My story was maltreated. With the fingers that nailed Christ to the cross on the mountain, it was rubbed with mud on a very dry summer month.
The words were too wrong and ugly to speak. I refused all attempts to bully it out of my mind with the sharp edges of a metal digger. I tried to tell someone my story, but he thought it was an attempt to draw pity. He marked it as a weak solicitation of emotions.
The world took me shopping with a bit of scorn. I was silenced by charity — like so many other people. I kept my hand out, atimes, in my pockets and smiled to unfunny jokes about anything that my mind reeled out. My story became a means through which people throw random ‘eyaaa’ at me and move on with their lives.
Women asked me what my endgame was – like what I wanted to do after. I hadn’t thought about it. I considered marrying my dreams and one of the women and sitting with my winnings, but I was too smart to sit. I took their cares and went to school. I was hungry and took more. When I gained the energy to tell my story, I realized I had given women too much that was everything and I received all that was nothing.
The thing about women is that their currents are endless. They sometimes outrun themselves trying to undo each other. I stopped answering women’s questions or their calls. They said I was arrogant and treacherous. I shook my head at their inability to decode time.
My mind was on fire. Life was calling me. It had a voice that was too concrete to understand. I kept listening and the calls seemed to fade into the mighty ocean where dreams were reformed and remolded.
I kept my fate in the hands of God’s identical twin. He played me tricks sometimes and reformed my abilities to soldier on.
Women asked me for my story. I told them and they wanted to make a living out of it. When we argued about using my personal struggle in life to solicit for international money, I was voted as a reckless fraud with no pity.
I was a victim of the me that they thought they understood.
My father told me a story, of how he wrestled in the rain with the most ferocious of humans and won the right to brag. I told him to watch me as I slay lions and spread their blood in conclaves full of cobras.
He was weakened by my resolve. The endgame became my new beginning. There was a rigid attempt to declare anathema on me by the men who twisted history and thought themselves a misery.
My story is that of a burden, the bed of a childhood, the very reason why I stand in the presence of a multitude without really standing and flip a wild joke out of my fingers.
My grandmother told me about Jesus. She taught me how to kneel and pray and ask God for help in dealing with things that I do not understand.
She told me that God was a mystery. It was the only thing she could say as I lay dying on a hospital bed when I was 9. She had the conviction that it was not yet time for me to die until I must have told my story, write it in forms only I can understand and confuse the world with it.
My mother brought healers to our house. He had come with a mean face and I thought he was trying to exorcise the little evil they said was tormenting me.
A Psychologist came too but I started to craft ideas and concealed myself in a mental blanket that was anger.
I pretended that I would set the house on fire. The psychologist and the exorcist looked at me with disdain. They knew I was acting a script.
So my mother knelt down and begged the devil to take a stroll. I thought I was in trouble.
That’s when my nightmares came. A spinning wheel, a white porcelain tooth, a snarling mouth, and lightning haunted me. My mother told me they were visions yet unseen.
“Run round the house to confuse the ghost,” she said, and sent me to bed.
My mother insisted that I embrace my power. On my first day of school I bound myself a small book. The teacher complimented my vocabulary, and my mother told me school was the next thing to God.
She fed me traditional food. I went to bed early every night, but I never slept well.
I fell ill again with a disease only my heart could cure. Mother brought back the healers. I told them my grandmother was speaking to me.
Ori, a white mystic, told me she spoke to spirits, too. “Your grandmother says she misses you,” she said.
“My grandmother is still alive, why do you speak on her behalf,” I said.
“Because she was too busy tending to your dying grandfather”
I knew this was a test, but a strange one, because she didn’t speak to my grandmother either. I remember my mother was watching us, holding her breath.
“Go,” I said.
My spiritual fraud distanced my grandmother’s spirit from me. It became harder to stomach myself, and harder to eat.
“Do you think I will I die,” I asked.
“What?” Ori asked.
“Did you ever want to stop eating?”
“No,” she said.
Ori asked my mother if she could sleep next to my bed, on the floor. She listened to me all night. Storytelling. What potential there was in being awful. My mindlessness became a gift. I didn’t feel compelled to tell any moral tales or ancient ones. I learned how story was always meant to be: immediate and necessary and fearless, like all good lies.