Saturday 24 June 2017
DANCING OLD FLAMES
It's the eve of your 30th birthday. You pack a few clothes into your box, and hit the road, homebound. Two days in the company of mummy and daddy wouldn't be a bad way to spend the weekend. You slot in a disc into your Camry's CD player, and what follows is the mellifluous tune of saxophone, and for a moment you consider Kenny G a deity. Yes, Yanni caresses your heart, but 'Songbird' whispers to your ventricles. The track plays out and is succeeded by 'How Could An Angel Break My Heart'. You heave a sigh of pleasure in the same way you'd lick your lips before a plate of Mama's Oha soup, but now it's music and it's feeding your soul. Soon, you turn at a junction, and there are lovers making a turn into another street. With hands clasped, they walk slowly beyond your sight. You greet it with a smile, and speed on. Soon another track is on, 'Forever in Love'. It sends you down memory-there are so many lanes-and you remember beautiful times, and beautiful souls. You remember Sally, her glowing caramel skin, it's beauty against the light of the setting sun. You remember you still have that Silhouette of you two , a masterpiece picture taken by that funny Jamaican photographer-you try to remember his name but it doesn't matter now. You loved Sally but oh, she was too demanding, a Gucci bag would bite a tithe off your salary, but she could care less. A trip to Dubai, lion-meat barbecue and a front seat at the Superbowl were not beyond her mild-talk more of wildest-dreams. Beatrice was a less costly experiment, you chuckle at this memory. Beautiful and tall, your specs, but what she lacked in Sally, she made up for in nagging, and goodness, gracious, you so hate nagging. For all the love you had for her, you couldn't continue bearing her getting on all your 100 billion nerve cells. You remember Kate, the witch! She wanted all your time and attention, and when you couldn't give it, she left you. Enemy of progress, she was, she wouldn't let you have some time for your career. You recall that she is now married to the Deputy Governor's son, and you hiss. Good for her! Kenny G is still playing. It's a faster song now and you quickly run through the list-the Exes of a soon-to-be senior bachelor. You remember the good, the bad and Anabel-the ugly, you remember their many faults, but you also remember your married friends. Maybe there is no perfect partner anyway, you brood further. Maybe you could have been more tolerant, maybe a little patience with Sally would have made the difference. Maybe Beatrice was the perfect imperfect one, maybe she so loved you that she couldn't spend a day without you. You are thinking now, maybe you should have been less of the perfectionist you are. This is like scratching on old healing wounds, it's painfully sweet. You are reliving the moments and though you'd hate to admit it, it now seems you loved some of these ladies more than you thought you did, and it appears you are falling in love all over again. Now you are wondering why it should feel so nice that a blade of these old flames still burns in your heart, how fantastic will it be that those who walked away or from whom you walked away walk back in? Cannot old flames burn again?
By now you are hooting at the gate, the security man would soon answer. You engage your wait with a crazy rhetoric, what if you pull out one of your ribs, make a perfect woman, and quit searching for the other missing rib, which-who knows-might be struggling to fit into another man's ribcage. Switching off Kenny G, you laugh it off and drive into your parent's compound.