The Sailor


It is inevitable; the dying coughs say it all, and
our fears are confirmed. Yes, the bus we boarded
has broken down, and we are all doomed to show
up late at the doors of our homes. From the bitter
argument between driver and conductor, we find
out what happened: the engine had run out of oil,
but they chose to manage.

Manage! That’s a
word we get to throw around now and then.
People manage dead relationships for fear of
being alone, refusing to pull the plug even when
the socket no longer functions. People manage
horrible jobs for fear of unemployment while
standing knee-deep in misery. I could go on….

The skies are dark tonight, but they glitter in
comparison to my eyes. My face wears the look
of a man battered, whose dreams no longer fly as
high as they used to, who has been dealt a hard
hand on Life’s card table. Mental translates to
physical now and then; I almost collapsed the other day. Yes, the city’s attitude towards this immigrant has
changed….from indifference to pure antagonism. I
think of the man whom I had to pull off the
steering wheel of a tricycle as he suffered an
epileptic seizure, and I almost hate the fact that
his situation distracts me from the wars in my
head. The fact that “some have it worse” doesn’t call for ceasfire along these mental battle lines.

Your call comes in. I smile as the ringtone plays
out, but for some reason i cant explain, I cant
press the green button. I am thrilled by your love,
and I won’t say I am overwhelmed, but it sure has
an effect on me. Calendars have got nothing on
your love, and account statements have got no
bearings on your heart…..but how long can you
go on? How long can your faith hold out for the
crossword puzzle that is myself, a puzzle  that even I have given up on trying to figure out? Why keep facing torture for
daring to spend a few hours in my head?

You complain that somehow, you cant seem to
find me lately, and that even when you hear me
speak on the phone, there is an underlying
absence that cannot be ignored. You’re right: I
am lost, and on many nights I feel like a ship with
neither anchor nor rudder….but how long will you
keep searching? Will you risk losing yourself at
sea to find me? I know, I am not the same guy
who charmed you with confidence, wit and
humour…..well if our life together was music, I’d
say we have gone past the pop and folk tunes,
now it’s country, now it’s the blues.

It’s not just about the mood swings anymore; Gloom has become a near-permanent state of mind, like it has acquired citizenship in my personality make-up. Sometimes I am tempted to think that each of us is born with a “Happiness Quota”, and I just might have run out of mine. I am very much at home with the dark clouds right now, and when friends reach out to me (rarely as that may be), I can’t tell genuine concern from bland civility, so I ignore them altogether. Even multiple doses of Sarcasm can’t mask the angst, and these days I derive a strange pleasure from being turned down, or having my affection unrequited; I live for the hurt and pain. Heck, I stare at the mirror in disbelief when night comes and I feel that I am “not sad enough”.


No, I am not shutting you out. Always know that
you’ve got the keys to this soul, all of it, but if
you decide to fling those keys in my face, it will
be a script so familiar; the room gets dark pretty often and patience isn’t Peak Milk, we can’t all have it in us. Much has been made
about my heart being too slippery to hold, and if
your gloves can no longer maintain a grip, I
understand…..I do. I am a sad empty town, and
your arms cant fix the debris that is my thoughts. I am a
tortured soul, and your love cannot save me. I
wage war with legions with my head, and you are
too good for me, too pure to get caught up in the
mental crossfire.

That being said, I dont want to see the wrong end
of the doorknob. I’ve got enough love to last a
buffet, and when I finally open this zip that Life
has tightened, you will see what is in the bag. I yearn for you…..with my pizza-sized heart which the
world tries so hard to roast…..or at least what’s left of
the pizza. When Life switches its tunes, we could
waltz and slow-dance together, and when I’m
done slaying these demons, you’ll never have to
search for me again. It’s dark and strormy out here….in my head, that is…..but if your bosom is the shore, then I don’t mind being washed away afterall.

“Suppose I said
That colors change for no reason
And words choose to go
From Prose to Poetry

Suppose I said
That you are my saving grace
Will you be there in times
I get to lose my worried mind?

Will you want me
When I’m not myself,
Wait it out patiently
While I’m someone else?”


8 responses to “The Sailor

  1. …..well if our life together was music, I’d
    say we have gone past the pop and folk tunes,
    now it’s country, now it’s the blues. Hmmmm! Hot and fast love gone cold and slow. Nice piece. Maybe you should put a tune to all of this and let’s have a song :d

  2. Lagos is stripping you of your emotional life my real guy hold on you can still go after your dreams trust me these only makes u strong, nice tone good delivery .

  3. Dear me! the darkness and chaos in that head is palpable, i can almost touch it….Deep stuff. I hope her love is enough to help him solve the puzzle…

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