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Time sticklers. Folk who hate pineapple pizza for no apparent reason. Damsels and debonairs in relationships with people who have OCD. Seasoned hagglers whom hawkers loath. Sveltes and buxoms who bless restaurant mugs with lipstick prints. Peeping toms who can’t fight the urge of peering into stranger’s phones. Bachelors and bachelorettes who hold a conviction – scrambled eggs is the only meal the earth has to offer. ‘Vegans’ who take meat on weekends and call it cheat days. Peeps who rightfully tell Kenyan cops ‘I know my rights’ and everyone else that I haven’t acknowledged; nosy caretakers and security who bestow debts upon us by the virtue of cordial nods. Anyway, I hope you got; that text back, that proposal sent, that art piece completed, the sullied cloth pile on the lonesome corner chair downsized, your heart healed, you’re more attractive that their new girl/guy. How has the past week been for you? For me I haven’t told her I like her yet. I know, I’m still warming up to that (pressure bursts pipes) but I consider my previous week rad. Until it took a nose dive on Saturday, a wintry morning – literally and figuratively.

When Obama won the presidency in 2008. I was a kid, wet behind the ears. I knew little about him, all I knew was he was ‘black’ which sparked my skepticism because to me black was tar. Black was the hue of darkness. Black was what you saw when the lights went out. Black was the colour of my skin. What shade of black was his? He looked white but whatever, his dad was Kenyan, that counted. When the news was broken to us. We ran helter skelter. We ululated in glee. It related to us, for the name ‘Obama’ sounded so indigenous, it seemed like it could saunter to the Lake and summon fish to the beaches. I’m not a superhero guy. The last Marvel movie I intently watched was the Spiderman trilogy. That’s just as much as I can backtrack. Somewhere amid figuring out life my enthuse withered off. All I know is Batman beats up the unfortunate and Spiderman is Iron man’s protégé. The only superhero I know is my dad. Overtime, I grew cognizant of the fact that he’s innately flawed so I dropped the idea all together because, growing up. This was until 2018 happened and Black Panther’s release was imminent. The first superhero of African descent in mainstream comics was about to grace our screens, this was huge, I was elated. I wonder how legitimate comic junkies must’ve felt at the time, they must’ve been manic. Hills. Mountains. Oceans. Away from the movie’s country of origin, I felt included. I felt seen as an African. It was comparable to how I felt when Obama won the presidency for the maiden time. That’s how intimate it was. Suffice to say I watched it. I had to, it would be rude not to. A scene stuck, kept playing in my head with the words; ‘As you can see I am not dead,’ King T’Challa. With the film came the cross fist symbol, a badge of honour. A sense of belonging etched on hearts. Which would inherently become salutation for Chadwick Boseman, the lead.

Chadwick’s passing plummeted my fire. A celebrity’s demise has never hit me hard like his did. It got me good, an incisive deck in the gut right where it hurt. Knocked me right out. That he had been putting out blockbuster films. Physically exerting into the nature of an acting job and its demands. Maintaining a smile. Chipping in to the advancement of BLM. Being philanthropic to the ailing and many others. Playing lead roles. All this done whilst undergoing chemo and surgeries for an advancing cancer! How crazy can it get? His was utter fortitude. How selfless can one be to dedicate their life into making people happy when an uncertain future looms? He even went ahead on IG live to talk about COVID and some netizens threw snide remarks and commented on his frail frame. Not a single time did he play defence, not once did he take offense.

The vagaries and frailties of the universe baffle me, emphatically giving me reality checks. You could be with a pal making plans for an impending event when a pandemic spirals out of the blue and condemns the world to pits. What happens to the arrangement? It’s as good as the moment. Then sheer chance takes the wheel and steers it in trajectories only it knows. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes it turns out pretty fine. At times it drops us in a tepid state. I’ve made peace with the fact that we could gain or lose it all in a snap. Faces could revert from a smile to a frown in a whim. We could go from peace to chaos, increments to ebbs, hate to love, check out this stunt to I lost a tooth, what a cool guy to I hate that dude.

The good ones go. The bad ones are left to plunder resources from public coffers and whatnot. Here I am, miles away from the States. Yet I feel bereft, why? In his role I felt a belonging just like I felt 12 years ago on the ruggedy grounds of Primary School. That’s how colossal impact was. It struck me worlds away. I could ramble on and let my sentiments bleed on paper. I won’t. The mark he leaves, I’ll wrap it up in nine letters – beautiful.

One thought on “‘AS YOU CAN SEE I’M NOT DEAD’

  1. “Folk who hate pineapple pizza for no apparent reason” yassss where are those haters😂😂🤦‍♀️ we went from laughing to feeling your pain in about .2 sec..sending virtual hugs you way..and its undeniable how epic that movie was..”i never freeze”😂

    Liked by 1 person

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