A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective
By Agatha Kerunga
So a year ago I met the one I thought I would spend the rest of my life with.
The one I nearly risked it all for.
The one I was willing to come out to my family for (and risk being killed by my daddy and clan). Life imprisonment, especially with the Anti-Homosexuality Laws in this country).
I fell madly, deeply, truly in love with her. I gave it all. Time, money, prestige (I was her trophy girl). I gave attention, affection. I even filled in for her absent “baby daddy”. I loved her little girl. The saddest part of our breakup is the fact that I don’t get to see my little gal as often as I would love to.
From day one it was evident that I was pushing the relationship. Friends asked me why I was with her. They would say ‘She doesn’t treat you right, she insults you, makes you feel bad about yourself and she thinks you are fucking everyone in the community’.
Like all women in abusive relationships I thought I could change her. Perhaps the fact that she had been called a ‘wife beater’ but had never laid a hand on me kept me thinking she loved me enough. On the other hand, I thought that only time would make it work.
Then Christmas came and her ex returned. The pain that I went through was unbearable. I thought I would die. I slept with the help of pills and nearly drank myself to death. Literally. I very nearly had an accident on one of those drunken nights.
February came and I sat myself through a state mandated workshop. I don’t think I made any contributions that day. I kept my sanity by listening to this gospel song; “Inside out” by Hillsongs, all the while on replay, between intervals. On the second day of the workshop we were blessed with a trip to some gay friendly hangout.
That’s when it happened!
It happened after StaceyAnn Chin’s gig.
*Whose videos a Queer Feminist friend of mine made me watch and all I could remember about them then was something to do with a period. I have since bought her memoir and read it thrice.
For some reason my eyes kept wondering off to this ‘dude’ dressed in a pair of jeans with white shirt that was topped with a black blazer. Her poetry swept me off my feet. Shy and tongue tied as I was, I found myself asking for a copy of her work.
We went to this strip club later with a couple of friends but all I could think about was ‘The Dude’. Come morning, I had a major crush on her.
Man it was not funny!!!
So like a true stalker I logged onto Facebook and copy-pasted a very sexy pic of her. Bam! Next thing you knew it was my laptop screensaver.
(On a side note: as of now, i have not yet taken it off. My ex and i were still together then, with me fighting to keep the relationship together as usual. The pic gave her just another reason to break up with me.) For some reason when I saw ‘The Dude’, it was like waking up from a trance. Asking myself how i could stoop so low to do the things i did to save that retched relationship. She was an epitome of my perfect woman.
The rest of the days swung by so fast the last thing I remember is sitting on this KQ413(or something like that) and wishing it would crash and all of us die because I didn’t want to come back home and deal with the painful threesome of a what had become of the relationship. I remember being overwhelmed with guilt after seeing the lady seated next to me was pregnant. Getting back to Kampala, I fought hard to save my relationship but what 30 years of living have taught me, certain things are out of ones control.
She left me.
The pain was excruciating.
A day at a time, hangover and spongy mouthed from the anti-depressants, I dragged myself out of bed every morning.
But every time I thought about ‘The Dude’ the pain slowly became bearable. ‘The Dude’ and I started chatting online and it hit me that my crush on her had actually died in Nairobi. I never envisioned being with her.
But i knew she would have made a perfect better .
She had everything I have ever wanted in a woman. The way those rhymes rolled off her tongue, her swag, her voice, her wit…I loved.
So today I play those slow love songs that I dreaded just weeks ago (you know the ones, like those on the Adele break up soundtrack), read beautiful books and boy do i love reading. Even the potted plants in my house are flourishing again (they had all died up from neglect).
I put all I have into my job. I meet up with old friends for ice cream and coffee after hours, drinks over the weekend. I sip the drink and can actually taste it again. I can taste what the flavour is and not just get drunk.
I listen to birds chirping away at my window sill, the sound of the rain; hails and thunderstorms on my roof…
I am living.
All this is not because I think ‘The Dude’ and I will end up together or anything like that but because I can convince myself beyond reasonable doubt that she (the one who wrecked my heart) wasn’t the best there is.
That there is more to life than her perfect smile, football player’s body and her good sex.
There are other things that fulfil me.
That make me complete.
I may be alone now but I know there is someone out there.
Life is good.
All thanks to ‘The Dude’. Not even knowing it, she saved my life. I owe her one of these scented candles and purple lamps that I won at poetry in session, after reciting the amazing poem i shyly begged from her.
For now I will get back to blasting these beautiful songs from this folder I call ‘My Faves’, get back in the single’s queue and hopefully I get to skype a special someone tonight.
Life is Short.
Check out more on her blog Pissed Off Woman