. Time stretched itself widely and into each pocket of times lapsing limbs we hid a truism of this hidden passion. It was liberating to free those hidden questions and thoughts without a chorus of judgement and scepticism. There was a treasure that defied the silence of the concrete world that day, the treasure that still accumulates its value long after the copper curls darted through the closing doors of one of those wondering steel carriages. Gone as suddenly as she had arrived.

Farewell Kyza

There were ambers that found there fire again. Its true that not everyone will see the sense outside their sensibility. Its truly crazy what we learn to be wrong insidw everything we know to be right, simply because personal paradigms are crazy. There is nothing sweet in the savouring of cynicism, hope and hunger will steady my spirits. Ill be curious, more now that before, because the unexpected can gift moments with no equal measure, this has made itself known to me now.

(c) Saili Katebe