Hey there, Sir
I want to say hello in a bunch of ways; pleasantries from multiple generations. From a baby screaming her lungs out to a pant-sagging teen saying, “Wassup! ” to the simple, “hallo” from the men of old.
You see, sir, I have a problem addressing you. I can’t quite find the comfort in addressing you by your own terms. Afternoon? Evening? Good morning? No. We’re not having any of that. Besides, at twelve minutes to two a.m., there’s no prescribed way of calling your attention to this brief correspondence.
I hope you’re not too sleepy. I hope you’ve had a slow week. I hope you haven’t been too busy. I hope you finally grew weary. I hope the race became too long for you. I mean, we’re always running against you. We’re always losing – and losing badly – but we never stop trying. We never stop putting one foot ahead of the other. We hope you slow down soon, or give up. Honestly, we’d all love it if you did. We’d all appreciate a minute to catch up with you. We all need a break to look around and enjoy the atmosphere in the arena of life.
Gaitlin gave us hope, you know. In a race of old men, he pushed Bolt all the way to third place. ‘Life is a marathon, not a sprint’, they say – even when it’s just one hundred metres. It’s all about the long game.
Or is it?
Birthdays. Graduations. Employment. More birthdays. Investments (hopefully). Death. The famous cycle.
Maybe I shouldn’t blame you. Maybe I should blame the system. Maybe I should blame the hackers who programmed it to leave an eleven percent gap between where I am and where I want to be. To keep the wheel spinning.
Maybe it’s not even your fault. Maybe I owe you some sympathy. But just as our races are concurrent, so is our need to find refuge.
Sir, I understand. I know that you’re also part of the wheel. I see it at times with immense clarity. I see you. I see myself. I see everyone else running in the 4K to everyone’s amusement.
I got you there, didn’t I? I know I did.
Come on, sir. Loosen up.
You’re really a piece of work. You know that? You. You make me angry. You make me tired. You rob me of my joy. Of my youth. Of my friends. Of my family. Of my existence. You rob me of my legacy. Indeed, it is completely possible and also very likely that obscurity is the only promise you can keep.
You will be on your track. You will keep moving along. The gears will keep your wheels turning. The winds will keep your waves rolling along.
Sir, I’m sorry I lashed out earlier. I really am. It’s actually this fear that is my prison. I’m afraid of this race. I’m afraid of the day when you’ll run out on me. What then? What next?
Worse still, what if I keep running and the track disappears? What if I lose my way? What if the horizon merges with the sky? What if I lose all direction? What if all my goals fade into the finger paintings and I can’t tell where I’m Ghoing? (Again? Come on)
What then, sir?
You know, it’s hard for some of us. You have it easy in your shell. You’re hands are filled with purpose. Every second, you have somewhere to be. They say, even if you end up battered and broke, that you’ll still be right twice a day. That you still get to clock in and be productive twice a day.
I hear that your face changes with the longitudes. I wonder how you manage all that land. I respect how you do it all; especially in Africa since here, we fight over inches of space. Without fences, you trace the shadows to cover one face of the world. It’s clock work.
I’m really pulling your leg. I mean, arm. Sorry Sir. Don’t get wound up.
I just felt the need to ignore you by writing you. To look away by watching the seconds fade.
At ease, Sir. Carry on as you were …