Pepper Spray

I stood at the bottom of the hill and started checking my bag for the pepper spray.  I remember thinking Becky paranoid the day she gave it to me many months back. Today it made me a little braver.  I Put the Nokia 2330 in the front pocket of my jeans.  There’s some comfort when the phone is not expensive. It is however my mother’s phone; a phone she has graciously lent me for the past couple of weeks since mine was taken. IT mattered that i didn’t lose it. I got my last 2k and put it in the left pocket along with my ATM card; then wore my work ID around my neck. It kind of felt like overkill since that would be the easiest thing to replace but we’re almost getting into cantata season and I don’t want to be hassling with HR.

Today was the first day I bothered to find out how the pepper spray works. Constantly on my mind was the fact that I had to keep it far from my face as I figured it out. No one wants to be the person who shoots themselves with the gun they bought for protection.  This was the plan. If he grabbed me from behind, I would close my eyes and unleash the pepper spray. If He attempted to pull my bag from the side, I would just let him have it. After all, the only thing left there in was my bible journal, lip colour and deodorant.

I was breathing through my mouth by the time I got to the scene of the last crime, treading carefully wondering about my weak knee. I stole a glance at the pathway I believe he emerged from the last time, perhaps hoping that if he came at me I would just hand over the bag so that he leaves me alone. I do not know how to shout. Fear paralyses me.  I was praying under my breath.

“I’m accepted in the beloved” I repeated over and over hoping God would at least remember that part and maybe cover me.  I wasn’t sure. I‘m not sure of much anymore.

I turned the corner and saw a young couple at the half built fence chatting away.  I breathed easy again. At least there were other people on the road and I could see home.

I fell off a boda and it took me a while to feel safe on the road again. About two months later my bag was grabbed from me about two minutes away from my gate.

For the first time since, I walked up the hill without calling home for boys to come pick me up. Progress.Pepper

You should get out more

I’ve got to ask. You and Edmond?

Edmond and I . She sighed more than said the statement

Anything there? he persisted with a lifted brow

Edmond. Not really. I mean I wanted there to be a something. He doesn’t. So yeah.

Silence.

He told me early on. Truth is I was just recovering from the most painful break up ever and I wasn’t ready for another rejection. So I held on way longer. I have been hoping yet seeing reality

It happens sometimes.

What’s your story?

Well, I write stories for a living .

Do you make any money? She smiled as she asked that. I mean who writes for a living in Uganda?

It was a joke but not really. She remembered the day her and Lilly had vowed not to be decieved by the romanticism of struggling artists. Or Men who just didn’t have it together, thirty and sexy she had called them. She almost laughed out loud at the memory.

He laughed at the candour.

Dammit. His voice was distracting. Who laughs and they sound like caramel and honey reside in their throats? Was it even possible to have laughter tinged with an accent ?

Well, writing for a living in Uganda looks different . I do some copywriting but ghost writing is what pays the rent believe it or not. A lot of people want to be known as authors without necessarily doing the work.

Does it set your heart on fire?

Does it have to?

What’s the point of pouring your life into anything in this world that doesn’t?

Avoiding starvation maybe?

They both laughed.

Careful there Kisakye,she thought to herself, you’re entering dangerous territory.

Bandaids 2

May I come in? I have some chest pains and I’m looking for a good feeling is what she wanted to say

Hey. she said instead

Hey. He said back.

They stood and stared at each other.

Tough day? he asked and she simply stretched out her hands for a hug.

Tough life. She said against his shoulder. She squeezed and he squeezed back.

I don’t see you often enough. It would be nice to see you more.

She smiled at him and wished she believed him. She remembered quite clearly how desperately she had begged God to make him hers. The future she had imagined, the hopes she had held on to and the reality she was forced to face. All of it was so fresh in her mind.

What’s stopping you? She asked the question she already had the answer to and regretted it immediately. This is not why she had endured such a long boda ride to his place. Tonight wasn’t for sense and truth telling. So she laughed it away and her lips found his.

Tonight was for good feelings.

August 2017

I almost cut my jeans today. I had it all planned out. You see, I have this theory when it comes to clothes. If you don’t want to wear it, get rid of it. The jeans are quite old. They don’t fit well anymore and any time I have worn them in the past year has been an entire day of regrets and being self-conscious.

I looked for the scissors and set about cutting them into shorts. That way, I can only wear them at home, to do things like laundry. I was going to cut them and then write a blog post about letting go of old things and giving yourself space for the new. Except I didn’t. When I got the scissors, I remembered I was due to go to the tailor to re-adjust some skirts and wondered if I couldn’t do the same for my jeans as well.

I was supposed to come and talk about how it is okay to release things. It is the beginning of a new month and probably the best time to let go of certain things.

However, it’s okay if it’s the beginning of yet another month and you are not ready to let go just yet. It’s okay if a relationship ended and you are yet to change your whatsapp wall paper from a picture of the two of you to…what do you even change to? It’s okay if you are not ready to decide whether you should return or burn all the letters you ever received from the other person. It’s okay if you are not yet ready to decide how you want to pray about this. Just because it’s the beginning of a day or a week or a month or a year or a new age does not mean everything else in your life has to be ready.

Today I stayed home most of the day. I did my laundry. I actually just washed two pairs of bed sheets. I scrubbed the bathroom. I decided on and tried out an outfit for a dinner I have on Saturday. I removed from the line and ironed previously washed bed sheets. I made my bed. I spent an evening with two friends drinking wine, eating ice-cream and talking about life and then I came home and I changed my whatsapp wallpaper.

I don’t know if anyone ever knows when they’ll be ready. I guess the most we can do is hope to be ready by a certain time. You can work towards being ready if it’s an exam or a tournament you’re preparing for. However, I don’t know if anyone ever knows beforehand when they’ll be ready to let go.

I guess I just came here to tell you that it’s okay. Take time. Think the thoughts. Feel the feels.

Joel  told me last week, “Sometimes we need lemonade. Yes. I mean Beyoncé . To go through it all. To feel the anger. The pain. The loss. To want retribution. To come to a final place where Jesus and only Jesus can take the wheel”

 

Bandaids

What are you thinking about?

How past trauma constantly gets in the way of living in the moment. I mean I should just be here, right now. I should kiss you slow, passionately and with abandon.

You’re not here?

I am

But?

But…I’m stuck trying to choose between just laying my head on your chest ,simply enjoying having my body wrapped up in yours ,kissing you and…

…tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

You’re holding back

…because I don’t want there to be much of a difference between the days I get to kiss you and the days I don’t. I want to enjoy it to the very core of my being yet walk away as easily. I don’t know how to do that.

I’m not dying tomorrow.

Yeah, but this might.

The Friendship Factor

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

I think one of my favourite things about life generally is the gift that is friendship. True, genuine,I’m here for all your seasons kind of friendship. I desire it. I treasure it. I honour it.

This morning I was thinking about this thing of friendship and these are my reasons for wanting it so much. Friends are a place for grace, they get you. Friends are the ones who come and ask you “what’s up?” in the private chat after you totally lost in the group chat… lol. Friends are the ones who keep wanting to believe the best about you even when you are at your worst. Friends help you remember who you are when you have forgotten. Friends help you find your way back home when you get lost. Friends give to you. Friends receive from you. Friends laugh with you (and sometimes at you…lol). Friends cry with you. Friends hope with you, sometimes they hope for you when you just can’t find it. Friends celebrate with you. Friends let you know if your clothes aren’t fit for the function (or at-least they should…hehe). Friends and friendship really are the spice of life. The mchuzi mix on this journey of ours.

A while back , God went and told someone that I am His friend. I kept wondering, “What does that even mean?” . So I asked myself who else the Lord called friend and I got Moses. That started my journey studying the book of Exodus which I just finished reading about three days ago.

“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” Exodus 33:11a NIV

You know what is really amazing about Moses’ relationship with God? It seems like He’s the only one who had it, at least at that time , in that camp. God told him things before they happened and as such Moses is rarely if ever seen to fret and worry. Moses also had the Lord’s ear. In the verses after this, Moses asks God to show him His face and the Lord responds to him. This might be my favourite conversation in the bible at the moment. The tenderness, humility and friendship in that moment is mind boggling for me. Moses also cared what other people thought about God. Can you imagine that? Moses cared about God’s reputation.

I have had and lost some friends in this short life I have lived. For some, life and space has separated us. A few of them have died. However, I am yet to experience a friendship better than the friendship I have found in and with God. I won’t lie to you that I know everything the bible says or that I have all the answers but this one thing I know and I am persuaded of. The God of the Universe is very friendly to me. He’s my best friend. I only know how to be a friend by watching how He deals with me. He calls me friend. Imagine that!