Burials should be sad,, not boring
There will be many plastic chairs housed in three or four large tents. There will be a smaller tent closer to my house. I will be resting inside my coffin which will be on top of a glass table. A photograph of me will be dangling from one of the posts. A blue book with columns titled; number, name contacts and comment, will be on the table, open. There will be writings in it. Some will write long sentences praising me, saying how I was good, how I carried them in my car; they will talk of my smile and the gap between my upper incisors. Others will simply type RIP. There are those who will take the pen and sob, and then they will write nothing. There are those who will write bible verses. Someone might write” fuck death”.
My brother will be seated next to me; my coffin. His eyes will be red like those of a weed smoker. He will be sniffing a lot. He will turn away at the sight of women crying. When mama’s turn to look at my face for the last time will come, he will walk into his room and remain there till that small window, that window through which people could see my face will be closed. Then the strong men will carry me to my house. They will lay me down close to the hole that will be to the right side of the main door. The preacher will read a verse and pray, maybe he will only pray, depending on whether he will be in a hurry or not. Then they will lower me into the earth. The righteous man of God will be the first to throw earth onto the hole, my final resting place. He will be intoning, from soil you came and to the soil thou hath gone……. Then they will want mama to throw the soil. She will not be easy to deal with. She will start screaming, though her voice will be too hoarse. She will sit down and call my name. She will sing. She will pull at her hair. Her wrapper will fall. Her buttons will fall and her breasts will sag out. She will not care. The women will pull her to the side. She will bite them. She will call them names. They will overpower her. They sit her down, she will sit, but she will continue wailing. Other people will throw the soil. The faithful will sing, they will sing it is well, and kijito, and what a friend. The soil will be filled with hoefuls, and jembefuls, and handfuls of soil. The end result will be a mound, the amount of soil displaced by the box containing me. My friends will drive back to town after taking photos and planting flowers over my grave. My mother will be led to her house against her will. My brother will retreat back to his house and lock himself in a room with plenty of brandy. Few men will do wakes for three to five days. The fire will be lit outside my mother’s house. The people will sit outside my mother’s house.
They will talk about things; busaa, the president and a looming health workers strike. They will not talk about me. They won’t even wonder that I am dead and have no family. The story will be discussed weeks later. Young children will tell each other when going to school. The women will talk quietly about it when harvesting the millet. The men will also talk, to other men and to their wives. My mother will hear these stories. She will just listen and say ah. She will be wondering too. I wish I can tell her, but this, this is a great secret, one worth going to the grave with.
Before I die though, I will live. I am not suicidal. Listen here, my doctor said I am suffering from depression, gave me anti-depressants and told me to adopt a baby. I am not depressed, and I can’t adopt a baby. I know I can’t get mine and that is fine. My not sleeping and lack of a baby are not related. That my wife left doesn’t bother me. The doctor however believes I am depressed. I went to the hospital because I have been having amnesia and constant headaches. I do not know how we started talking about my wife, a wife who only existed in my previous life, a life where I was a husband. In this life I am a man, a rich man living in my house alone. I am single and not searching. But the doctor insists on my history, a history that is buried and rotting by now. He insists, he is a doctor, I can tell him what his colleague said/decided. It’s about my sperms. I have two million, only two million. Normal people have a low of sixty million. Twenty million is the least I need to make a baby. Two million followers on twitter, means you are a little more than popular; it means you are a socialite or better still, a celeb. Two million shillings in the bank means you are rich enough to own a car and a house or a wife, not all three of them. Two million sperms however means you are dead, gone, bure kabisa; it means you can’t make a baby, unless you agree to borrow sperms or try making one in a test tube before transferring it to the womb; a very very long process I hear, and you must be ready to co-operate with the doctors, even when they are asking you for your semen on a cold Sunday afternoon after church, I speak from experience. You see I only went for this seminalysis madness because of my mother. She has been sickly of late and the only thing she asks from me every time I visit is a child. Looks like she will die without holding one from me, because the doctor says I have only about two million seeds, two million per one mil of semen and that young girl, who looks like she stopped suckling yesterday, says it is too little. So, how much do I need I ask her? Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Did she just say I need a minimum of twenty million sperms! Twenty million minimum and sixty million to are considered normal! Crucified Christ, I have only 1/30 of normal! In other words, I am seedless, yaani, I shoot blanks most of the time and sometimes, my semen has traces of sperms. Why, why have I been pouring out all my life? Why have I been wearing latex? Why, why me now? Who is this who has been sucking all my sperms away? How do I walk in the market with a seminalysis report written “inadequate sperms”? How can these sperms be inadequate yet they are two million of them? Two million and yet none of them can be fast enough to fertilize an egg. Ah. And that young slip of a doctor with bushy bushy hair thinks she comforted by telling me that I am lucky. Lucky to have two million sperms. I am just like those ones who don’t have any, because like them, I can’t put a baby inside anyone’s womb. I am no better with those ones whose sperms have no tails or heads, why the hell do they even need tails and heads? I can’t imagine I spent three hours masturbating and another two hours milking sperms into a container only to be told that I am sufficiently crippled down there, and the way I have been avoiding tight pants and fires and all that blab la. A cook spends all his life next to the fire and his sperms are normal, more normal, and adequate than mine who has been spending all his life away from from fire, what a paradox!
Well I removed my wedding band, coz Naomi also walked away. She says she is searching for a real man, suddenly; the definition of a real man has changed to someone who has sixty million plus sperms, isokey. Me with my gentlemannes I am left here wondering how this curse got me. I am racking my head, replaying my arguments with my late mzee in my mind, I can’t remember any instance he mentioned infertility. I can’t even remember any of our neighbors at home who can wish me such.
I can tell what you are thinking, that I am suicidal. I am not. I want to die later, not now. I want to die silently, pain free, in my sleep maybe. I want my mother to be alive when I die. I want her to be there because I want someone who will cry genuinely. If she dies before me, I will ask that my body is cremated and only my brother to be there. Otherwise, my burial will be a boring event, burials should be sad not boring.