Drinks bring back memories. But so do breaths. Every single one of them. At least for us teetotalers, who don’t need drinks to subject our minds to involuntary time travel.
The year is 2015. I am in love, with a tender soul who smiles charitably and freely. Eyes are meant to see but hers speak, of the journey of sunlight as it enters raindrops and emerges as rainbows. I don’t want to even talk about her voice, which has an agreeable trace of sexy and a hint of Ellie Goulding’s.
Before that I had spent my entire life lost in a fantasy, that I’ll meet my heaven-sent wife on a plane. It was a law. A law that bound my wishes of having the most beautiful wedding story: ‘I first met my wife on a flight to Santo Domingo’. But not until I met this innocent exotica. And just like Eve did to Adam, she made me do the unthinkable. Rethink ‘God’s Plan’ of meeting my wife on a plane. Some laws deserve to be broken, I proposed to myself and this qualified to be shattered, I concluded. The law stood eventually and it was my heart instead that was demolished. A story for another day.
Years later my mind still wandered back to this..hmm… fairy tale, we can call it. It felt like a safe haven to harbor my lost thoughts. My mind would start building castles; on sandy soils. It was as if my fate was sealed and that was the only shot I will ever have. Yet, I fell in love again. To other female species of Homo Sapiens.
2013. The year I joined St Mary’s School Yala. This is after I spent 2 years in a secondary school, which is a secret and an unofficial military training station doubling up as a Penitentiary. Its code name is ‘K1’. If I have ever portrayed any barbaric or brutish behavior, you can and should confidently attribute it to K1.
That’s why Yala was like heaven for me. Walking into its gates felt like redemption. An escape from hell. As a consequence, St Mary’s School Yala haunts me just like all the other good things in my life. My mind wanders there just as though it was the Garden of Eden, before Eve ruined the party. Hitherto, my mind intentionally ignores the many serpents in Yala.
I spent a lot of jokes and fun moments in primary school. Now I am broke, I can’t afford jokes. I carry with me a few, preserved for girls I like. Maybe that’s why my mind often travels back to 2010 and tries to suck back the fun. For what’s worth, the version of me in primary school is my favorite. I was a walking mysterious paradox.
I loved reading but rarely read out of class. I liked girls but rarely talked to them. At class 8 I was still in Sunday school, and looked nothing like Jesus. I did what I freaking wanted, nevermind the date or time. I didn’t have any sort of mental and emotional rubbish clouting my mind. It is a favorite timeframe for my mind to sail to whenever nostalgia dawns.
I am sick of Nostalgia. It has blind spots that make memories seem better than they actually were. I’ve had fun moments in my life. But I am no longer a slave to nostalgia. If I liked books then, I would love libraries now. Assuming trees were my thing then, forests are my everything now. Given I wanted to meet my wife on a plane then, I wouldn’t mind meeting her at KFC now. Ndege ni ndege! This screams for more courage and being guilt-free. More than my shameless neighbors in my first year who were having sex with worship music in the background. Memories are good and fantasies are even better. But now…Now is real!