How to do nothing that makes sense

Sunday February 17 2019

 

By Jacobs Seaman Odongo

There are days when you sit behind your computer to write and words just flow like a soloist’s chords after the rhythm guitarist has gone through the pain of building the skeleton of the music.
And then there are days you sit it for hours and nothing comes through. You take a break and return but still nothing. You begin to feel as uncomfortable as a guy who has been forced to wear Olara Otunnu’s garbs.

The latter scenario is what has been chewing me up. For two days, nothing. I thought of writing about Norbert Mao and the fact that he can make the dead listen in to just follow his oratory skills but has never contested for presidency again since 2011. But would it make sense? How do you build it through…

Then I landed on a WhatsApp chat of military generals discussing the recent promotions. I thought I could simply reproduce it. But the general whose phone I had stolen the chat detail from as he took a siesta in my living room would certainly know who the traitor was.
A thought flashed through my mind. Pastors. News reports say the government is investigating at least a dozen of top Pentecostal preachers over rape, defilement and such sins of the flesh.

So I sunk my derriere in the seat and powered the laptop.
“Hands off our pastors,” I indicated for a headline. Then for intro: “News doing rounds says that a bunch of idlers have, of all things they can do to justify why taxpayers should continue feeding their families, gone after pastors with trumped up files to investigate. They say pastors rape and defile their flock. But we all know it’s not their doing...”
Now, thinking of how to proceed, I figured the guy who paid a fine for smuggling wine would complain and then… trouble. If you can a avoid trouble, don’t goad it, said the frog.

So I deleted all those words about pastors and sat staring at the ceiling.
And then it happened. There was rasp on the door. I went to check, and found two bald men dressed remarkably differently. I opened and welcomed them in.
Then I saw that behind them were two irresistible women. I checked again to make sure that a minister who has been promoting some trendy stuff wasn’t around as well.

And then inside, this guy started to introduce himself. “I’m Andrew Mw...” I cut him short with “I know.” Then he opened his mouth to say something again, but there was no chance as I said, “I can see, you are bald. Please make yourself comfortable.”
All the while my eyes were on the two women I had only seen on TV. Then the other man started to introduce himself too. “I’m...” No chance from me. I completed it for him. “Yes, Mr Olara, you didn’t vote for yourself.”

He laughed it off giving his pate some crease-like look as he adjusted the sleeve of his bitenge that flowed to his wrists’ attention. “Stop admiring my garb,” he joked.
“Actually, they are reminding me of rumba,” I said.
“I prefer Lingala,” he added, chuckling. I ignored him, not even correcting him that Lingala was just a language like Luganda and that rumba was a genre like Kadongo kamu.

My attention was on the ladies so I wanted to extricate myself from the two bald fellows faster than it takes for water to make cotton wet.
As soon as he stepped aside, I dived into the first woman’s embrace and moved my hand to hold her back only for some tiny fingers to grab at it. I faintly heard her say, “Daddy, Jumong has done pupu.”
Interesting things, dreams!

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