The day I almost died

Tschechische Prag, den 13. Juli 2013.

The day I jumped out of an airplane, I didn’t quite think much of it. I was having fun like young dumb girls do with their young dumb friends. It wasn’t for the blood boiling gut wrenching eye-popping gush of adrenaline. It wasn’t exactly a dare either.

Two small town girls from a small west African town daring to overcome the limitations that are stacked so high against the African woman that we needed a small helicopter several meters in the air to proof that we can stomp them. No it wasn’t because we were curious, we knew exactly what we were doing—or did we?

My thoughts swirled in a multilinear direction. From my restricted vault of childhood memories to macabrely fantasies. If my aim was to die, that would be exactly the way I’d do it—sacrificing myself to Gaia, the goddess of sustenance. Venus in her verdant embellishment of flora and fauna. Surrendering skin, blood, saliva and soul. That sounded like me.

So we signed a death contract and laughed in the face of danger. Took a 20 mins course on how not to die, and soon we were way up there, still laughing. Shit got real when the door flew open. I realised that though I like to sit across a candle-lit sycamore table eating steak and drinking chardonnay, laughing at death’s joke and poking some of my own. I like to dance to cinema paradiso with him and make him buy me cocktails, enough to make me unwind but not enough to get drunk, I NEVER want to fuck with death.

At the moment I was instructed to jump out, I gulped and resisted the urge to breakdown while the condensed air from the high atmospheric altitude slapped my already shrivelled skin. This was one thing that wasn’t going to limit me. So I yelped GERANIMO, made peace fingers and went plummeting down to uncertain doom.

I had never wished so much to be Wendy as when I was falling heart first. I NEEDED to fly. What would my mother say? I was struggling against the resisting pull of the earth’s center, quite unlike the surrender and serenity I dreamed of. Suddenly, the parachute flew out helping me defy gravity.

Ha Ha, not today death. Not today Satan.

I may never have another epic superhero moment again. I stopped free falling and started dangling like a pearl on the edge of a maple leaf, Looking down to the world stretching its arms to straddle my weightless body. It was serene, and almost angelic. This wasn’t death grappling at me with it’s dishevelled claws. This was me taking a leap to live. These were two small town girls tearing at the bricks of limitation. And it was beautiful.

We ended it that day, laughing hysterically at our reflection in the bathroom mirror. Maybe because we enjoyed splitting our sides with cackles or maybe we devoured 2 grams of marijuana for the first time. Did we do it for the thrill or was it a dare? that’s a story for a different day.

The Interview

Den 6. Mai. 2019.

It was an especially windy morning and I was in a losing battle with the rain, my least favourite forecast. By now my mascara was like a plangent river and my nipples seem to have resisted all the confines I had on, and were poking out as if in protest. This is the kind of morning I’d double up on blankets and burrow a hole through with my body. Now I simply had to resist the urge to moan.

Several minutes later, I was in the courtyard of one of the most prestigious establishment of the town’s history. The weather didn’t seem to deter the occupants as there were more than a handful of young adults, running around in the garten, and some if you can believe, making rain angels.

I walked right through the iron-casted door and shook myself like a shaggy mutt, hopefully I’d get some warmth flowing through my veins before the interview. This was my first job interview, but my quivering body and goose-bumped skin subdued all other nerve-wrenching feelings.

As I walked through the long corridor, searching for the waiting room, a door opened and the man wedging his robust body between it was possibly in his late 40s. He seemed to be squinting at me through his rimmed-glasses; “Frau Ukut, Sie sinds?”

I swallowed my words as I replied; “Ja da bin ich”. He motioned to me to wiggle myself past him. I took a seat behind him as he muttered some welcoming words while taking a seat. We were separated by a sturdy table made from maple oak. He adjusted his brims and glared at me. By this time, my smile was beginning to quake. The voices in my head bellowed in unison, “Oh no, the jig is up”.

I dared to break the silence, “Herr Mayer, Gibt es eventuell eine Probleme oder?

“Na ja”, he heaved, ” Sie sind ein bisschen zu groß, eine Patientin hier zu sein”

Entschuldigen Sie, I chuckled at the silly remark, “Ich bewerbe mich nur bei Ihnen als Assistenzärztin. Haben Sie meine unterlagen nicht bekommen oder?”

He toyed with the tip of a pen which seemed to have been heavily chewed on, then picking up the telephone, he punched in numbers and made some affirmations with the person on the other end. A few footsteps later, there was a knock on the door. Herr Mayer stood up, straightened his tie and right before disappearing assured me. “Warten Sie, Ich komme gleich wieder zurück”.

I sat there peering at the obscure hand painted framed images loosely hung on the wall. A couple were of a woman with soft eyes and a reverse smile. Another was of a clown trapped in a burning building, and there were others that had too much going on anyway. Absorbing myself within them kept me from tinkering with Herrn Mayer’s impression about me being a patient..

Shortly as promised, he was back with news, ” Ich freue mich darüber, Sie zu erzählen, dass Sie den Job bekommen haben. Wenn es stimmt dir zu, können Sie schon am heute Nachmittag anfangen”. My heart was palpitating in my chest as I could not believe his utterance. In that moment, I had forgotten every appropriate reply, so I grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. Before I left the office, his last words since the forty mins I’ve known him were, ” we believe you will fit right in”.

So I went into the changing rooms and reemerged in the courtyard in white overalls. The dress code seemed to grab the kids attentions. Now the rain had stopped and my smile was beaming. Here I was, residing physician at the Institute of Paediatric Neurology and Psychiatry, Cologne. A dream I’ll keep reliving until it comes true.

Smoke

I sometimes think about hugging you in the middle of a passing crowd in the narrow fashion district. Neither of us can claim bewildering growth, we just perceive that someday these tiny baby steps will amount to an Alpen.

It wasn’t so long ago we met. As always with your saucer eyes, and a self-righteous smirk that says, ‘I’m going places”, you tuned in your satellite to my frequency. You were neither the muse I wanted, nor the mentor I needed, you are much more.

You’re a rare breed of passion and gentle. You re-ignite a fire in me that I thought was burnt out. The smoke from my incense, light as a feather may linger further as they appease your senses.

Your lips are cracked and laced, dark from cigarettes. After the third kiss, I didn’t mind. I just wanted someone who held my stare when they kissed me.

At times I wonder, why we craved each other.Your silhouette guided me like a compass. I learnt to make a bonfire by striking two stones at the golden hour. At the crack of dawn, our love turned into lust.

I hate goodbyes, I know you do too. My heart may shed a drop of tear, when you walk out. But the curls of smoke will bear your weight on lavender clouds past the sycamore tree.

Like a robin, every now and then my soul stirs up a ruckus. Those are moments I step into my head and playback the memories. I’m still drawn to your fragrance like an ant to honeysuckle.

Take care of you… for the both of us, take heed of hills and mountains along your path. I have to heal from you, and you have to do the same. Maybe One day we can stand to be in the same room again.

Till then, i’ll let the embers burn our story down and the smoke erase our slate, fading away before they reach the skies. No survivors recorded. just our ashes

True self

Your longings

attached to a thespian smile

captivates a wandering soul

tho’ it’ll take you a while longer

to remember how to breath again.

these nimble feeling in your bowels

is rumbling, swelling up, bursting out

your spirit is an unrestrained beast

recycling the dreams you’ll dream again

like a sillouette in the dead of the night

you slip into a formless, void space

thoughts dance up your crooked spine

nothing that doesn’t want to can be obviated

Sometimes peace screams through silence

sometimes silence is the peace

truth lays beyond the borders

of this consciousness and an astral plane

Then comes a glimpse of epiphany

We are but spirits in human drag

Nothing we see is real as it seems.

We fight everyday

to find diamond reflecting in darkness

Within self

Outside self

But in reality

There exist  truth within  truth

The language

Puff it once.

Let the smoke dance on the skin until you sucks it back like vacuum. And your eyes overflow with tears like a breaking dam. Pain is a painting of haunted memories you treasure. But if you blood turns black, you’ll risk playing Russian roulette with demons.

Living in a society with borders is like dancing at the top on an active volcano, all the while, expecting it not to erupt. Life is dangerous, just listen to the broken whispers at the end of every delayed heartbeat. You’ll never know if you’re tiptoeing on borrowed time.

After many sacrilegious prayers and resounding amens, most people never find their truth, probably because they’re yet to tell the the truth to themselves. Schade

A flame has no shadow, just like the blurred line between existency and spirituality. You may stand next to it, observing, imitating, fusing with it until you understand the cast that scatters your soul.

Eggshell, bland and typical, your charm is able to discern. Your palms are empty but you conjure up extra smoke and mirrors till your bones start to grit and quake. If you’re lucky, someone calls out with you behind their own shadowy mess.

There is a language I write, from an unorthodox and extinct book it is. Some say it is the language of the dead, others call it the language with no name. Everything I write about you, is what I see looking in the mirror, but the reflection I admire is in the way of my expressive hands.

Silent eyes

I was standing at the front of my mat with my feet rooted to the earth, much like a woman with silent eyes waiting for hours at a bus stop.

Prudently listening and smiling, like her cares had been washed away with dunes on midnight’s wave and she didn’t have anywhere to be. Though she receives no visual input, her ear are busy and constantly overwhelmed.

She could hear the school children chattering, snacking, doing what school kids do. The cars swoon past her, like they were racing against the impending mortality of their desires.

Today she met me, and I met her. neither of us could see each other, and it was perfect that way. Her whites of her eyes had turned to the heavens as if she was permanently searching for a starlight. Mine were shut, temporarily.

I sensed her graceful smile and her kind colours that illuminated from her fragile soul.

Her silent eyes saw everything and reflected nothing. Her ears followed the every sparrow’s song, every lingering moment. Every cutthroat Innuendo. She held the implosive secrets of many-a-man that transformed into feelings that could set her ablaze.

She spoke to me like a long-time friend, her successes and anecdotes of her pain. I was moved by her words of wisdom and the passion in her voice. Sometimes she weaved her secrets between the strands of poetry.

Finally, my ears were overwhelmed too so I opened my eyes to greet her face. It was then she told me the most important thing that contained no words, and a smile that stretched from her lips to the edge of her silent eyes.

Delilah’s wish

She waited at the foot of mother’s rocking chair, next to the polka- dot curtains, cuddling her head between the flesh of her palms.

Mother was 122 years old with the smile of a 6 year Mädel. Her silver hair was ankle-long and growing. She reminded Delilah of an orange orchid that blossomed in spring.

Mother always told her that if she wished hard enough, it will come true. Think of it as the source of your soul’s turnover, she said. So every second she held a wish, like a golden goose egg on a Mughal-gem spoon. Her wishes bloomed into ideas that transformed into pictures that broke out of the oasis of her mind.

Everyday she was living her best wishes within herself, disconnected from both bright and shadowy side of the world.

Outside, the ground was a muddy mess of earth, the trees twisted their roots deep into the malleable soil, claiming their territory while providing nurture for the wrmy worms and beetles. The rain had poured for weeks, and even now, there seemed no sign of dryness.

Delilah had stayed in. Albeit her love for the unsynchronised kiss of the soluble element on her coarse skin, seeing mother’s radiance was a far pleasurable experience.

Delilah pulled out her book of colours tucked beneath her pillow and began to scroll like she always did. The moment she sprays her colours is when her cheeks are flushed, her body squirms with joy and her frosty soul melts into a healing orange puddle.

She would colour in her dreams, and then paint herself when she’s awake. Her aesthetic was more-so an extension of herself than a mask

Today she painted freshly baked banana-cupcakes on the stove. Windsor, the tabby cushioned between two flower pots. She painted her mother looking out the curtains watching the rain drip drip with wonder in her eyes. Delilah imagined she was thanking God for the gift of the seasons.

When she was done, she proudly handed her masterpiece to mother. She couldn’t have wished for anything more than the truth her sketches revealed even without tracing a single ink to paper.