Tag Archives: Africa

An open letter to a stranger

This is a bit long and contains some profanity. I implore you to read it though, it’s sincerely meant and for all to read.

Hey, how are you?

I’m writing from my desk when I could be, arguably, doing more important things. However, I believe that this may be one of the most crucial things I ever could do … writing this letter to you.

I remember becoming excruciatingly aware of the passage of time a couple of years ago but none has rivaled the year that was 2016. I could bitch about it to no end, about the mistakes I made and how increasingly small I feel in this yawning old world that knows how to squeeze happiness out of a soul as much as it knows how to inspire an all-consuming will to live simply by existing in all its majestic beauty.

Sounds really poetic, doesn’t it? You know, poetry isn’t all pretentiousness, not all the time anyway. It’s the insincere assholes with some underhand agenda and something to prove that spew nonsensical drivel, giving the rest of us a bad name.

What did you learn from the past year? Did you pet many dogs? Got braces?  Did you get that promotion you toiled after? Or did that jerk with the broad white smile grin his way into the spot?

I hope you quit smoking, if not I’m tempted to send you what a smoker’s internal body cavity looks like. Yeah, go on looking disgusted and fed up with the well-meaning but unsolicited advice. It’s just … I want you to know that somebody out there cares.

Look up

I’m sorry that your brother/sister/mother/father died. I mean, I wouldn’t have known them personally but that new absence is a black hole in the fabric of your reality and I know that shit isn’t light, yeah? I remember when my grandad died three years ago, at the viewing before we took his empty vessel to the burial ground to be cremated into the open air … one of my grand-uncles told me to be strong. What he meant was “don’t cry”.

What the actual fuck even? I’ll tell you what I did. I cried. I cried because I don’t flow with that stoic shit. Because my grandfather was one of the most important people in my life and I hardly knew him. Even when I’d lived with him up until that last day. I did know that alcoholism screwed up what could have been a more promising life past his post in the riot squad.

But that was sixty years ago. The man I knew suffered withdrawal from the bottle, pissed and full of vinegar one day, and peaceful and jovial the next. He evened out eventually, but then came the mild assault of Alzheimer’s and the more prevalent Parkinsons that got worse after his fall. I laugh a little because the man could still quote Shakespeare off his head. He was a decent human being that made mistakes and paid for them. We moved on and lived as best as we could, but looking back today it was a half-life and the waste was mine. It was all of ours.

So when I was told to be strong … Continue reading

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