It’s difficult to balance reality and fiction on a night like today, for James has all reason to abandon care and emotion, and in no way is he going to let that edging hurtful past convince him into sadness, big men don’t cry….. on a night like today.
He had been walking too slow he thought, the long trek from the Nyeri PGH Hospital seemed intoxicated with distance, his own intoxication a composition of the bottle and a particular type of sadness he had become accustomed to, nay he had become addicted to. As the ladies sold their immaculate wares, a perturbed mind of a lonely mind could only but glance, for no words even scratched the surface of his inanimate consciousness, he had to go home, he couldn’t buy anything, much less on a night like today.
Past the labyrinth of clothe mongers and dealers into the open expanse of a world he felt was watching him, paranoid beyond belief that the world could hear his slurred speech though unspoken, that the world could see his reckless movement though unseen….. he walked on surrounded by hallucinations of a scorn filled generation, judging him, making fun of him, making him even sadder, but he couldn’t give it a second thought much less on a night like today.
All of a sudden his mind awoke to the reality, he was at the 2nk stage, already? How fast did the wind carry him? How strong was the wave of intoxication which had covered him? Was he going to survive? the PSVs hooted inanimately, he couldn’t make out which destinations the conductor in front of him was proclaiming loudly into his face, he walked past him, disinterested and lost, trying to find a semblance of balance for big men don’t fall, much less on a night like today.
He walked on, past the groceries and household items displayed beside him, why did she have to die, on a night like today? His heart thudded, He realized that he had not completely covered his mind in liquor she was still trying to flood his mind, “I need more” he mused to himself. Why did she? He couldn’t let those thoughts torture him, much less on a night like today.
Into the Kickers club which promised relief and respite for all sojourners who sought out the mystery of feeling no pain and sadness, into the fearlessness the bottle brought, and into the lies and the truth obscured that his mind would allow. He asked for a bottle, any bottle he added, if it could make him forget Sheila, it was worth the price, Into the loss his mind would not go, into the pain his heart would not wander, there would be no thinking of Sheila much less on a night like today.
Thirstily he gulped down bout after bout of the Devil’s nectar, and while after while did he lose touch with everything around him, and he was sky high, up there, up with the birds… He had lost her, but now he could fly, He would fly all over just to see her again, if only for a moment, if only for a second, “Sir”, the waiter looked at him…. she was concerned, And what a beautiful face, he thought, she was holding something, it was his bill, he paid, he walked out no more alcohol much less on a night like today.
And as he walked past the Prestige plaza, past the Tickles fast food joint, past Maathai Supermarket, past the lower stage, his mind wavered, and his heart echoed a song of death, he couldn’t have heard the shouts of passersby and the hooting of the enormous transit lorry as it came charging, he couldn’t, he couldn’t feel the impact, he couldn’t understand the pain, he was neither within nor without, as they carried him, as they called out his name, some familiar, most not, as they talked about her, he couldn’t hear anything, he couldn’t much less on a night like today.