Hello, Family! It’s been a while and my face is clouded with shame as I write this. I should have kept in touch, but then again, here I am!
So much time has gone by, I bet most of you have fallen in and out of love, got babies, got married and aced in exams. All that in no particular order. I, on the other hand, thought was falling in love at some point, but I guess I hit my head during the fall so now I’m back to my senses. Talking of love, it’s Pride Month and people are coming out of the closet. I think it’s a good thing because love cannot be dictated. In that spirit of being open and coming clean, I’m going to let you into the darkest chambers of my heart and mind. But mostly, my mind, since I tell myself that my heart is not that dark.
Strong is not one of the first words you would choose when describing me. Scared. Shy, maybe. I think shy is most appropriate. There is a boy in my class who once walked up to me and said,
“Shy girl, why are you always in a rush? Why are you shy? “
My first thought was to say, because that’s what Shy girls do but the good girl in me did not allow that. So, I ended up mumbling something like, people make me anxious and he bought it. What I didn’t tell him was that I’m also always hungry after every class and food is something I really prioritize. He still calls me Shy girl and I smile.
You could also choose to say that I’m strong and I will flash you one of my very honest smiles and totally agree with you, but let me not get ahead of myself.
Earlier today , I went to see my eye doctor or ophthalmologist, if you are feeling fancy. It was one month after the previous visit as prescribed. I am so tired of all these visits, but I just go, because I need to be there. I remember immediately after the previous visit, I kept on telling my mother I was not going back. I didn’t want to go back, but there I was, sitted across a doctor scribbling things on my now huge file. I think my file is the one which is most written on.
Everytime before I get to the doctor, I have to do the visual acuity first. Every patient has to. This is one of the procedures that I loath with everything in me. And that says quite a lot. You go in and close one eye and then you have to use the remaining eye to read some letters plastered on the wall. Now, this seems so easy, I mean, who can’t read? Let me surprise you, it’s ME! I can’t read without my glasses, especially if the letters are really small. My left eye is also the biggest bummer of all. It is weaker than the right, so I mostly depend on the my right one. I guess you can call me Forest Whitaker.😂
When my turn came to do the test, I took off my glasses, closed one eye and started reading whatever letters I could see, which were mostly the large ones. I did the same thing with the other eye and just staying when I thought it was over, the man in charge asked me to put on my glasses and read again. Now, this seems like it would have been easier, because I had on an extra pair of lenses, but it was not. My eyes were still adjusting and as a result, I couldn’t read anything. It’s embarrassing and annoying at the same time, but what was even more annoying is the fact that the guy looked at me and said in the most condescending tone ever,
You cannot read! In fact, you cannot see!
I wanted to say, ‘Don’t you think I already know that? I have known that for an eternity. Everyone does. ‘ but I didn’t. The man thought he was giving me news, but that was news too old to even think about. The whole episode took me back to when I was eleven years old. I was out playing with my friends and at that age, it had not yet occurred to us that ‘boys are bad’, so we were just playing together. And then out of the blues, one boy just looked at me and said,
“There’s no difference between you and a blind man. “
Up until that point, I had never quite understood the statement Niliskia uchungu kwa moyo. That is the only time I have ever really felt pain in my heart and it’s nine years later and I still do when I think about it. So, being told I can’t see is not news and I still hate having to go through visual acuity. 😅
One of my favorite essays to write about in school was The Eye. This was my strong point. I knew my way around corneas and cataracts before any of my friend could even think about it. And so, I enjoyed writing about it. This was practically my life. I always hoped that the compulsory essay would be based on the eye, but we can’t always get what we want. 😅 So, as I was sitted there listening to the doctor go on and on about eyedrops, the only thing on my mind was, Can you please get over and done with already? I have been through this enough times already. I could have said it out aloud, but it would have been rude. After all, she did not go to Medicine School for all those years to be disrespected like that, so I just sat there like the good girl that I am. Waiting to leave.
Despite all this, there are some visits that are very nice. Once, I came across this fun doctor. He was a good listener, (I guess all doctors are. 😂) young and very tall. Yes, just tall. I’m sorry if you expected me to go on and add the D and H. He was just tall. All through the consultation, I was thinking, why is he slurring his words like that? And then out of nowhere he says,
“You are a very beautiful girl, but you’re going to lose your sight. “
I sat there thinking to myself, he thinks I’m beautiful. He thinks I’m beautiful. But then I’m immediately hit with the reality that I might also be going blind, so I just sit there and smile, because if I didn’t smile, the lump that was in my chest would have melted and drowned the both of us.
If you’re still reading this, then probably you’re wondering where all this is headed? What is she going on and on about? Well, I guess it was about time. I have spent many days smiling and acting strong. You know, putting on that I’m strong, I have gone through this before and I can do it look. Truth is, I’m not that strong. There are so many nights that I cry myself to sleep. Everyone has a breaking point and some days, I break down so fast that I surprise myself. One time in Form 1, a teacher came into our class during prep, looked around and pointed me out saying I was sleeping. I was not! Predictably, everyone in the class burst out laughing. I didn’t laugh and neither did I try to explain to him that those were just my eyes and that in fact I had never slept during preps. I waited until the bell rang and rushed off to my bed where I cried myself to sleep. Until today, I have never known why I cried that night. My classmates just laughed because when in highschool you laugh at everything, even the most nonsensical ones, so I never held that against them. I love you guys by the way, you were there looking at my ugly face when I laughed and cried at the same time. 😅
I have said so many sad things that perhaps right now you are feeling sorry for me. Please, don’t. A very close friend of mine, Sam and I joke about me having eyes that suck at being eyes. He is a poet, so sometimes he invites me to his shows, and I tell him, “That show is at night, and I have eyes that suck at being eyes, so… ” And that is how we go through all this. Finding the humor in it. I hope you will too.
Apart from all the ranting, I am also thinking of a new nickname. Mrasta or Macho Nne thanks to all those catcallers. 😂 Ras Macho Nne would be perfect, don’t you think?
Have a great weekend, friends.