Growling January: The year woke up bleary-eyed and growled at a few of my friends.
The first hint I had of its bad temper was when I was informed a great friend of mine had bit the dirt. A heart attack had taken him to the great beyond. I blinked and desperately held on to my pain as I tried to accept that I was never going to see his green light blinking anytime I came online. Skip Slocum was one that was not going to make suggestions, critique, and suggest to me on storylines anymore.
I felt cold and stared accusingly at the computer, daring it to tell me it had no hand in what had happened to Skip. When Lisa sent me an email asking if I was aware that Skip had passed, my heart felt the blows again. It was the silliest reason to be angry, and I glared at the computer.
It did not help that I had told myself I was going to be more at the darn computer this year. I had just taken on a job to teach a couple of young persons about the dangerously addictive job of being a scriptwriter. I had even shared that excitement with Skip, and now the joke was on me. It was going to be lonelier, typing and sharing with just me I thought and mercifully remembered that there was Lisa the third leg of the triangle that made up what we fondly called the chord.
We were officially supposed to critique each other’s writings, share our dreams, and sometimes we became impossible and teased each other endlessly. The extraordinary moments we shared online became almost real to me. Skip and Lisa became real people to me. I had dreams of flying the pair and their spouses over to Africa to enjoy the sun and coconuts.
For some reason, we seemed to think Skip would love coconuts. We promised to dress Skip and Bunny (that is what he called his wife) in proper African gear. I said I was going to feed them on my local cuisine and …bleh. We were going to beat drums. The dream was a dream and we knew it, but we had fun. The agony now is knowing Skip was not going to be around, not even online. Erg.
I sighed and tried to see from swollen eyes if I could stick my tongue at the year and get on with my life, but then the news came that a colleague of mine in the broadcasting world had decided to pick up a celestial microphone. Apparently, he had a more lucrative offer to do celestial programmes, so he left. I scratched my head, wondering what he thought he was thinking of leaving me behind. Darn, he was in his early fifties. I am exactly a decade older. Suddenly I watched each sunset with dread, wondering what the darkness had on its wings and felt ashamed relief each time the tiny fingers of the sun prodded my eyelids to a new day. My mouth formed a grateful thanks and I feverishly longed that, by some miracle, the day might just be made into thirty-six hours. There was so much I still wanted to do.
Was I too late? Had the dream tarried? Would I make the miles of dreams I had drawn before I meet up with the old man with his scythe? I did not like the questions, couldn’t one simply know what time was left? When should I retire? Was I being morbid? I squirmed at the realization that I loved being alive. Phew!. Did I use the word love in the past tense? What if the gods are listening? They don’t like being taunted, and well, I breathed a sigh of relief, the gods don’t speak English anyway I said and turned on the computer. Darn, I was going to write I told myself firmly, then I decided to visit MWC, short for My Writers Circle, did some tentative posting and smiled, the day promised sunshine, and I relaxed. Sango, who was stretched out on the mat with his ax, e was kicked awake by the growl of the skies. He looked up and gave me a wink; I frowned, and my phone indicated I had a text message. I lazily reached out for it and sat bolt upright.
Yeah, you guessed it; another friend had just departed. Much younger, my television producer with whom I had produced quite a lot of television enter-educate dramas. He was of the rare breed of producer/actor with loads of talent that seemed to hold him suspended between bliss and agony. He had opted out of earthly productions too.
We are still in January, and suddenly I am wondering why January seemed to be growling so badly. The rains came early and sniffed at the sun too. The leaking roof is not helping my temper, either. What do you think I should do?