I call this part of my house the wall of unfeasible possibilities which is a pun and a paradox at the same time. The reason is that I somehow often feel that my good years are behind me.
I have this kasmall book I write my morning workout extremes. Do not judge, it is my personal hobby, and nobody tells you nothing when what you do on your own free time is make memes. For instance today, my morning jog lasted twenty-seven minutes and was two and a half kilometers, the number of push-ups on this record is forty-nine and sit-ups are eighty. On the top of the page, the date reads 4th March 2017. Now on a similar day, one year ago, 4th March 2016, the morning jog for the same distance is seventeen minutes, the number of push-ups and sit-ups is eighty and a hundred respectively. This record mocks age to my very core of existence.
This wall consists of different trips all around the country in the past four years. Whenever it happens that there is too little blood in my whiskey circulatory system, I come to this wall and relive each image one by one before I black out on the couch below the wall. Now that we are talking about this sofa, for the past three weeks seated on that couch, I have tried to write good things, and the devil has stared at me in the eye and sneered loudly at me. This one time I tried writing about my friends who were getting married, I ended up writing things like, “50% marriages often end in divorce” and “marriage is the beginning of dying” so I did not publish it. Another time, I was writing about Kenya Pastoralists Week in Nanyuki which is an annual event that features Miss Ecosystem International Beauty Pageant, and I ended up putting so much criticism on the food, and I had to re-write it a little too many times before the client was happy and when I wrote for the blog, the entire article was about food, bad food, so again, I did not want to get sued for statements like, “food that made the stomach turn on it axis” and “food so nasty that the microwaves and cookers refused to warm its ice heart, so it remained ungraciously cold”. That explains the three last weeks with no update, doesn’t it? I digress.
Above this and all, good things had come from this couch in the middle of the night when the wolves of the Aberdare Ranges howled, and the dogs mimicked, when silence reigned, and sleep prevailed and when the moon lay to rest, and the earth remained covered by a consistent black blanket, darker than the soot of hell. These are the nights that I have sat here the entire night writing articles that made a difference. Such nights began in a prayer to the maker and a hug from a flask of coffee. The nights the internet would be shut down, and the creative juices would be pumped into the blood system. These nights also end up on my list of things I could do and now no longer can. The problem with writing a good story is that if your next does not live up to the last, it ends up discarded while at the same time depression stealthily takes over the remaining part of your sanity.
Recently, the flask of coffee has been replaced by shot glasses stinking of a lethal concoction, the prayers by whines and uncertainty, the darkness still reigns, and the internet stays on with all kinds of beeps from the gadgets in the house. The empty word document, however, is the last nail on the head on this unequivocal highway to hell. It is empty as if speaking to you of how endless your possibilities are, you can choose to write politics, weddings, food or internet, you can also opt to get married, pour yourself another shot of William Lawson, travel anywhere in the globe, study, call mom or call dad. The last one makes you spinal cord vibrate with indescribable dread. At the beginning of a word document, you own the universe; there is nothing you cannot do. The only problem comes in when you have no settled decision on the what, where, when and how to begin, that is when the demons start playing catch ball on your tomb.
But this wall brightens up the foul mood never the less. The people in the photos speak to me earnestly, and I listen. When I am covered deep under a magnificent alcoholic haze, I talk back, but when I am sober, I let the wall have its show. I think sometimes the wall says that my best years are still ahead, but it could be difficult to tell apart the two voices, the wall one and the alcohol one. Other times they all speak together and its hell house inside my head. The people in then photographs could look like me could even be me but they are too awesome to be the current me. Have you ever gone on a trip so good that when you come back and days turn into weeks and weeks into months and eventually into years, you are just there on the bed, lying naked and alone and you start wondering if that was you on that trip? You watch yourself unfold in 3D inside your head and all over sudden it is like Celine Dion on the back seat of Grammy Awards watching Beyoncé’s live performance. You were a star but now you lay desolated and hidden in the mist, that person in on that trip was someone else, it was Beyoncé, all you are, there lying naked is Celine Dion. A star, but a retired one.
And yes, writer’s block is that bad. It is like a dry spell. It contains a staleness around it that makes the air around you profane and toxic. It makes you question your existence, and mock writers who have their shit figured out writing like they were born with words on their fingers. It is so sad that you can feel lonely in a crowd of people. You feel slow and unfulfilled like you were born with a hunting gun but use arrows and spears to hunt. It makes you google things like “Does suicide using poison hurt?” and “Does bullet through brain spill your brains that much?” Because if you were to shoot yourself dead one evening, you would not like to leave the arduous task of cleaning your spilled brains to someone else the next morning, would you?