I decided to break the silence; there was no one left to speak for me.
In the time since this happened, I have found many comrades in the struggle. It’s in the sigh, the way they hang their heads, the way their fingers caress their cheeks, the way they hug their shoulders, the way tears well up in their eyes but do not pour out onto their cheeks. The shaking of their heads, the limpness in their limbs, the tone of voice, the staccato speech. The absence of adjectives.
It started- I was five years old, they stopped us at a roadblock on the way to Kabale- systematically stripped all the adults of anything they deemed valuable. And my sweets. Who steals candy from a baby? Mr. Right.
We hired him to guard our home when thieves overrun the University’s defences, he didn’t show up that night. We were robbed clean. He didn’t show up again, but we were given a replacement by Mr. Right. Why a replacement? Sshhh, Mr. Right is always right.
Then he was assigned to guard my daddy to keep him from harm’s way. But we found daddy in a hospital, another roadblock, badly injured though not fatally. It could have been worse, is all Mr. Right said.
We came back from burying mummy and again we had been robbed. Mr. Right needs airtime. Mr. Right wants to interview all the staff at home, he ends up intimidating them. Mr. Right needs facilitation. Mr. Right, is it possible for you to do your job quietly and leave us to mourn? Shhhhh, Mr. Right is always right. He has a very important job to do.
Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic. Lewis Caroll
The hassle -Madam, your seat belt is not on; Madam, you are over speeding, here you see the machine says so; Madam, aren’t you too pregnant to drive? Madam, it’s very hot today. Mr. Right please, don’t belabour the point. Is it reasonable for us to use the same time it takes Toyota to manufacture an entire car to “discuss” the use of a mere component?
Yes, the madness got to me.
So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah
Psalms 55:6-7 NKJV
He raised his arm, as I drove by with my children, I stopped. He systematically begins finding fault with everything about me, he strips me down, shreds my integrity and crumples my dignity like used wrapping paper. I play it down, my children are in the car.
Finally, he latches onto he said-she said like a desperate man falling into a chasm. It’s his word against mine. No one stops to assist, not even the bodaboda man. Girl don’t you know your place, you don’t argue with Mr. Right. He is Right, just do as he says! In sync, and like a well choreographed dance, each one dances to his tune and they move off stage. I cannot dance any more, Mr. Right? I have only two LEFT feet. The music plays on.
I run back to my safe place, my car. He followed me, where are you going? I am Mr. Right, you cannot leave till I say so.
It is time to take back my life, I choose to take it back. I try to start my car, his hand swiftly grabs my hand and my key. I am not allowing you to take my life away again, Ssebo. I fight with all I have. He breaks my key chain, takes the key. Strips my car of its plates.
Mummy, mummy what is happening? The hammering is too loud. Mummy, are you going to prison? Mummy, Mummy, what is Mr. Right doing? Hide, hide, Where can we hide?
Satisfied with his handiwork, he puffs his chest out, gives me back the keys to the car. But it’s not my car, it’s damaged goods. Damaged like my soul by Mr. Right.
Mummy, I heard the car crying.
I can hear the sounds of Jessie Reyez’s Gatekeeper https://youtu.be/_0G2TmuDjL8
I wait for the Lord , my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalms 130:5-6 NKJV