Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Confessions of a Mama's Boy!

My mama

I hate rap music. I really do. But Tupac Shakur stole my heart with his mad lyrics. My buddy G and I usually tease each other with his famous line: You claim to be a player but I have f**ked your wife! Hit ‘Em Up is pretty dope. Classic! Epic! But that isn’t why I love Pac. I love Pac because of his timeless hit single. I love him because of the track I have as the ringtone for the only woman in my life. I adore him because he had the words when I could not, cannot. I love Pac because he pulled the words out of my mouth directed at her. I love Pac because he wrote and sang “Dear Mama.” I love him because he was, and still is a Mama’s Boy!

Pac says, “Aint a woman alive that could take my mama’s place…I can always depend on my mama…I gotta thank the Lord that you made me!”

“Can’t run away and leave my mama alone, cause I am her boy, mama’s boy. Just don’t run off and leave my mama at home,  cause I am her boy, mama’s boy. Just don’t.” These are the words to Justin Bieber’s single ‘Mama’s Boy.’ Ok, I don’t particularly like Justin or his song, but if anyone sings about his mother, then we can definitely connect.

If there is one thing I am proud of, that would be that I am in my 20s and am proud mama’s boy!

This Tuesday evening, just home from work, cold, drenched and hungry I reflect on my brief life and the impact my mama has on my life. Whatever I am, whatever I hope to be can be owed to the only woman in my life: my mama.

I am a mama’s boy!

When I was young I had a serious case of nose bleeds. If it rains, I bleed. If it heats up, the nose taps flood. If I get a slight headache, the bleeds start. What I never missed while going to school was a pair of handkerchiefs. One evening, it rained heavily. We were seated in the living room when my nose acted up. This time the normal first aids refused to work and I was losing a lot of blood. Laying prostrate on that cold, rainy night I saw the look on my mother’s face, the worry in her eyes and I literally cried. Somehow I felt it was my fault that she was worried. I wished the bleeds would stop not for me but so that she could stop worrying. Many years later I still get worried sick if she as much as contracts a common cold.

One time, close to a year ago she had a case of Malaria and Typhoid. She was sick, not seriously but sick. I remember praying to God to let me be sick but she becomes well. You see, my mama is literally my life.

Last week I was in town for classes and I met this guy, a friend who sells jackets. Mike was his name. He was seated next to his stall, hunched back and in deep thought. He looked like he was disturbed about something. I asked what the matter was and he told he just got a call that his mama was sick. You see that to me was a mama’s boy.

I am a mama’s boy!

She has been the solid anchor of our family, my mama. She has sacrificed a lot, gave up so much just so that my siblings and I can have a better shot at life. I am who I am today wholly because of that beautiful woman, my mama. My grandfather used to say we would be nothing but for my mama. It is not because she gave birth to us, No. it is because she gave her whole for my brothers, sister and I.

Madea and my sister
As a boy I would rush home from school, get to the kitchen and prepare her anything available to eat. I would serve the food on the table, in front of her favorite seat. Then I would run to the gate to wait for her. I would direct her to the seat and get her food to eat. I would get disappointed if she doesn’t eat. I would get mad if my brothers would touch her food. That was me, that was us: my mama and I.

The trips to town were the best. She would go to the bank. I used to marvel at the massive banking halls, the queues and people. Later, we would go for lunch and my staple dish was usually fries and a soda. We would go shopping and I would push the trolley as she drops item into it. On our way home I would sit next to the window, looking at the trees fly past, little boys waving. Sometimes I would wave back.

Even later when I was shipped off to boarding school, I always cried on the opening day. I never wanted to leave home. I thought, then, it was because I hated the school’s food but later I realized I never wanted to leave my mum. She was my life. Visiting days in school were the best. When she would come. She never missed any.

I am a mama’s boy!

There were also the bad times with my mum. The beatings and punishment were a horror in our household. Mama used to beat us like she was on a mission: to seriously wound or worse kill. She would beat us with anything within reach, from shoes to cooking sticks; slaps to wooden hangers; ropes to electric wires. Even after all of that, she, like all moms, kept her arms open for all of us.

She taught me all there is to know about this life. She was the first to teach me how to make money. She was the first to teach me about women and dating. Daddy later took over and books covered the embarrassing questions. Avoid hot women, she would say. Even though she understood that she could not teach me how to be a man, (that was my Dad’s forte) her influence on my life today is strong and unmatched. If God would let me live my life all over again, I would choose to be with her even if it means that we live penniless.

I am a mama’s boy!

I feel safe whenever I am with her. I feel complete; whole. I am not afraid to be myself with her. I feel capable, able, and strong in her presence. She does not have to do anything at all. Just her mere presence, her laughter activates my creative energies and power. The reason I go home every weekend is because that is where my true source of strength comes from. The reason I talk to her every single day is because when I do that, I sort of recharge. My power levels go up. My mama has this way of making me feel alright when the odds are stack up against me. When the world seems a tough wall to break, she is the ladder to the other side. My mama is one wise woman. Her is word is sage; her deed honorable.

I am a mama’s boy!

My mama and I communicate like old friends. This is because we are just that, friends! While in college, my roommates would constantly be surprised the way I talk to my mother. Harrison would say, “You talk with her like your age mate.” Okumu would say, “She is like your girlfriend.” I always chuckle and smile inwardly for you see my mama and I do not have the formalities that define a parent-child union. This is the beauty and power of our perfect relationship. We are friends.

I finally got round to watching the movie “Think like a Man.” Is it just me or Zeke, the player guy looks like Ramah Nyang the Kenyan journalist? They might be related. Anyway in the movie there was the self-confessed mama’s boy, Michael. The way he relates with his mama is just like me. We can lounge and chat, my mama and I, hours on end about politics. We can be in the kitchen cooking while discussing the weather. We can be seated on the table reading the papers. We can do anything. Lately, we have started discussing investment options. She says I have finally come of age, I pay my taxes.

Pac’s mother taught him three things: respect, knowledge and search for knowledge. You see my mama is a teacher and the book bug sort of runs in me too. I am a teacher. My mama would tell me to read hard and pass my exams. She had high expectations of me and I never disappointed. The joy in her eyes whenever I showed her my report form or transcript was priceless. During my graduation ceremony I could see she was the happiest of all. She had invited her friends and I could tell right there mama was proud of me. I was happy too, really happy because I made my mama happy.

My mama taught me to be myself even when the world around me wanted me to be someone else. My mama taught me to stand for myself, fight for my space. She made me learn the power of success and power. Mama taught me to be bold, confident and self-assertive. She taught me to respect myself and people around me, especially women. Mama had me realize so early in life that I can have whatever I want so long I work hard at it. She was right!

I am a mama’s boy!

Now that I have a job and live on my own, mama would sometimes call and ask if I have eaten. I would tell her I was tired and made tea. She would get angry, mixed with honest concern. ‘Tea won’t keep you till morning,’ she would say. Sometimes she would call to ask if I am in the house and safe. I would tell her, jokingly, I am big boy now. She would say I can never be too big for her.

Whenever I have money I go out on Fridays or Saturdays to jive and drink some wine. Mama would call to ask if I am out. Yes I would say. Keep safe, she would sign off. You see the big girl and I share a connection deeper than anything in the world. She is my mama.

I am a mama’s boy.

Pac says, “There is no way I can pay you back.” I can never repay the love and affections shown to me by my mother. I can only hope my deeds and actions would be sufficient in at least showing her that I appreciate and never take for granted everything she has done for me. That is why I always drop everything I do when she calls for me. I never argue with her. I try as much as possible to help her out when I can.

I will build her a bigger and better house. I will buy her a car. I will take her to all the nicest holiday destinations. I will give her all the finest things in the world, she deserves them anyway. But they won’t be enough to repay her.  

When the time comes, I will take my girlfriend home to meet my mama. She has to. Her opinion would be the only one that matters. If my mama doesn’t like her, the girl has to go!

I am a mama’s boy!

I take great pride in that phrase!
To me a mama’s boy is a man who knows and appreciates the love that is given to him by his mom. He is wise enough to know that sometimes the instincts and emotions of a man need the softness and wisdom of a mother.

I am a mama’s boy and I am damn proud of it.


-Don Eddie Ombagi-

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

May the Bridges I have Burned Light the Way!


It has been ages since I wrote a piece on this blog. Actually my New Year resolution was to consistently write at least one post each month, if only to rejuvenate my soul. Well, so much for resolutions!

A lot has really happened since the last time I wrote. For starters I got a job. Interesting I first thought. But each coming day makes me question the whole essence. This should make a new post. I am not unhappy; on the contrary I am quite OK. But just that OK.

Here is the real deal.

I got a girl…. She was, and still is, beautiful. She had this smile that would always make me go limb in my knees. She had a killer body, with a fine posterior to boot. Oh, and she loved pink. I do wear pink, gentlemen do pink!

For the few moments I was with her I thought, actually believed that true love exists, it isn’t just a magazine. We could chat hours on end, text our sore fingers away, tweet with reckless abandon and whatnots. I was happy. She was too. I could tell from her smile, a permanent fixture in her face.

I invited her to my house one day. We made love that night, rainy it was. Those who know me know how touchy I am with the rain. My creative power comes alive with the showers. I am after all a Pisces! That evening was like no other. It was pure magic crafted with the divine hands of God. For those who believe in Greek mythology, it was when cupid and Eros met and created a masterpiece.

I was happy. 
 
One particular weekend, I go home to visit my folks. It had been a while, two weeks actually and I was dying to see my mum. When I am home I always do three things only: eat, watch TV and sleep.
I was asleep this time when my phone vibrates. Due to the nature of my work, my phone is always on vibration. Now I have this ritual with my phone that guides our absolutely lovely relationship. When it vibrates, like this time, I wait to see if it’s more than two vibrations. If it is, that’s a call. I pick. If it is only two, it’s a text. Now, when am half asleep, like I was on that Saturday afternoon, I never respond to text messages. Never! So I decide I will deal with it later. I tossed, put my hands between my curled legs and sleep.

My sister wakes me up at a little past seven. Its dinner time, she says. I jump out of bed and head into the living room in time to see Musalia Mudavadi in some campaign rally in Isiolo. I make a mental note to contact his campaign secretariat. He needs a speech writer ASAP.

During dinner, I remember the text message from earlier in the evening and I decide to read it. It was from her, the beautiful girl.

Je suis enceinte” she wrote. 

Well, for those who know French would know the meaning and would be probably smiling now. But for the rest of humanity she meant: “I am pregnant.” I know. I remember reading a blog somewhere that of the top ten things men fear to hear from their girlfriends, this was number five. Below “Let’s get married” and above “There is something I wanna tell you”.

I was still numb from sleep so I responded as coolly as possible.

“Wow, that’s good news, right?”

“Really?” She texted back

The texts went back and forth but four hours later, I was confused as a baby in a topless bar. I sure as hell didn’t want kids, at least not now, but then again I am a gentleman. I never shy away from responsibility. Responsibility and I have been lovers since forever. No kidding.

That was two months ago.

In between nothing much happened. We never spoke about it again. Actually we never spoke again. I decided to let things fall into place. I think it was Desiderata who said, “the universe unfolds as it should.”

Let’s wait for the bump, I told myself every morning.

Yesterday night I find myself with time on my hands and I text her.

“Hey, too quiet” 

“Seriously? It is you who went quite after the French thing.”

“I didn’t go under, I was confused” I replied

“…confused about what? I was just trying my French and the word came to mind”

“What?”

I felt like a fool. I still feel like a fool. I am a fool. She was trying her French on me. Of all possible French words, she thought it wise to use that! But I wasn’t angry, I felt stupid and foolish. 

I was afraid. Who isn’t anyway?

Here I had a perfectly good relationship, that had the obvious ability to transform into something meaningful and I screwed it up because I was scared. I was afraid.

In the movie Midnight in Paris, there is an episode where Gill, an aspiring writer is riding in the carriage with Hemingway, the famous writer. Out of the blue, Hemingway asks,”Have you ever made love to a truly beautiful woman? When you make love to her you feel true and beautiful passion. And for at least that moment you lose your fear. A love that is true and real creates a respite from fear. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well which is the same thing.

I have just finished watching the movie a third time. I know, it’s lame but I am a sucker for flicks set in the medieval. The English at the time is fascinating to hear. That’s why I love Sheldon Cooper, the Physicist, in the sitcom Big Bang Theory.

I never believe in second chances so this isn’t about an apology to the girl I liked. No, it is something more serious, something more important. Worth blogging about.

This morning while flipping through my diary I came across an entry I had made on the 1st of May. It had to do with a conference I was applying to and I had marked down the deadline for the submission of abstracts.1st July it was. Obviously I had missed the deadline and for no apparent reason. I had not been busy as to forget the date. I had not been out of reach as to assume complacency. I always wrote down stuff in my diary and constantly reviewed it. My computer screen is a litany of sticky notes reminding me of what to do. How could I forget such an important thing? 

To further complicate matters, I was supposed to volunteer at the conference secretariat. I feared the coordinator would view me as a fraud. How could I not keep my word? I sent her, Prof. Kamaara was the name, an email, explaining my predicament and asking if I could send my abstract. She replied. Three minutes later. Of course I could send my abstract. Wasn’t I part of the organizing committee? 

I was relieved of course. I hurriedly drafted a 300 word abstract; after all I had all the materials I could need for the paper. I sent it and immediately she acknowledged receipt. 

See you at the first meeting, Prof. said. 

I couldn’t wait. 
 
Below the conference entry on my diary were the words; May the bridges I burn light the way!

May the bridges I burn light the way!

I could not remember where I read that from and I had no idea why it was on my diary. I brushed the thought aside and continued with the day’s work.

This afternoon while having lunch the thought abruptly interrupted my reverie.

The words: may the bridges I burn light the way!

I was having lunch with my buddy Gilbert while watching the news on TV. Something about Miguna Miguna fleeing to Canada. This man, Miguna Miguna! Anyways! The line got me thinking. A lot. I know that there are bridges that I have burned. There are people that will line up from here to Siberia to tell you that.

Would these bridges that I have burned light my way?

Would I use my past mistakes, past failures and blunders to rebuild my life? Would I be willing to accept that there are relationships that I can never recover and use this as a lesson for the future? 

This is where the story of the beautiful girl actually lies. I know that I cannot recover that relationship that we had. I was afraid, I botched it up and chances are I might be afraid again. I burned that bridge! Would this burnt bridge light my way? Or would it consume me midstream?

My prayer is: may the bridges I have burned light the way!


-Don Eddie-

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Will Date a Girl Who Reads!


 
I want to date a girl who reads. A girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes.  She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. A girl who has a list of books she wants to read or has already read, and who has had a library card since she was twelve and in primary school

I want to find a girl who reads. I will know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag, under her pillow or her bedside table. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. See the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader and I want to date her for real. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and mothy.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If I take a peek at her mug, the creamer is floating on top because she’s so engrossed already that she forgot her coffee was getting cold. She is lost in a world of the author’s making. I will sit down. She might give me a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. I will ask her if she likes the book. I will buy her another cup of coffee.
She’s the girl reading while stuck in traffic on her way home from work. While the other passengers are busy wondering when the gridlock will clear, when they will get home, when they will alight, what they will wear tomorrow or how that date will go; she is wondering what will happen to Santiago in The Alchemist. Will he reach the pyramids even with all the odds stack against him? She is silently crying for Dill in To Kill a Mocking Bird. I will ask her if she likes the book. I may pay her fare home; she may be too engrossed to realize the conductor has not asked her.

I will let her know what I really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Did she now get why Nafisi had to Read (ing) Lolita in Tehran and in private. I will understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. I will ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

I will ask her if she has read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and how the title, ironic as it is, is derived from Miranda’s speech in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest; oh, has she read The Tempest? Sons and Lovers, has she read that? I guess she understands the oedipal drama that surrounds Paul Morel.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. I will give her Ayan Hirsi’s The Nomad for her birthday, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf for Christmas and My Heart is a Lonely Hunter for anniversaries. I will give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. I promise to give her Neruda, Dickens, Hughes, Pound, Allan Poe, Hemmingway, Cummings, Frost, Maya Angelou, Yehuda Amichai. 

I will let her know that I understand that words are love. I perfectly understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. Like Alice in Wonder Land or Cinderella and her prince.  It will never be my fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow.

I will lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. For through words, do we express who we really are, our hopes and aspirations. After all she knows the Bennet’s daughters did it all the time in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

I will fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. And I can always write a sequel. That I can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Judith McNaught’s Paradise brings that so well and I know she has read it. She has to!

With a girl who reads I am not frightened of everything that I am not. I know girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Gossip Girl series where Serena Van Der Woodsen still gets everything easy from chapter one to the end. I can be myself, with my imperfections, my issues and shortcomings. She is comfortable because has read Phantom.

If I find a girl who reads, I will keep her close. When I find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, I make her a cup of tea and hold her and tell her it is OK. It was a good read. I may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to me, she always does. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

I may propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or during a book reading. Or very casually next time she’s sick, over Skype.

I will smile so hard I will wonder why my heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over my chest yet. We will write the story of our lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce my children to the Harry Potter series and Jane Austen’s Emma, maybe in the same day. I will walk the winters of our old age together interpreting The Dream Within. She will recite Keats under her breath while I add firewood to the mantel. She will read Rebecca while I kiss her gently and soliloquize Only You when I am making love to her. Watching the sunset she will be memorizing Tristan and Isolde.

I will date a girl who reads because I deserve it. I deserve a girl who can give me the most colorful life imaginable. If I can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then I am better off alone. If I want the world and the worlds beyond it, I will date a girl who reads.

-Don Eddie Ombagi-

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He Lied: For I Cannot Use My Pen


I finally uncovered the deep mystery underneath my somewhat calm exterior. I am one confused guy in between a struggling boy and an evolving man. I am but this mortal guy desperately trying to prove a point, yearning to make a change in the society he lives in. I am this next door average guy who smiles a lot hiding more than can be seen internally. 

During an interview for a scholarship I had applied to, one of the panelist asked me why I write. I had no immediate answer to him but a poem I wrote while in my second year of college. Here it goes:

I write to raise my voice,
              to warm my freezing thoughts-
Tend my forest of dreams,
                stifled by the weeds of hate-
Look after my garden of desires,
                strangled by ropes of time-
Water my pot of perpetual hope,
                scorched by the hot sun of fate.
I write to restore my love,
                of a world gone crazy,
                maddened by the hearts of men-
Replenish my hopes,
                of an existence that lacks meaning-
                a being that is of no essence.
Cut the ropes of time
                and triumph
Kill the weeds of hate
                and grow
Cool the sun of fate
                and live to fight another day.
I write since I can't talk,
                I remain silent
                in my darkened room of hope.
I write since I can't share,
                I clench my fist
                in my island of optimism.
I write since I can't love,
                I blind my feelings
                in this universe filled with hate.
I write since am alive
                breathing in my space,
In a world that knows no limits,
                no bounds.

He remained speechless for three minutes after I recited the poem then said, ‘You do not deserve this scholarship. You should be a writer.’ Later during drinks he asked me why I applied for the course I intended to study, I told him I wanted to study Development because I wanted to be part of Africa’s solution. He looked at me in the eye and told me, ‘Use the pen.’ I never got the scholarship and I have never met him again. Those words still ring in my mind: Use the pen! Yet I really do not want to be a writer. I enjoy writing, penning poetry and stories but I don’t want to be a writer.

This morning while preparing for work, his words came back to me: Use the Pen. Maybe it is because I am applying for the same scholarship again. I asked myself why I write when I want to. It is the fire within, I realized. The fire within that makes me write, write and write. And the same fire within on some days burn so strong that it burns me into cinders and render me inadequate. On such days all thoughts simply burn into flames and do not come out of the pen or the keyboard. I wonder if all human beings are such mixture of emotions. They must be. But it must be true that only those people who have been able to control and tame their emotions are successful in what they want to do -- love or career or whatever... and this is precisely the reason I cannot be a writer. I cannot control my emotions. I feel them and sometimes they burn.

I love the water deeply. I have this affinity to water masses that sometimes I think is an obsession. Maybe it’s because I am a Pisces and our sign is water. But I always find myself drawn by the power of the waters and overpowered by its might. Over the weekend I was at the coast and like everyone else who is a visitor to Mombasa must go to the beach. I was at the South Coast, at the Forty Thieves Beach Resort and the might of the ocean simply overpowered me. I imagined the silent beast that the ocean is, the vicious monster that it can turn to be. I imagined the secrets that the ocean has kept under its bosoms for years on end. Secrets that no one can uncover. I imagined the thoughts of the ocean floor, the life that thrives in the other world. I enjoyed watching the magnificence of the waves as they are propelled to land then retract to the deep. I was lucky that this pleasure was within my reach for I always find the tranquility of the beach stunning, the undulating waves ecstatic. Every time I visit the beach I always have a near magical experience. The sunshine alone makes me happy to be there, but the water and the waves are a huge factor, as is the colors... The ocean is so amazing to me, because it can be so calm and peaceful, or on another day in another part of the planet, it can be raging with huge crashing waves that are just beautifully stunning. Reflections on the water, the life it contains within, the mysteries and adventures that can be had, all on or within the ocean are really almost too numerous to try to begin listing here. I think of the great depths and expanse and interesting things that can be explored and found within it. Feelings can't help but come into play, at least for me. I can be having just about any kind of day, good or bad, and always can feel better just by being near the ocean. It’s simply beautiful to me, and warms my spirit and heart always. I love even pictures of it, I love the lighthouses, I love the islands, I love all the stories that I know of that have anything to do with the ocean.  It is like making love for the first time. These emotions are not good for a writer!

I love watching the stars. My friends think it is wrong especially for a man, but the last time I checked most astrologers were men. In college, I had a room with a clear view of the sky from my bed. I would spend countless hours at night watching the stars. They provided a sleep pattern that aroused my senses. When I watch the stars appear in the sky everything seems kind, romantic and harmonic. I always think being aware of the vastness of the universe, by watching the stars and the nights sky, really does expand my mind to realize how unimportant my problems are. There is something awe inspiring about a starry night and velvet skies especially for an insomniac like I am. At that particular moment when I see a shooting star or a meteor fly past, my emotions run amok. It’s at that point you realize that life’s miracles are in the little things always ignored. These emotions are not of a writer!

I am a light sleeper and I terribly enjoy walking in the night. I find it relaxing to stroll alone in the dark drinking in the breeze of the night. I love the smell of the air at dawn and I have no reason why. My friends think I am a night runner or a son of the night. It's one of life's most underrated pleasures: to stroll through the streets of a big city in the small hours, drinking in the wonders of the world after dark. I find night walking as the only freedom one has in this life. During the day one is drawn into the normalcy of situations and forgets his desires, at night the wolves in men pace the pavements. I would love to pace the streets of Timbuktu, the African intellectual capital at night. To feel what my forefathers felt, to breathe the air of the giants, to be free. These emotions are not of a writer!

I love music; but not your kind of music. I love listening to Rock and Country music. One of the great things about music is that it is so intuitively powerful that sometimes you find yourself loving songs that you know you should hate. For me, this pattern started early. I would listen to Lonely Boy and jive along to Somebody I used to Know. I would hum to Paradise and sing to Narcissistic Cannibal. I would nod to Iridescent and mouth Curl of the Burl. I love the weird names that rock bands possess, it smells of freedom. There is Five Finger Death Punch, 30 Seconds to mars, Chemical Romance, Dead Weather. I like country music because it’s about the things in life that really matter. It isn’t about bragging about how you are going to mess somebody up or about how somebody isn’t respecting you. It’s about love, family, friends, with a few beers…. With a cheap woman and a two timing man thrown in for spice. Country music is about new love and it’s about old love. It’s about getting drunk and it’s about getting sober. It’s about leaving and it’s about coming home. It’s real music, sung by real people for real people. It’s about Dolly Parton singing ‘I will Always Love You’ or Kenny humming ‘Coward of the County’, or Charley Pride crying, ‘Does my Ring Hurt Your Finger?’ These are my guilty music pleasures and they are liberating. This is what music does: it comes in below the critical radar. A great rhythm and melody bypass all and speak directly to your system. They release your ass from the ass cage, and swell your heart with ridiculous and delicious feelings — usually of woe or lust. These guilty pleasures and the emotion they bring are not of a writer!

Finally I enjoy reading poetry. The genius behind the brevity of words. The intelligence underneath the compact letters. Samuel Coleridge said it for me when he penned, ‘Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward: it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.’ I have a great collection of poems from many poets. I do not seem to have a favorite for it changes once I chance upon new collections. However, Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena’ poem has a special feeling in my heart. It speaks about courage and passion, two attributes I so desire to possess. Roosevelt says, ‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’ This poem hangs prominently on my bedroom wall and I read it every day before I sleep. The feelings I get from these words overpower me each time. These emotions are not of a writer!

It is 1:39 AM now, I am listening to X FM playing Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’, and I have a great desire to take a stroll. I cannot since I have to finish this application I am making for a scholarship I am applying to. I have decided to change the course I intend to study to Creative Writing. I desperately need to finish the application and send it, the deadline is tomorrow. I know I will be selected for an interview. I have to! I have an unfinished business that needs to be dispensed. I want to tell the interviewer that he lied; my emotions cannot allow me to be a writer for I cannot use my pen. 

-Don Eddie Ombagi-