Lies and Living

Pinocchio

Usually before I leave home I look in the mirror for any errors and then I make consequent corrective measures. I fix my face and make sure my nose has no boogers. I brush my hair and trim my nails if necessary. Further I adjust my clothes accordingly then I step out. Actually, I don’t know what the story behind my step is but I know it’s not purely out of necessity. My posture surely affects the way I walk, but what else does? Okay I watched Hit man and the guys stride just blew my mind! And… Oh Yeah my grandfather has the most manly urgent walk I’ve ever seen and I have noticed some of his influence in me, especially on days when I’m in a night club. In the club I walk with purpose around an enclosed space I intend to subject myself to for more than three hours, strange I know. I’m sure there is more history when it comes to the development of my stride but we shall skip that for now. As we speak however, I have a slower gait as I am trying to distinguish myself from these tall kids at Manda hill dressed like I am:- t-shirt, jeans and Weinbreinner boots.

Notably, clothing has always been the most inconsistent undertaking for me. Sometimes I dress like a broke white guy and other times you can find me looking like a rapper. Definitely, I’ve picked up a lot of influence through the years and I can say I’ve tried it all. For instance, I’ve worn all sorts of head-gear including du-rags and bandannas. Also, I remember once I had a chain the size of two veins. I got rid of that thing right after my grandmother told me I looked like an underpaid thug. Some other time in the ninth grade I wore a red Manchester United soccer jersey with Beckham printed in the back, a see-through camouflage vest on top, timberland boots plus some blue jeans…at a beauty pageant. Obviously I didn’t know what I was doing at the time though in hindsight I cringe at the thought of that combo. Luckily at present I have a lot more balance and can proudly say that I own two pairs of good jeans and at least 5 t-shirts in my reservoir of garment.
So, as I walk through the mall I have headsets in my ears in order to avoid the awkward act of thinking and realizing that I am around a bunch of strangers. This crowd includes rapists, pastors pilots and since I rarely look other races in their faces for too long maybe even Hollywood celebrities just taking a stroll through a third world shopping mall. Anyway I’m listening to hip hop as usual proceeding to meet a friend and her accomplice.

I like people. Those with positive vibes and those who dislike me somehow have the same value if we acknowledge the fact that they both acknowledge my existence. Also, I have become firmly convinced that people who hate others usually do this out of ignorance. Because of the UN-knowable-ness of man and the unreliable judgments of personality we make my brain has somehow wired to generally liking people. To prove this I intend to take a group photo with all the guys whose girlfriends I made mine and vice versa. This might be an overly ambitious venture but it’s worth the try right? Anyway, I’m meeting a longtime friend I probably should get married to. She’s interesting and sweet. She’s very pretty and she likes me a lot. I know she likes me a lot because she writes subliminal Whats App statuses about me. Her Facebook and other social media updates are usually about or for me. I know she likes me because of the way she looks in my eyes even as I act nonchalant about the gazing. She’s usually confused about our meetings because I don’t seem to know what’s going on, but I do. I know very well what’s happening between us. We are playing emotional poker and this young lady has a tendency of flashing her cards a little bit too often. Nevertheless I sit to eat with the two and proceed to converse.

I used to view conversations with women as a daunting and indeed foreign act between the ages of 14 and 20. The media and other outlets of popular culture brainwashed me. That’s my excuse brainwash! That is why the first girl I asked out was someone I only knew for 2 weeks. I thought women where the prey and men the hunters. She diplomatically told me she would think about it and I am hastened to mention that I am still patiently waiting for that response ten years later. As I develop my communicative abilities it has become increasingly clear that we are all cut from the same cloth. We all want to be understood and the clearer we are with each other the better. Any way at this particular time I have developed a quick reflex to subliminal messaging, metaphors as well as implicit communication. As I grow older I notice people speak to each other’s images more than they actually have honest interactions with one another. That is why when I sit to have lunch with these ladies they are eating with Daniel the employed guy with attractive humility and a sense of humor that can get away with almost anything. I am sitting with “young ladies massively influenced by series and twitter hash tags”. I know it’s unfair to label one another but that’s what we do every time we meet new people or even the same ones. We label them because it’s easier than trying to fathom the depth of each individual, a representation of great potential and an abyss of mystery. You can never truly know someone. So, we have lunch and talk about everything from movies to politics to weight loss and marriage. Basically we have the typical Zambian menu conversation. At the end of this meet I leave with a sense of confusion as I always do. I wonder to myself what life would be like if we didn’t veil our feelings and needs to one another. If I told that potential wife of mine that I know she likes me but I think she’s just overwhelmed by Zambian societal peer pressure. What would life be like!?

As I was growing up some part of my conscience knew I was pretending and largely confused about my role in this whole grand scheme. Outward appearances at this point were the primary concern and not having depth was not a problem. However what worries me now is the sophistication of pretense. Life now is more Machiavellian therefore it’s bloodier and much more calculated. People treat one other like pawns on their individual chess boards with little or no regard for the truth. I’m not trying to say I’m a paragon of moral civility but maybe it’s better to notice the log in my eye first. Also I might be painting a grimmer picture than actually is but babies thrown out with bath water are lost to the eternal drain of oblivion. All I’m trying to say is that if you have a unguaranteed amount of time on earth shouldn’t you spend it genuinely? By genuine I mean doing the things you actually want and saying the things you want to say. If you fear the consequences of an act and resort to dormancy you will reap exactly what you deserve. Okay I might be overdoing this temple of doom speech. I’ve been on a writing hiatus and now I’m back and because writing is such an engrossing activity as well as it is fulfilling I am very excited as I type this. It feels good to be back!

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