Nostalgia, dejavu, I feel like I’ve been here before, like we’ve been here before, but there is really no us, just me with an untoward feeling… a feeling that I’ve been here before. You can see me wipe a brow of sweat, from the glistening side that is out. The chair frame is doing its best, to hold my agitated weight down. As my mind wanders to a time when it felt safer, a time when it didn’t feel threatened.
It’s been years since our usual ‘chips’ joints, years since our meetings at Mwangi’s salad joint, heck I muse, there must have been more in those recycled paper plates than fruit pudding, there must have been poison too and the unyielding curse of a future filled with blissful pain.
You hold my hand I snatch it away, and with the gesture I remember it all like it was yesterday,
The year is 2004, I look across the bar, after a nudging by Tony, the resident bartender in Copacabana’s, he says I’ve been out of the game too long, I agree hesitantly, he pours me a shot of tequila says I need it. I ask why… he says to talk to the lovely young thing at the end of the table who keeps throwing swigs at me. I chuckle half-disinterestedly half amused… it been long since I’ve been in the game, there’s no confounding that truth.
Tony insists, I buckle under his teasing pressure;
We begin to talk, the bar becomes animated and I think I see an angel, I’ve taken too much tequila… I muse. Better add another just to make sure. You took my hand, and in that instance I realized that your hand was covered with perspiration, were you nervous? To meet me, an old bloke like me?
Some headlights blare at our window, followed by some loud honking.
“He’s here, I didn’t mean it to end this way… just stay safe Frank,”
I feel like we’ve been here before, like I’ve been here before, actually it’s just me, I’ve been here before. The headlights reduce to a blur, I sit in idle bliss… thoughts race through my mind until the waiter hands me the bill.
The year is now 2016.
Photography: Mukiri Gitiri
Francis The Lone Puppeteer