It’s Friday, i come home straight from work to find you in bed eating salad from the pan, ash tray on your side – your smoking habit has been the most undeviating thing in this household. I no longer hang around work after 4.00 pm trying to run dry the staff WiFi. I have to be home by 5, make supper and then maybe catch an episode of Breaking Bad together.
“Hey Mami, I got you a new Dart board,” I say.
Only you don’t reply. You’re perusing through our photo album allying every photo to a context. You’ve consistently had the strongest memory and always thought I’m too nerdy to be as dumb as I am. Here you are sweeping through the album matching every face to a name.
The past two months have been crazy, you’ve been criticizing every aspect of my existence trying to make me grasp things like – why I shouldn’t leave the toilet lid open, why trousers are ironed from the inside and why it’s coffee first then water and not the other way round. You’re trying to lay me down easy, prepping me for the imminent which I thought was extreme.
I have to make food first so I set for the kitchen, I’ve learnt to love this part of the house because i could always drop a tear or two and victimise the onions for my compromised masculinity. The kitchen has been my escape for a while now.
“Check this out,” you say coming to me, finger on picture.
You and I in a garage I used to work in. You are laughing at how ridiculous my dressing style was then. I concur, I looked like I had robbed a 2001 Eminem closet. I always thought baggy track suits were comfortable, until I got caught by security trapped by the fence trying to sneak into an E-Sir concert.(The kid was the bomb then and my pockets were shallow I had to)
“Big foot Jessica took that photo. I remember we came to pick you,” you say. A smile cutting from cheek to cheek, the corners of your once clear eyes wrinkling a little.
Your petite frame and chocolate skin intoxicated by months of medication and I still can’t fathom anything more beautiful than you. You’ve grown to hate sympathy, so I’ve always been mum about it.
I stare at you and I’m reminded of everything I stole from myself.
“You’re allowed to remarry after I’m gone,” you pause, “Just don’t marry Jessica, the one with the big foot,” you say laughing out loud. I join in and almost instantly stop.
My eyes get teary, I swear,
it’s the onions.