Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Midnight Blues

This dry season was really dry. It was hot. It was mean. It was epic. It had an agenda.

The thing is that the wonderful LEC fried the air conditioner and I have been boiling away to glory since then. I could not afford to repair it and all ,so I decided to rough it for a while. There were some evenings when I thought my face would melt. In all honesty, it is not only the fact that I have to survive only using fans but also there's no freaking ventilation in the place where I work and live. Randall Street's a bitch as far as fresh breezes go.

I step out in the balcony, it's much cooler. I step into the next room - in the same freaking apartment - it's cooler. It is like the coolness is playing dodge with me.

So all the time we are experiencing a particularly lethal dry season - also do bear in mind, I tend to exaggerate a fair bit, I really don't know how to drive, swim or tell the temperature, once in the desert heat of Iraq, my colleagues were telling me, guess what, it was FIFTY DEGREES CENTIGRADE, and I was like, nah, it was all right today - the rainy season has also decided to show it's face earlier than usual. We have had some heavy showers dumped on us already bringing with it the humidity.

The past couple of nights, it has been too stifling for me. I was hoping to sit at my desk and do my night time work when I can catch up on e-mails, crunch out my invoices and receipts, prepare my paperwork, work out how much moolah I have made and so on. I like working late at night, listening to music or watching DVDs and preparing myself for the next day.

So the past couple of nights, I just took a lot of showers, tried to climb into the frigidaire, and tossed and turned until 2 or 3 am when it started to get a bit cooler.

This evening was actually cool. I could see the dark clouds at around 6 pm. I excitedly went out for my walk, came back sweaty and hot, took my shower and just as I was ready to sit at my desk and put in some work, LEC screws me over. I went to kill some hours at Mama Susu's, ended up eating a heavy dinner I was not planning on eating, shot some breeze with Mama, and came back at around 10 pm. The power was indeed back so I now I am at my desk , listening to Sinatra, trying to do some stuff I had planned.

You know I am glad I was such a melancholic kid, writing lousy poems, keeping a Diary, listening to Sinatra and jazz. It has had served me well in my adult life. I embraced the beauty of love with the naivete and passion as I imagined in poetry and great novels. I really experienced 'madness in a flashing moment,' sang 'songs of quiet passion,' 'soared among the stars,' and had a great love story with 'the man from Paradise.' And now that tragedy has struck me and I am alone again, I can retreat within myself, the spaces inside me and learn to accommodate the loneliness again. I am no stranger to loneliness and emptiness. I can listen to Sinatra, the blues, Led Zepplin and whatever Habib Koite and other Malian singers are on about and even appreciate the ache and pain even more so.

Now that my life again has some kind of a routine again and I am not so tired and overwhelmed, I find myself restless and don't know what to do with the time at hand. I can't sleep so easily and really really miss Wesley again. I miss having a home and feeling at home with him, safe and secure. I miss our inside jokes. I miss fussing over him and him fussing over me. I miss bugging him and miss him bugging me. I miss cooking for him and eating together. I even miss shouting at Joseph and Wesley getting angry with me. I miss his analysis. I miss his jokes. I miss his infectious laughter. I miss the way he used to fall asleep listening to BBC. I miss his figure working away on his laptop. I miss the way he used to come home from work, overwhelming the place with his bags and demanding a cold drink. I miss calling him dodo. I miss my own voice calling his name.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Of tragic beauty and humour to combat the blues

I thought all this new-found grief in my life had made me thin with pining and given me smouldering, mysterious, tragic-stricken beauty. At least that's what I think when I when I see myself in the mirror. Yeah, don't ask. I think I look really sad and beautiful. But I was just looking at some recent photos of mine and damn, I have a baby face. I look like a freaking kid with my round face. So much for tragic beauty.

Read the above. I've become pretty funny, eh? Where does this humour come from? Where is the comedy in my life after all the shit that's happened to me? After the universe has just shat on me. I guess that's what they mean by comedy.

But jokes aside, seriously, I've become very funny. I'm always on fire, zing, zing with jokes, poking fun at myself and the situations I find myself in. I even found moments of humour when I was in the midst of funeral arrangements, scratching my head trying to figure out how to get my boyfriend's body released from the hospital to be able to finally put him to rest, going through one hurdle after another. I also found humour in how homeless and poor I had become, enjoying the fact that everyone was always paying for dinner for me. I found humour in the fact that the dragon lady - me - took over the company and staff which Wesley so lovingly managed with patience. I have found humour in how I am a damsel in distress and men are chasing after me.

Nope, I'm not cynical. I just see the funny side of it. Perhaps it's a mechanism my brain has come up with it to deal with what happened.

But if you really want to know, I am sad inside. I have a universe of pain inside me. It constantly hurts. I miss my Wesley so much, every single moment of every day. There's not a day which goes by when I don't curse myself and the decisions I took. I wish I could sell my soul to the devil to get him back. I wish I had died instead of him, at least his family really really loved him while I have too many issues with mine, who still hold it against me that I loved someone who wasn't from the freak cult sect we belong to (Don't ask, we come from a random sect in Islam which none of the other Muslims recognise even. It's so random, so off tangent. Religion does my head in.) I wish I could die now so I could find out where he is. I close my eyes and wish I was holding him. I wish I had loved him even more and not even bothered to share him with my friends and kept him all to myself. But how do I go on? Why do I go on?

I don't really believe it's anyone's but my pain. I have to bear this on my own and forge ahead with the decision I have taken. I am a morose type but not a suicidal type. I have always been a 'strong' person and there's just no other way I know how to be. I have just accepted what life has dealt me and, like how one mentally prepares oneself for an uncomfortable card ride or flight in economy, I have mentally adjusted myself to a life without Wesley. I am just going to carry on the business, make a shit load of money, sit tight and wait until I die. It's as simple as that. I now know he and I weren't meant to be together in this life and I have to be alone. I now know the time with the love of my life was just that long. I am pretty positive I'll never go as crazy in love again. I loved him too much, with too much passion, and all all all I ever wanted was for us to be together. I might grow fond of someone again but that love, nope.

So, I have to sit tight and just live the rest of this life with as much dignity as possible. I will reach my goals - yes - but it's for the heck of it more than anything else. I can't let anything get to me either. Everything's a joke after all.

I used to take life very seriously but also very secure in the belief, in the faith that everything would be okay as long as Wesley was by my side. I feel utterly alone now on this planet. My partner has been taken from me.

I am very sad inside despite appearances. I am also bitter too, yes, I am. What are you supposed to think about life when you are separated from your love for a year, you are hounded by your own family, living far away in a depressing cold land, growing sadder and sadder by each day but desperately trying to be brave, and then you hear the news your love was brutally murdered where you left them? Ah, you just feel defeated. Like the universe defeated you. Punished you. (And that's what your family tells you, too, that you deserve something like that to happen to you. Don't ask.)

I finally understand why comedians are some of the saddest people there are.

I sometimes feel like there is now an eternity of grief inside me. I feel like I am carrying inside me two graves, one of my friend, Kavita, and now Wesley.

But I shall carry on. For the memory of my Wesley. I shall not give up and hide or run away.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Mid-week thoughts

Dude, I have been having a good week. Lemme see, I am going to land a nice sweet order for a LOT of IT kit for that mining company. I WILL be finally starting that maintenance contract with the other big-ass mining company. So whaddya know? I'll be dealing with the mining industry.

I have just come from sorting out salaries for February so that's a good feeling. It's good to be boss, man. It's good to be able to take care of your team, being able to pay salaries.

Still collecting payments, though. It's so hard to get the money out from some jerk clients. I hope none of them reads my blog. Oh well, the good thing is that some cool clients pay me on time so it sort of balances out. And in my new life, I need very little to take care of myself. I mean, I've got some clients who actually take ME out to dinner, get me great gifts. People are always paying for me, bringing me things , I go hang out with all the Mama's (Susu, Benu, Rebecca, what have you) who just take care of me.

What else happened? Well, I ran into someone I have been meeting off and on at Mamba Point hotel the other day. It was really funny. This is someone who consulted with my organisation when I used to work with at the UN in 3 different missions. We haven't seen each other since 2 years or more but he recognised me and called my name. I couldn't even remember this fellow's name. It was pretty funny.

Oh, I got blanked by a friend the other day. It's weird, eh? After all that happened to me, some people have behaved really wonderful with me and some have behaved weirdly. I guess crises really show you who your real family and friends are.

My team is doing well and I have THREE trainees on board now. I love the vibe amongst them. They really click with each other and I can't tell you what a cool working atmosphere we have (except when I am grumpy). The trainees work as hard as the staff and are really really eager to learn, contribute and be part of a company. We just pay them transportation and they come in every day. You should see how the senior staff 'teaches' them. Afterall, I don't know IT so it's the seniors' jobs to give the trainees training. Kennedy clearly loves to teach and he delivers great note-taking lectures. I watch with fasincation as it all happens. I even watch in amusement as they started teasing one of the new trainees and, had to remind myself I must stop it at one point lest the poor kid thinks I am condoning it. I swear, it's like being a school teacher sometimes. What I am saying essentially is that I like the atmosphere I have. I am still very managerial/dragon lady but I balance it with some occasional jokes, self-depreciating jokes, the morning meetings, and not controlling the show too much.

Of course, I still lose it. LEC is doing my head in. It's making me see RED all the time. Their power outtakes are driving me up the wall. I was first handling it well by shifting my ass to Mama Susu or to Haresh's store but it's just getting on my nerves. The internet is always slow elsewhere and I just can't work. It took me ALL day today to write one invoice and send it over. Oh my freaking GOD, I HATE THE LEC.

Not only is LEC-related stress driving me up the wall, it is making me go NUTS. I had to do some research on a plastic card printer and I thought I'd ask one contact which one they're using. So I call them up and they tell me they're using an Evoli product. By the time I went on the Internet to look for this company, I couldn't remember what it was. I ended up looking up 'Mollusk' and 'Obelisk' for half hour. Don't ask.

I have decided that I want to get into being an ISP at some point. Why? Well, the greedy GSM companies are providing crap service. There are some other ISPs which are decent but they are expensive as hell. So Farzana and her amazing IT company come in as a new ISP. We come in with really competitive, I mean are-you-kidding-me?-competitive pricing and just take over the market. I mean, we blow everyone out of the water. We just grab the market. That happens in year 1. And in year 2, we get all of our money back and more. Sweet, huh? Just watch this space.

So yes, it's been a good week so far. I have a good contract coming through. A good goods order. There's continuing work coming in from our current clients. We are busy. I am now becoming famous on the Liberia expats group although they thought I was a guy which I had to correct them on. I had a great lunch at Mamba Point the other day. I had a good Wednesday night dinner with some kids at Mama Susu's. I guess I am really taking to this new life where I am saving myself (enough with saving the world). I love this sense of I'm doing something for myself and working for myself.

Here's to a good month of March.