Unchurched


Image

I spent my teenage mornings wondering if my parents could tell that I had just finished masturbating. Because my father ruled the house with a million rules, an unmoving heart and iron hands; the perfect antidote to be the worse amongst the lot.

They say preachers’ kids are the worse, like how the most righteous Christians are the worst sinners. But that is only a half-truth. See, it wasn’t a rebellious path we had chosen to take; it was just a consequence of being forced in a cage in the hopes of being exemplary citizens to the rest of the world.

The other half truth? We were perfect devils.  

On Sundays I would sit two rows behind the front seat, and alternate between listening to daddy preach so I could answer correctly to his questions about the sermon later, to keeping a straight face while I concentrated on watching Deacon Djan’s daughter squirm as my finger stirred her gates of Salem

I remember the day Julie came over. The parents had travelled to a little village in the Western region to share the gospel. I invited Julie into my room. My chest was pounding so loud I kept downing jugs of water to calm me down.  I was scared shitless even though I knew they were miles away, every second crept by with the freaked out thought of my father coming out from under my bed.

But then Julie started to undress, and her translucent jugs made me forget what it was I was worrying about temporarily. When I got behind her, the framed bible verse father had given to me on one of the Sunday mornings as a means of motivation was staring into my face, and guilt came tumbling down. But not enough to stop me.

He’d asked me to meditate on it daily and ‘tap into it’. I was tapping into Julie alright.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – the picture on the wall read.

I could definitely do all things. And so could Julie – her womb was going to turn miraculous and not take seed, because I was deliberately out of condoms.

 According to father’s logic, I wasn’t born dumb, so I wasn’t supposed to be as dumb as I acted. I wasn’t born with a sheath on my manhood, and I wasn’t going to enter the Promised Land with one either.

If marriage made 2 people one, then mother was the good side of father. She was the kind hearted beauty that made his beastly passion bearable. And she was my constant saviour.

I read a book set in the 60’s where a mother lay with her son to curb his homosexual tendencies. Now my mother wasn’t that fucked up but I owe my residual sanity to her patience and love.

It was mother who saved me from my father’s fury.

It was mother who saved me from myself

It was mother who knew what to do when the Bishop’s daughter almost died trying to abort my baby

Hell, mother must be Jesus. Mother has to be Jesus.

Because she’s the only person I know who can save me from this death.

Advertisements

The 13th Disciple


Nobody asks about me.

Nobody remembers me. Except the scholars.

How easy you descendants of Mary Magdalene forget! In spite of the gospel I spread to the heart of Ethiopia.

How easy ye men of earth forget…

I was a solemn man once upon a time.  Skirting the compound of my father’s land in Jerusalem, ogling unmarried and married women’s tits, when I heard of the Messiah. There were a lot of prophets in my time, but none with a buzz as thickset as the one they called Jesus. So when they requested for my presence the night afore, I hesitated not.

We had been waiting in the lower room moments after the cock cried thrice. Justus and I.

I was not completely certain why we had been called but I suspected it had to do with Iscariot hanging himself with his neighbour’s daughter’s underwear two weeks ago. We sat ten finger-steps away like we were little infants waiting for our sweet teeth to be attended. I had dozed off twice, and Justus had dozed off several times, even though each time I prodded him he would clasp his palms together firmly like he was in deep fellowship with our Lord. When the sun set we were summoned upstairs.

The upper room was a hollow spacious room built with dark wood. There were several men in the room.  All eleven of them were in the front, fervently praying; together with the Master’s mother and siblings.  The Master’s little sister stood piously beside her mother, Mary. She looked just like a mini version of her mother. With beautiful innocent eyes and full lips moving slowly in prayer to the one High above.

 I felt a tingling in my balls.

And vowed to pursue her if the day did not go in my favour. I knew in my heart that the Master would agree. I was a young upright man, righteous in my deeds and repentant of my sins. And had a pleasing face to wake up to in the deep embers of the night.

Peter called us before the men gathered and asked us to go on our knees. They held hands in one accord and prayed asking the Lord who knew the hearts of all men, to show which one of us he had chosen to take Judas’ place in the ministry and apostleship.

Now I Matthias, I wasn’t painted like a Pharisee – pretentious and upstart. I was good righteous man, but I was a sinner too. I had laid with Old man Bartholomew’s 3rd wife 7 times. But I had repented, and I was prepared to confess all my sins.

The joy on my face when the disciples chose me none can compare.  And I made my calling worth the while.

But nobody knows the 2nd 12th disciple.

In spite of preaching on one leg and begging Iskinder of Adis Ababa, leader of the barbarians, to desist from eating the inner thighs of 18 year old virgins on the Sabbath day and surrendering his life, and that of his men to Our Lord.

Inspite of being crucified naked in the open market of Sebastopolis.

Nobody knows my name. Except Google..

Image

Sleep


Madness is not some wild land to which those afflicted are forever banished, but it is a bewildering place to visit and to return from;

Sometimes, in a matter of hours.

In my mind’s eye i could see the echoes of my laughter bouncing off the walls; like big ugly ants escaping the slap of my bathroom slippers. It reminded me somehow of Father.

Sweet gentle father. Caring loving father.

I could feel the edges of my mouth forming into a smirk even as I thought of him.

My father was a reasonable man who behaved like a mad man only when his blood was inflamed with liquor. Which was all the time.

The only time I remember him being sober was at his mother’s funeral.

He would hold my brother by his ears and slam his head unto the kitchen table for eating his leftover meal. And when I screamed out in horror for him to stop he would slap me hard back and forth like he was conducting an orchestra, till I was silent and numb with pain, and then return to slamming my brother’s head onto the kitchen table like it was a part time job.

 

So I learnt how to be defensive and strong from home.

How not to cry and how to colour my feelings mute. And I mastered it like a god-given talent.

 

And then I met him.

He dashed for my seat at the train station when I moved over to help a fallen kid up. He refused to leave the seat and grudgingly told me not to expect him to be a gentleman because he wasn’t one; for he’d been standing for 39 minutes, he needed to pin his ass down and rest his tired legs. I was surprised and amused at the same time. We argued for half the train ride as everybody looked on at us amused. I ended up sitting on his bony left thigh, and was quite happy when he got off the train with a slight limp. The transition from strangers to friends to lovers is an art we perfected.

 

When I say he had me, I mean he had me with his blood pumping through my veins, with me falling asleep in his arms, saying, go ahead, save me. He undid the knots that held me bondage to my father’s madness and loosened the nerves that tightened up at my inability to protect my brother. He had me with a paper ring, to never let me go till Hades breathed fire.

When I say he had me, I mean he had me in that bizarre place where I’d pause my breath for him if I were asked to, he had me in that dreamlike state where I forget I had brains, just a heart and body parts. He had me through two abortions – panic, foetus, pain and emptiness.

He had me through the pain of finding my little brother hanging in his room, and wishing so hard my father would take his place I had wanted to fit the noose around his damn neck all by myself.

When I say he had me, he had me.

He.had.me

HAD

 

You know how sometimes the truth unfolds before your eyes, but you never quite get it? You can see it, but it doesn’t sink in right away. The truth had not cleared through all the circuits yet.

It took me 3 months to finally accept that she was with child.

A “she” that I never knew of, a she, 5 months pregnant with his child. His child.

 

For days I walked around in a daze. Stunned, as if someone had punched my bowels out.

The pain. The pain.

The pain killed me. He cried. I cried.

I cried some more. We cried together. He loved me still. I believed him. But he had to let me go. He hated himself for causing me so much pain, he’d rather detach himself than ruin me. At least that’s what he said.

I begged him. I dragged my knees in the earth and wept till I couldn’t recognize my own self.  I’d rather die than have him leave me.

The kind of pathetic love that made you want to hold on to an embrace even as they carved unwanted truth in your spine. I still wanted to hold on. I had no clue what the next step would be, but I was in no condition to let go

But he let me go. He pushed me away.

It took three months for me to want to live again. Three months to not hurt myself just so I could channel the pain from my chest to my skin. Three months to try and live with questions etched in the skin of my memory. Three months that felt like three years.

 

I was going to let go. We were going to let go.

 

I asked him for help.  My father had been tossing his belt again. My face was bruised, could he help me to the clinic?

He came over in all his magnificent splendour, wearing his heart on his sleeve like he still had one.

My face was bruised.  I had been making a symphony of beats with it against the bathroom wall.

He rushed over to me and held me in his arms. I could feel an eerie bubble of laughter rising within me, laughter for all the things we couldn’t be. But I stifled it.

He asked me to put some clothes on. I had laid the bed and put on his favourite lace panties. I wanted us to climax in style. I stared at him. I stared hard at him. And all the words I wanted to say got stuck at the back of my throat.

I walked to the bathroom and closed the door, staring at the bottle of lidocaine on the sink.

2 years ago my father almost sawed his hand off in a fit of rage. He’d put himself under just to escape the pain. How and where he got that jug of anaesthesia from, I didn’t want to know. It didn’t matter.

 

What mattered was the long sleep we were about to have.

That was all that mattered…

Image