The good old days, as narrated by the sobering soul of Yesterday!
I remember the sound of naked feet slapping against sun-baked earth like it were just yesterday. I remember the pain of a dislocated big toe while perfecting the ‘agorlu’ skill. I remember too the pain of an ‘ear pulling’ I received every time I damaged my slippers because I’d used them to play football. The pain of a milk tin smashing against my shin during a game of chaskele. Most of all, I remember the laughter and the joys. The tease and the sadness. I remember them like they happened not many hours ago.
But years have passed, brother of mine.
Ages ago, we used to play out our favourite games on concrete and earth with equal relish. We used whatever we could find. Tennis balls. Rolled-up socks. Pebbles. Counters. D battery parts. Pens. Pen tops. Grandma’s counting beads. Broom sticks. The ball from a roll-on deodorant. Many things. Many things!
It didn’t matter what it was back then. So far as it was near, it was good enough. We had a knack for recycling that could and should have been adopted by government. Our ingenuity could inspire policy on tourism and early childhood learning. It could have informed how we planned our spaces and parks, taught us how to shape them so we didn’t find ourselves in this quagmire of rot we call capital city.
Forgive me, but I digress. It is just that I have relived those days for so long I believe I am now drank on old wine. I can barely see beyond my nose now. It is a cloud I see. A cloud filled with nauseous insects buzzing to music of yesteryear. I can see myself tottering to beats long forgotten on compact cassettes. I can count the number of trips my young self made to the bar. To pick up counters and straws. No, I never took a sip of those cursed drinks.
I am drank, nonetheless, on nostalgia. Memory is such a terrible thing. It shows me so much of the past tears run in thick lines down swollen cheeks. To see it, you might think Bukom Banku wore my skin when he went to fight the Beast. But it is not so. It is just the forms and shapes of these things in the past that have me weeping like a child who’s just lost his favourite toy to a big bully.
And yes, time is such a fantastical bully. Unseen but felt. Hidden yet revealing. It leaves us all worse for wear like it has our world for millions of years. But I refuse to cry alone. On these pages, my sobering soul will pour out the pain of my current state. Slowly and painfully, I will pen down the thoughts that plague my waking mind. I will right about Stay. I will sing about Chaskele. I will describe 4 corners. I will cry of that football pitch which has now become the centre of a choked apartment block near the Jubilee House. I will say it all, because I refuse to cry alone.
Yes, I am terrible like that. Siaaa!