21st 2009 Midsummer
Not for me the politics of the social. That
engine oil called polite. Rather it is shyness that keeps me in
By Lake Kyoga, admiring the new bridge, those in
whose care I was saw a man approach carrying catfish across his
shoulder. The incident was to become one of those small yet haunting things
that buoy history and memory and the real. It was like being in
class. "What is Ateso for Hello?" I knew the answer,
but as I offered it, suddenly it became more important to belong. So
I said "Yoga-doka tiddly-poo." They laughed and I
was 'just adorable' and harmless and ignorant and stupid. No threat
As the nonsense came out of my mouth I understood
the betrayal that is compromise. I should have just said, "Yoga
swum." Then perhaps I might have managed my sense of worth with
a dignity, rather than inflict a story of 'adorableness' on those long years prior to attaining a majority.
It is a confusion, certainly, but I would
suggest that sometimes a mind contains a reflection not so much of what the
clever call intellect, but something over which there is no control.
Here, short of chemical additives, there are no answers. Which I
suppose is why psychologists grow wealthy promoting cures. And which,
I guess, is why we are capable of believing and trusting and hating and
pretending 'just adorable' when these moments fall. A planetary
alignment perhaps. A conjunction within randomness of pure things,
followed then by the struggle of intellect within the 'I that is me'.
Okanya's cousin, like so many, learned his
English on the Golf Course, where for a ten cent coin he would carry golf
clubs. "Four" was "watch out."
"Birdie" was "serious." "God dam it to bloody
hell" was "funny."
Okanya's cousin was happiest
mimicking the English. I can see him now, matching his stance to an
imaginary ball, taking his swing. Stamping a foot, throwing a club.
Then flipping his ten cent coin at me, which I of course returned, because
he was bigger than I.
can remember him now and I can still laugh. As well, I can remember
"Yoga-doka tiddly-poo" and I can still blush.